GM and BMW in Fuel Cell Talks; Amazon Selling GE WattStation

by | Dec 14, 2011

General Motors and BMW are discussing a possible collaboration related to fuel cell vehicles, news outlets have reported.

The companies told the New York Times that they are holding talks, though they would not confirm the details of a recent report in the German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche. That story said that BMW would pay money towards researching hydrogen fuel cell passenger cars, and receive GM technology in return.

The two companies previously collaborated with Daimler to develop a hybrid system used in GM SUVs. Daimler, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai have all said that they would launch commercial hydrogen cars in the U.S. around 2015, but the Times said this could be held back until the country develops an adequate network of fueling stations. In Germany hydrogen fueling infrastructure is more advanced.

Recent months have seen a slew of environmental technology partnerships announced between automotive companies, as well as between car-makers and other types of manufacturers. Last week GM and Teijin Limited said they would co-develop carbon fiber products for potential worldwide, high-volume use in GM cars, trucks and crossovers. GM and electronics manufacturer LG plan to design and engineer electric vehicles together.

Ford and Toyota have said they will collaborate to develop advanced hybrid systems for light trucks and SUVs, while GE and Nissan are launching a two-year collaboration to develop smart charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

In other green fleet news, GE’s wall-mounted electric vehicle charging point, the WattStation, is now available from, the two companies have announced.

The Level 2 station is available for use in the U.S. and Canada. It delivers a full-cycle charge to a 24 kWh battery in four to eight hours, whereas plugging an EV into a standard electrical outlet would require 12-18 hours for the same level of charge, GE says. The WattStation also comes equipped with built-in fuses to provide overload protection in the event of a fault occurrence.

The charger, which is 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide and six inches deep, is NEMA 3R rated to resist rain, sleet ice. It is priced at $1,099.

Last month GE finalized a sale and distribution agreement with EV manufacturer CODA Automotive, which will give buyers a chance to bundle the WattStation with their car purchase.  In July GE announced that it would offer the station at 50 U.S. Lowes stores, and on, by September.

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