As the adoption of electric vehicles becomes more widespread and automakers roll out new models, GE continues to lead the development of the critical infrastructure technology needed to connect all of those EVs to the grid. Last month, GE and Nissan announced a joint R&D effort to speed the creation of the charging infrastructure necessary for widespread EV adoption. And just recently, GE announced a partnership with Inovateus Solar to build solar-powered electric vehicle-charging carports, marrying two sustainable technologies. And now Spanish airports are getting in on the action: last week GE Energy Industrial Solutions teamed with Spanish energy supplier Endesa to supply and operate the EV-charging infrastructure for airport vehicles at four airports in Spain: in Madrid, Barcelona, Palma and Lanzarote.
Spanish airport operator AENA is just the sort of natural customer for switching to electric fleets: it will incorporate the EVs into the airports’ existing energy management infrastructure and the vehicles will be charged on off-peak overnight electricity tariffs. For now, the EVs are part of a three-year pilot program to assess the feasibility of switching the entire airport fleet to electric. GE will provide 53 of its DuraStation* electric vehicle chargers, which enable faster charging by integrating higher voltages and currents that require specialized equipment. In addition to charging systems like DuraStation and the Yves Behar-designed WattStation, GE Energy provides the full range of electrical systems and smart grid tech needed to build and manage a complete EV infrastructure.
The agreement with AENA follows a partnership announced last month between GE and automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen to develop reliable business models for EVs. GE has shown interest in buying 1,000 electric vehicles from PSA Peugeot Citroen in Europe by the end of 2015. GE first showed its support for EVs by incorporating them into its own fleet last fall in the U.S., where the company announced plans to buy 25,000 EVs for use as company cars and to lease to corporate customers through its Fleet Services business.