SHANGHAI, CHINA -- General Electric has signed an agreement with General Motors to jointly accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in China. 

A GE WattStation charging a Chevrolet Volt

A GE WattStation charging a Chevrolet Volt

The agreement was announced at the 2011 China International Electric Power and Electric Engineering Technology Exhibition in Shanghai.

The main piece of the collaboration centers on Shanghai, which the Chinese government selected earlier this year as the country’s first EV pilot city. Shanghai is home to both GE’s and GM’s China headquarters. The two companies agreed to install GE’s WattStation and DuraStation charging systems at a government-assigned international EV demonstration zone in Shanghai’s Jiading District and at the GM headquarters office in the city. 

WattStation and DuraStation are different specifications of EV charging systems developed by GE Energy Industrial Solutions group that enable rapid charging for electric vehicles both at home and on the road.

According to the agreement, GE will also purchase GM’s Chevrolet Volt, an electric vehicle with extended-range capability, for use at its China headquarters campus in Shanghai. General Motors plans to begin selling Volts in China before the end of this year.

In addition, the companies will coordinate their respective efforts with relevant Chinese government ministries, regulators and grid operators to help formulate the country’s EV industrial standards. 

“The electric vehicle era is not only about cars powered by greener fuels; a convenient charging facility network will play a key role in its success,” said Albert Wong, GE China’s chief commercial officer. “To make it a reality in China, we bring innovative charging station solutions and are engaging grid operators, auto makers, city governments and end customers to advance their deployment.” 

In August, GE Energy announced a partnership with Hertz Corp. to advance the rollout of EVs and charging stations in China. The effort includes the co-location of electric vehicles and GE EV charging infrastructure as a combined offering.

“GM regards electrification as a key global industry trend,” said Ray Bierzynski, GM executive director of electrification. “We are bringing our solutions for the electrification of the motor vehicle to China as part of our commitment to the sustainable development of the automotive industry. We look forward to working with GE to promote the acceptance and infrastructure for use of vehicles powered by electricity in the world’s largest vehicle market.”