General Electric's energy division wants to make it easy to use its public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations so it's teaming up with PayPal to let drivers pay with a mobile phone app.
PayPal will be the exclusive payment method for GE's WattStation - there are several thousand worldwide in the quickly growing network.
Over 100 million people are already signed with PayPal, so there's no need for them to sign up to use the widely trusted service, which simplifies and secures online payments. PayPal has begun to diversify beyond online payments to retailers like Home Depot, which are investing in mobile payment technology.
In the case of WattStation, drivers will simply need to download the app, which is initially available for Apple's iPhone and planned for Android smartphones.
The app will help drivers find the nearest WattStation through mapping features and directions. To pay, they will scan a code that includes the station's unique identification information. PayPal will offer flat rate or pay as you charge pricing.
Don't have a smartphone? You'll be able to get a PayPal-enabled payment card.
"This collaborative agreement with PayPay enables us to offer a convenient way for people to charge their vehicles, which is essential to nurturing the mass adoption of EVs in the future," says Michael Mahan, product general manager, EV infrastructure, GE Industrial solutions.
GE is one of several companies building public EV charging infrastructure. The biggest player is Coulomb Technologies, which supports more than 6,900 locations. Other players include Better Place, ECOtality Inc. (NASDAQ: ECTY) and NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG).