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HUGHES TO PRODUCE FAMILY OF CHARGERS FOR ELECTRIC CARS

       HUGHES TO PRODUCE FAMILY OF CHARGERS FOR ELECTRIC CARS
    TORRANCE, Calif., July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Hughes Aircraft Co., one of America's leading defense electronics firms, Monday unveiled a line of commercial "inductive coupler" charging stations designed to support the growing electric vehicle industry.
    "For several years we have been working with the General Motors Electric Vehicle organization to produce the power control system for the GM electric car that will be in the showrooms by the middle of this decade," said Hughes Executive Vice President James A. Abrahamson.
    "Today, we are introducing a line of efficient, economical and easy-to-use charging systems that will make it practical for the average commuter to use these zero-pollution cars.
    "This is an excellent example of how Hughes Aircraft's technology leadership is being effectively transferred into General Motors projects and other commercial applications."
    With the Hughes inductive charging system, drivers will recharge their vehicles by inserting into a slot on the car a five-inch round, plastic-covered paddle.  The system, which incorporates a proprietary design to transfer electricity through a magnetic field rather than the more common metal plug/socket method, will use standard 220-volt electricity, available in most homes today.  A complete recharge will require two to three hours, and a typical daily recharge will take less than one hour.
    Hughes plans on a full line of charging units, including a wall- mounted 220-volt residential unit; a portable 110-volt adapter unit that will be carried in the car to allow charging at any electrical outlet; a 220-volt curbside column for use in cities, town and parking structures; and a kiosk-style "energy station" for electric vehicle fleet service centers.  Pacific Gas and Electric Co. of San Francisco already has purchased a prototype energy station for use in its electric vehicle demonstration project.
    Ford, Chrysler, and several Japanese automakers are evaluating the inductive charger for possible use for their future electric cars, Abrahamson said, but General Motors (NYSE: GM) already has adopted the design for its first electric car, which will be based on the two-seater Impact prototype introduced in January 1990 at Hughes Aircraft's corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.  Agreement among automakers on a single charging system is essential to providing electric vehicle owners with the standardization they experience with today's gasoline nozzles and gas tank openings.
    "If electric vehicles are to be successful in the marketplace, it is essential that drivers have convenient access to charging stations to support their cars, just as today's driver of internal combustion vehicles have," Abrahamson said.  "The Hughes system offers an even greater level of convenience than motorists today enjoy, because electric vehicle owners will be able to recharge their cars on their own, and at their own homes.
    "By the end of the decade, we hope Hughes charging stations will be a common sight at your corner gasoline station, your favorite restaurant's parking lot, or your own driveway or garage."
    Hughes expects to deliver charging units for use with fleets and demonstration programs during 1993.  At full production, Hughes' Power Control Systems facility will employ up to 350 people at its Torrance facility.
    GM's electric vehicle will be built at a General Motors facility in Lansing, Mich.  The Delco Remy Division of General Motors will produce batteries and motors for the electric vehicles in Indiana.
    Hughes is a subsidiary of GM Hughes Electronics.
    -0-                    7/20/92
    /CONTACT:  Kearney Bothwell of Hughes Aircraft, 310-334-4997; Bill Ott of General Motors, 310-277-2511; or Jean Crocker of GM Electric Vehicles, 313-986-2455/
    (GM) CO:  Hughes Aircraft Co.; General Motors; GM Electric Vehicles ST:  California, Michigan IN:  ARO AUT SU:  PDT AL-JL -- LA027 -- 0951 07/20/92 17:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 20, 1992
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