Published on August 9th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown7
EV Charging Station Offers Level 2 Charging For $99
August 9th, 2013 by Nicholas Brown
An electric vehicle charging station that offers Level 2 electric vehicle charging, called the JuiceBox, is now available starting at $99 (Base Edition, which customers have to assemble) via Kickstarter. Prices vary based on whether or not it is a kit or preassembled.
This charging station is shaped like an AA battery which you would use in your television remote. EMW, the company behind the charging station, also says that it is “beautiful.”
It says that the charging station charges five times faster than a typical charging station, and that it is four times cheaper. It can provide 15 kW of electricity via 240 volt, level 2 charging. This is very impressive, considering that the Bosch EVSE level 2 charger, which is very inexpensive compared to other charging stations, is $450.
Not only that, but, the average charging station, which costs more than $800, is 7 kW, as opposed to the JuiceBox’s 15 kW. So, the JuiceBox is more than twice as powerful for as little as 1/8th of the price. Could this low price be due to outstanding innovation, or are they simply not greedy and have a modest profit margin?
The Premium Edition starts at $199 + $20 shipping and comes with a colour LCD interface and GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which is highly recommended for use outdoors). The $199 version is a kit that customers have to assemble.
It Is Open Source!
The charging station is actually open source, so anyone else can improve on it if they want to. It is also based on open source Arduino microcontroller technology. I almost bought one of the interesting little Arduino computers previously. I think I will eventually.
The concept of open source software has been successful in certain cases, and where quality is concerned, very successful. Open source hardware is likely to be successful as well, at least where quality is concerned.
Open source technology contributes to the betterment of society by enabling millions of people the opportunity to pitch in and improve it, and for the right reasons! Is this a step in the right direction for EMW?
$25,000 was needed to get started, and they obtained far more than that from their Kickstarter campaign. They even far surpassed their second goal of $40,000 aimed at making the charger Wi-Fi ready, eventually raising over $57,000.
Making It Pretty
From the Kickstarter page: “The biggest challenge on this project is likely to come from manufacturing that beautiful enclosure that we have designed for EMW JuiceBox. We believe in the power of design and don’t think you want to put an ugly box in front of your house. So we are pretty passionate about making the product look great. Being a completely custom enclosure, we expect a couple of snags in getting it just right. The good news is, we have gone through a similar process already with our other product — 12kW charging system, and learned a lot. Our learnings have been factored into the KickStarter project parameters (total funding and reward structure) so if we get funded, we feel confident that we will be able to deliver.”