Kickstarter Project For Open-Source Level 2 Electric-Car Charging Station Reaches Goal

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Electric Motor Werks JuiceBox level 2 charging station (Image: EMW)

Electric Motor Werks JuiceBox level 2 charging station (Image: EMW)

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A Kickstarter project promising faster, cheaper Level 2 240V, 15 kW charging has reached its goal, with the first units expected to deliver this month.

Electric Motor Werks (EMW) from Palo Alto, California, used the fund-raising website to raise capital for its 'JuiceBox' charging system, offering faster charging and a cheaper price tag than current Level 2 chargers on the market.

In fact, it'll retail from just $99--a fraction the price of typical installations.

The open-source design means the charger will be "almost infinitely expandable", according to EMW--while kits and fully-assembled units will be available, depending on your budget and expertise. Assembly for the former should still be easy enough for those with basic electrical knowledge, with a 1-2 hour build time.

The AA battery-shaped unit is a neat design and EMW says it can connect to either 120V or 240V feeds, offering charging up to ten times faster than that of the cord usually supplied with a car like the Nissan Leaf.

The company notes that at 240V, the charging rate is limited to whatever the car's on-board charger will work at. For the 2013 Nissan Leaf with its 6.6 kW on-board charger, this still means charging rates five times faster than that of a typical 120V charge.

EMW's original $25,000 target on Kickstarter was put in place to help the company set up production. With donations now rising past $30,000, the company has expanded that goal to $40,000 to help it develop the charging station's next stage, compatibility with the Arduino Wi-Fi shield.

This would allow users to connect wirelessly to their charger, in the same way many OEM installations offer.

What isn't clear is whether the JuiceBox carries a UL certification. If it doesn't, some local building inspectors will not let you install it legally in your garage--so anyone interested should check the relevant regulations in their area.

The JuiceBox is clearly resonating with electric car owners though--and could make charging much quicker for plenty of buyers.


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Comments (2)
  1. 15 KW docking station--I like it. Now all we need is to get the EV manufactures to uprate their on board chargers to recharge at that rate.

  2. Nice!

    Before anyone gets overly excited on the pricing though: $99 is for the basic version (no LCD) kit, ie you have to solder the thing yourself. Also, no cable or plug is included; count another $150~250 for a regular EV connector.
    Still cheaper than even the Bosh EVSE (although that one probably carries regulatory approvals...)

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