In order to offer more services and ultimately, get more value out of charging, electric vehicle charging stations will need to become “smart” – like the mobile industry’s transition to “smartphones”.
As part of that transition, two important EV charger makers, AeroVironment and eMotorWerks, announced a new partnership to create ‘Smart Advanced Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions’. Expand Expanding Close
Aerovironment is a company with a long history of innovation. I first encountered the company in the 90s in undergraduate Aerospace Engineering when the Southern California company took part in USC’s engineering and internship program. At the time, founder Paul McCready and Co were working on human powered flight and then solar powered flight, which required radical battery and charging systems.
Since then, the company moved on to building drones for governments (boo!) and working on innovation in the electric car space (yay!). AeroVironment was a big part of the Sunraycer and Impact/EV1 project with GM in the late 80s and 90s and now powers the charging solutions with a number of automobiles through its EV Solutions subsidiary.
Their main consumer product is the TurboCord Dual, a tiny combination Level 1/2 charger that can be plugged into a normal 110V outlet or with the included adapter, 240V NEMA 6-20 outlet and charge a vehicle at three times the speed. How well does it do? I’ve been using one as my main on board charger with vehicles ranging from the Plug in Prius to the Tesla Model S since the beginning of the year… Expand Expanding Close
Chargepoint, one of the leaders in the commercial EV charging market, this week announced a new line of home chargers that are available at Amazon.com. The lineup starts at $499 for an indoor (garage) with a 16A/240V which can add 12 miles per hour of charge. This is a little over double the speed of 110V 15A plugs that go into regular 110V outlets.
Outdoor charging, hard/plug wiring, cord length and double speed 32A all raise the price in $50-$100 increments where a 32A Outdoor with a 25-foot wire cost $799.
Chargepoint also offers an attractive design (which I got to review at CES at the beginning of the year), integration with Nest and other home automation platforms and software updates over Wifi which will bring new functionality in the future.
At a starting price of $499, however, there are some better deals on the market and particularly at Amazon especially if you are looking at straight W/$.
One of my favorite chargers (and the only other in Amazon’s top 10) is the Electric Motor Werks Juicebox 40A/10KW with 24′ cable for $499 shipped. This is more powerful than Chargepoint’s by a significant margin (40A vs. 32A) and equivalent to Tesla’s home charger and gets outstanding 4.5/5 star reviews from Amazon’s customers. It is so small that it can be taken off its bracket and used as a Travel charger anywhere there is a NEMA 14-50 plug… Expand Expanding Close