About this project
Did you miss out on our Kickstarter specials? You can still pre-order your JuiceBox from our store.
New (07/19): GFCI now is an option for Base Edition, Wi-Fi expansion designed in (RovingNetworks RN171 module)!
- When you bought your Electric Car (EV), you received a 120V charging cord. By now, you know how slow that charging is - 20 hours to recharge a car like Nissan Leaf
- To get the best out of your EV, you really need to be charging from a 240V 30A charging station. Unfortunately, such a charging station costs at least $800 today (those comparing us to Bosch's 'sub-$500' EVSE have not done their homework...)
- We have developed a prototype and are ready for production of our own Open Source High-Power charging station design
- Based on the world-leading Open Source hardware platform Arduino, it will be compatible with most of the Arduino Uno shields, making EMW JuiceBox almost infinitely expandable. Want a WiFI access? Just add an Arduino WiFi shield.
- The pricing will start just from $99 plus shipping and both kits and fully assembled units will be available
- Simplicity of the design allows customers with basic electronics assembly and safety skills to turn your kit into a fully functional charging station. Naturally, fully assembled unit does not require any special skills to install and operate.
- Now we need $25,000 to set up production. Several fully functional prototypes are in operation now and we have great deal of prior experience in bringing complex electronics products to the market.
- As part of the project, full documentation and build instructions will be created and posted to our site. Scroll below for an example of how we did it for our last Open Source project.
NEW: KickStarter Stretch Goal! $40K to Wi-FI!
Help us get to $40,000 or more and we will make the JuiceBox Wi-Fi ready. Scroll down to the end of the project description for details.
JuiceBox in the Media:
On the day of launch, our JuiceBox kickstarter campaign was covered by Engadget, the leading tech publication that always stays on top of the most progressive trends in technology and innovation. Per Myriam Joire, the senior Engadget Editor: “Electric vehicle charging stations aren't cheap: one of the most affordable Level 2 (240V) units sells for $450 and only supplies 16A. Electric Motor Works (EMW) -- which is best known for its electric conversion kits -- wants to change this with JuiceBox...” To see the full article, go to engadget.com and search for “EMW”.
BusinessBee.com named EMW JuiceBox one of "4 Groundbreaking Kickstarter Projects Worth Backing". From the first week JuiceBox has received significant media coverage, some of it referenced below.
- 1. EMW JuiceBox has made "4 Groundbreaking Kickstarter Projects Worth Backing" list on BusinessBee.com. Read More...
- 2. Engadget Article by Senior Editor Myriam Joire
- 3. “The EMW JuiceBox Aims to Cut the Time it Takes to Recharge Your Car”
- 4. “Check out this fast, cheap, and open-source EV charger”
- 5. “EMW Chargers Open-Source”
- 6. EMW JuiceBox is #1 on the list of “10 Supercool Gadgets From Maker Faire”
- 7. EMW Press Release
- 8. EMW Newsletter
As you will see from our video above and description below, we are a group of hardcore EV enthusiasts who are really really passionate about saving the planet Earth from the Evil that is Fossil Fuel transportation.
Over the last couple of years, we have made great progress towards that through our products targeted at EV Conversion market - people who are converting their gasoline cars into electric. We have developed, built, and shipped the world's first open-source, intelligent 12kW EV charger, world's first high-performance BMW 3-series electric car conversion, and many other innovative products.
Now we want to expand beyond the EV Conversions with a series of products targeted at ALL EV owners - whether it's a converted BMW or a Nissan Leaf, or a GM Volt, or Tesla, etc.
So we talked to a bunch of people and even leased a couple of production EVs to try to understand what's missing from the current picture. And the first thing that hit us was "Charging from a regular 120V outlet just doesn't make any sense!" Forget about overnight charging - you can barely recover 40 miles in 8 hours. We really needed a higher power solution...
Of course, there are Level 2 charging stations sold at a number of places. But we thought they are way overpriced for what they are - the cheapest 30A 240V charging station we could find was $800+ with shipping & tax from Home Depot. Not really what we call affordable.
So we decided to build our own and help all of you enjoy your EVs more. As with our other products, we decided to make it completely open source - with all hardware and software completely open to all (for non-commercial use). We firmly believe in the power of open source to transform the closed industries and bring true innovation to the markets.
Over the last couple of months, we have developed a prototype of our Open Source Level 2 EV charging station (EVSE). Dubbed EMW JuiceBox, it can deliver up to 15kW of power to your vehicle - higher than any EVSE available on the market today. The DIY kits will start at just $99 for the base edition! Of course, the base edition will have limited functionality (i.e. no LCD screen, etc) but will be FULLY CAPABLE OF CHARGING YOUR CAR AT UP TO 60A.
Our charging station has robust yet simple design. This allows DIY enthusiasts even with moderate electronics skills successfully assemble the kit. Experience in soldering and basic “bolt on” assembly is required. Detailed instructions will be included covering few simple steps: placing components on a IC board, soldering, connecting input/output cables, verifying the design and the finished product assembly. Always exercise safety and thoroughness when working with high power electronics.
Some technical details:
- EMW JuiceBox can be connected to either 120V outlet or 240V outlet (such as a dryer outlet)
- Will charge the existing production cars (such as Nissan Leaf) up to 10 times faster than from the charging cords supplied with the car (when connected to 240V supply, maximum charge rate limited by the in-car charger - e.g., 6.6kW in the 2013 Nissan Leaf - still 5x faster than 120V charging cord supplied with a Leaf)
- Will be available in both kit form for the DIY enthusiast and a fully assembled form – similar to our 12kW charger line
- The kits will require just basic electronics assembly / soldering skills and can be assembled in 1-2 hours
- Source code for the Arduino microcontroller powering the JuiceBox will be available so the DIY enthusiasts can customize the functionality / screen readouts / etc to their heart's desire. We will be setting up a developer community forum on a popular EV forum site DIYelectriccar.com where we have a large number of devoted followers
We are planning two different configurations:
- Base Edition starting at $99 (kit version, plus $10 shipping included in the pledge amount) - a no-frills version that does a single job well - charges your car at up to 240V and 60A. It is also so small that you can take the whole thing with you to plug in elsewhere (say, your friend's house's dryer outlet)
- Premium Edition starting at $199 (kit version; plus $20 shipping included in the pledge amount) - featuring additional great functionality (details below)
- Time of day charging - for those customers who have time-of-use power tariffs with their utility company. You would be able to plug in your car at any time and the EVSE would turn on when the electricity costs are lowest (can be overridden by the user)
- Color LCD interface with read-outs of all major parameters such as lifetime & current energy spent, current power & charging time, cost savings relative to using a gas car, total cost of electricity, etc.
- Included GFCI & output enable protection - recommended for outdoor installations
- Very cool - looking, unique enclosure specifically designed for the EMW JuiceBox - none of those drab generic boxes the current EVSEs come in!
To complete the JuiceBox, you will need to add input and output cables & plugs. The reason we did not include these into the rewards structure / pricing above is that people will have different situations and needs and we did not want to have 87 reward levels ;-)
There will be three ways to get your cables:
- Buy from EMW - we will stock these in our store
- Buy from somewhere else. We will make sure (through the pricing in our store) that this option does not make sense
- Reuse your existing J1772 cable from a charging cord that came with your car (such as a 120V charging adapter that comes with Nissan Leaf)
If you decide to buy from EMW, the following options will be available:
- 30A input AC cord with a standard dryer plug - connect the EVSE to your dryer outlet for immediate access to 240V 30A service
- J1772 cord rated for 32A or 70A use, at various lengths from 9 feet (good for garage installation near the place you park your car at) to 25 feet (good for multi-EV setup or when your cars are charging outdoors)
We are very excited to be working on this project - we know that a $99 Level 2 charging station will transform the way you use your EV!
Now we need your help to make it a reality. We need $25,000 to set up production for EMW JuiceBoxes and source the components at the prices that would allow us to give you a Level 2 charging station at less than $100.
NEW: KickStarter Stretch Goal: $40,000 to make JuiceBox Wi-Fi ready!
If the campaign accumulates $40,000 or more, we will program the JuiceBox to work with the Arduino Wi-Fi shield (sold separately everywhere). This will allow wireless access to the JuiceBox EVSE. We will also develop server-side software so that JuiceBox owners can check the status of their charging sessions and analyze the historical data remotely through a dedicated EMW website.
Pledge today and help us make this Open Source project even better!!!
We have already lined up production partners for major pieces:
- PCB production - outsourced to a professional PCB house
- Electronic Parts procurement - using our existing contracts with electronics distributors (DigiKey, Mouser)
- PCB Assembly - outsourced to a professional electronics assembly house
- Enclosure manufacturing - designed by EMW and outsourced to a professional enclosure maker
- Final Assembly - EMW in-house using same trained resources that help assemble our more complex charging systems for EV conversions
We will also create a mini-site with full documentation, design materials, and build instructions for the kits. For an example of how we did it for our last open source project, see http://alturl.com/kjnyd. All the schematics, PCB layouts, assembly instructions, testing procedures, etc. are on that page. The project described there is our 12kW intelligent open source charging system for high-capacity batteries (including EV batteries).
Pledge today and we will ship you your very own EMW JuiceBox as quickly as in just two short months! You will enjoy our KickStarter special pricing - after the production is all set up, we expect prices to go up.
Need more than one JuiceBox? Have more than one EV? Have friends or relatives who can use one of our JuiceBoxes? You can reserve a KickStarter price for those additional units right now. KickStarter rules do not allow us to setup rewards for multiple units, and we are a 100% law-abiding Citizen of KickStarter. But you still can get more than one JuiceBox! Just put the appropriate multiple of the reward amount for the unit you want in your pledge and we promise to honor this after the campaign is funded. We will send a survey to all backers at the end of the campaign asking what you want your pledges to go to exactly. You will be able to specify your detailed requests then.
Thank you very much for your support!
"Drive The Future - Go Electric!"
Risks and challenges
As we mentioned above, we have been around the block. We brought a few successful products on the market in the past and know what's involved. Some of our products involve controlling up to 500 horsepowers of electricity to propel a 1.5-ton car from 0 to 60mph in 5 seconds...
On this project, we have already completed several prototypes that are in 24/7 operation at a number of locations and are working well. So we don't expect issues on the technical side of things.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, it should be compatible with any J1772-enabled vehicle. All EVs currently sold in the US are J1772-enabled.
the basic version of the JuiceBox will be a simple wall-mountable aluminum box. Approximate dimensions are 8x8x3 inch
We will plan to sell a variety of cabling options to meet most of your needs. We will run a backer survey after the campaign to ask you what cable option you'd like - no need to specify now. We are getting special pricing direct from manufacturer on these so they will be offered at the lowest possible price.
INPUT CABLES - INCOMPLETE LIST. Final list will be determined based on your input throughout campaign. Missing your favorite option - tell us and if we see a lot of our backers asking for it, we will make it!
Primary cable options
1. 30A dryer plug with 10-12' long cable. Use this with your dryer outlet to get up to 7kW of EV charging power (assuming your EV charger is capable of using all this power)
2. By popular demand, 14-50 50A cable option will also be available. You can get up to 12kW of EV charging power through this setup (assuming your EV charger is capable of using all this power)
All other input configurations will be made by adding various adapters in front of the above 2 cables:
2. 30A dryer plug with 2 dryer sockets. Use this if you want to plug in the JuiceBox and dryer at the same time. In this case, you will need to take care not to turn on the JuiceBox and your dryer at the same time as it will result in tripping your circuit breaker
3. A single 120V plug to dryer socket adapter. Use it with your regular house outlets. Power will be limited to ~1.4-1.8kW depending on your 120V breaker ratings
4. dual 120V plug to dryer socket adapter. Use this to get a quick 240V from your regular house sockets (if your house has split-phase wiring - as most US houses do). Power will be limited to ~2.8-3.6kW depending on your 120V breaker ratings
OUTPUT J1772 CABLES:
1. 32A 27-foot (8-meter) cable. Up to 7.5kW of charging power
2. 70A 27-foot cable. Up to full 15kW JuiceBox rating
3 & 4. Same current ratings with 16-foot cable
5 & 6. 25-foot J1772 extension cord with same current ratings - for those extremely long cable runs
Some of the photos seem to show a lower-current version of AC components. How will you get 60A on those?
The Premium kit contents shown above are for our 30A prototype that we have used for testing the overall schematics, firmware, and hardware design.
The AC components will be upgraded to 60A rated components for the production units. [UPDATE 07/15]: we will be using 80A rated relays / contactors for the production units to make sure things never fail at the JuiceBox rated 60A current. AWG6 wiring will be used for all power connections inside the JuiceBox regardless of the input / output cables selected.
As you can see from the video on top of our project description, we expect the assembly of the basic kit to take 1-2 hours for a person with some experience in electronics. Premium kits will require 3-4 hours to assemble.
The kits will be optimized for hand assembly and will be based on through-hole components. The premium version's enclosures will have all the mounting holes predrilled. The base version's enclosure will have to be drilled (4-6 holes - nothing complicated).
A couple of reasons for going with a completely different design:
1. We are reusing the platform that we have successfully worked with in our other products (e.g., our 12kW charging system, our motor control system, etc.)
2. We wanted it to be compatible with the existing Arduino shield ecosystem so we had to redesign at least the PCBs
3. We needed to optimize the design for manufacturability and total component costs. As a result, component selection is different
4. We commit to being a one-stop shop for all related components (kits, AC components, cables, wifi shields, etc). So you do not have to order components from 5 different suppliers and pay for shipping etc 5 times.
5. We offer the assembly service for the entire units
6. We have designed and manufacture our own unique enclosure (premium kits only). Stand out with your unique design.
7. We are planning production at 1000+ unit volume which allows us to deliver at extremely low prices but also requires full control over the design.
You can also expect a requisite level of support from EMW around the kits. Starting from the detailed manuals to EMW-moderated product forums. For example, check out our manual for the previous Open Source project - a 12kW EV charging system here: http://emotorwerks.com/VMcharger_V12P/EMW-12000_PFC-V12-Build_Notes.pdf.
Do I need a 60A breaker and wiring if I'm only planning on charging my car at 16A? I already have the outlet wired for 20A and I would really rather not have to go and get a new breaker, outlet and wire
You will be able to charge at any current below the rated JuiceBox current (60A).
If you plan to charge at a lower rate, you will just set that limit for JuiceBox (there will be a way to adjust this in-field).
Your breaker will need to be sized for the current you are planning to charge at.
All the production cars have built-in protection against non-compliant AC sources. If the charging station fails to communicate correctly to the vehicle, the vehicle will never start power transfer, keeping the internals safe. This protections are built in as safeguards against malfunctioning public charging stations etc.
Many of you have asked about this. So we have decided to launch a KickStarter stretch goal for this feature!
If the campaign accumulates $40,000 or more, we will program the JuiceBox to work with the Arduino Wi-Fi shield (sold separately everywhere and will be available from our store, as well).
This will allow wireless access to the JuiceBox EVSE. We will also develop server-side software so that JuiceBox owners can check the status of their charging sessions and analyze the historical data remotely through a dedicated EMW website.
Help us reach this new high and bring an even better product to you, our backers!
In addition to WiFi, the JuiceBox will be able to use many of the Arduino shields for expansion in functionality. This includes bluetooth connectivity, data logging, camera / voice input, etc, etc. Possibilities are truly limitless.
We will be setting up a developer community around this platform and will be actively working on making sure that the various shields can be easily used with the JuiceBox.
We are still finalizing pricing (negotiating with factories in China on 1,000+ unit orders is not super-quick but we are making good progress!).
Some references that should give you a good ballpark idea of the costs:
1. 32A 27-foot (8 meter) J1772 cable will be priced at $140-$160
2. Input cables will be priced between $25 and $50 depending on the option
We will try to bring them down even further - the more backers we have, the cheaper these things will become!
As mentioned above, we will be sending a backer survey after the campaign ends asking about your cable choices. We will include the latest price list along with that survey, as well.
The pricing IS expected to go up after the campaign is over - a discounted pricing for our backers is our token of appreciation to our backers who decided to help us bring this to the market.
The expected increase is TBD but will probably be in the 15-30% range.
We will be posting new pricing around the campaign's end, along with posting the JuiceBox products to our online store at http://www.emotorwerks.com/products/online-store
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