eMotorWerks Launches Universal Adapter To Make All L2 Stations Smart

6 months ago by Jay Cole 30

Electric Motor Werks sent us a note on a nifty new project the company is launching (via Kickstarter) that can make any “level 2” charging station smart, through the use of the company’s new universal adapter – the JuicePlug.

eMotorWerks JuicePlug

eMotorWerks JuicePlug

How it works and why you want one is pretty straight forward.

The JuicePlug is a small, WiFi-connected adapter that can manage both the time and rate of charging using eMotorWerks’s cloud-based JuiceNet platform.  The JuicePlug works in conjunction with a iOS or Android mobile app to give the user full control over the device from any location.

The unit requires no assembly or special tools to use, just plug it in to your current level 2 charging unit and go.

“JuicePlug is a unique solution to the ‘dumb charger’ conundrum that has faced EV drivers for years – ‘should I throw away a working EVSE to upgrade to one that has smartphone control and programmability?’.

Bringing the benefits of WiFi connectivity and anytime-anywhere control, coupled with cash rewards for smart-grid charging is an unbeatable solution for our customers. JuicePlug is not only affordable, it actually pays drivers to charge” – Valery Miftakhov, Founder of eMotorWerks.

A $129 contribution on Kickstarter will see that one gets the “super early bird” JuicePlug, and a nifty “Kiss My Amps” license plate holder.  Units are expected to start shipping this May.

Inside The JuicePlug

Inside The JuicePlug

JuicePlug Specs:

  • Voltage: 100-270 VAC
  • Power: up to 40 Amps / 10 kW
  • Full J1772 support for compatibility with all vehicles
  • Measurement precision (current, voltage, power, energy): better than 0.5%
  • Monitoring & Control latency: less than 3 seconds for full smart-grid compatibility

Full press release on the JuicePlug from EMW below:

eMotorWerks Announces a Universal Adapter That Converts Any Level 2 EV Charging Station into a Smart Charging Station

JuicePlug will enable smart-grid control of any third-party EV charging station and expand company’s popular rewards program that pays EV drivers for charging their vehicle

SAN CARLOS, Calif., March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — eMotorWerks, the leading provider of intelligent and connected smart-grid charging hardware and cloud solutions for electric vehicle (EV) drivers, EV manufacturers, and EV supply equipment (EVSE) fleet operators, today announced the launch of JuicePlug™, a universal charging station adapter for EVSEs that will extend its best-in-class smartphone and web interfaces to any pre-existing, non-networked charging station. This will enable every EV driver to participate in its groundbreaking smart-grid EV charging programs, including a recently launched JuicePoints rewards program that pays drivers to charge.

eMotorWerks, which successfully launched its JuiceBox™ line of charging stations through a 2013 Kickstarter campaign, plans to repeat its success with a new JuicePlug Kickstarter campaign. The patent-pending JuicePlug device manages the time and rate of charging in coordination with eMotorWerks’ cloud-based JuiceNet™ smart-grid charging platform, which controls distributed energy loads across the grid. Participating backers on Kickstarter will receive a JuicePlug, promotional items, and the opportunity to earn ongoing rewards for EV charging. For more details, please visit www.eMotorWerks.com/JuicePlug.

As with all JuiceNet devices, JuicePlug includes a free iOS or Android mobile app for anytime, anywhere control, programmability for emissions reductions and time of use (ToU) charging that saves drivers money. The company’s web dashboard also allows users to access their charging history and real-time data.

Through its smart-grid EV charging network – which includes JuiceNet-enabled Clipper Creek stations, the company’s own JuiceBox EVSEs, and soon any EVSE connected via a JuicePlug – eMotorWerks has access to the widest network of flexible EV charging load capacity in the world. Access to such capacity helps the power industry better address increasing challenges in balancing local and regional grids, helping future proof their operations for expanding renewable energy generation and the mass adoption of electric vehicles.

JuicePlug owners who live in California’s PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E service territories will also be eligible for automated participation in the company’s JuicePoints rewards program that pays drivers for smart-grid EV charging or lets them donate to their favorite environmental non-profit organizations. Participation is also available via text and email alerts to EV drivers that do not yet have a JuiceNet-enabled EV charging station, who can then later migrate to JuicePlug when it ships. Learn more or sign up for JuicePoints.

“JuicePlug is a unique solution to the ‘dumb charger’ conundrum that has faced EV drivers for years – ‘should I throw away a working EVSE to upgrade to one that has smartphone control and programmability?’. Bringing the benefits of WiFi connectivity and anytime-anywhere control, coupled with cash rewards for smart-grid charging is an unbeatable solution for our customers. JuicePlug is not only affordable, it actually pays drivers to charge”, says Valery Miftakhov, Founder of eMotorWerks.

Today, California alone has an estimated 180,000 plug-in vehicles, representing over 4 gigawatt-hours (GWH) of battery storage capacity and 700 megawatts (MW) of peak shiftable load. Moreover, at the current rate of about 3,000-5,000 new plug-in vehicles sold in the state each month, this adds an estimated 70-120 MWh of storage capacity each month – a rate expected to dramatically increase in 2016 with the advent of new, mainstream EVs with larger batteries (e.g. 60kWh) and 200+ mile range.

Now, for the first time in the industry, all this capacity could be accessible via a JuiceNet family of devices from eMotorWerks.

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30 responses to "eMotorWerks Launches Universal Adapter To Make All L2 Stations Smart"

  1. Any chance we’ll see a CCS to CHAdeMO adpater? Now that would make sense and sell well.

    1. Foob says:

      As I understand it, the two standards have different earthing requirements, so converting between them is tricky.

  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    I like that idea.
    It’s like wanting to have a dumb TV with a good screen and then a cheap, easily-upgraded box for all the streaming.

  3. ffbj says:

    Kiss my Amps? Now that would be shocking.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I notice there’s no listed price, or even an estimation of one. If they’re using a KickStarter campaign for funding, that suggests rather low volume production, which means high prices.

    If this “adapter” costs more than buying a new “smart” EVSE, then they probably won’t get many customers.

    1. DNAinaGoodWay says:

      $129 for super early bird, and the plate holder.

    2. “If this “adapter” costs more than buying a new “smart” EVSE, then they probably won’t get many customers.”, well, ‘Smart’ EVSE’S start at over $500 to my latest recollection, so it looks like they have some space to work with.

      Even The dual voltage Turbocord runs $649, while the single 240V model costs $599.

      ChargePoint Home, a smart and beautiful home electric vehicle (EV) charger will be available to order on Amazon later this summer. The price of the networked station ranges from $499 to $749.
      http://www.chargepoint.com/news/2015/0707/

      1. Nemo says:

        That’s last summer. 🙂 It’s available now.

  5. bitguru says:

    I have a “dumb charger” but I can’t think of why I would want a smarter one.

    1. Skryll says:

      If you own a tesla or volkswagen egolf, the phone app will be smart enough to control and monitor it. If you have a nissan leaf, their security model is so broken that they had to take the phone app and also their website offline, and then this is the only thing that could help you.

      1. Dragon says:

        Tesla’s phone app is fine for monitoring, but you can’t do anything overly smart like set it to charge only between certain hours (ie during low electricity prices) or tell it you want it charged to 80% by some time/date and let it decide when to start charging. All you can do is start, stop, and set charge percentage limit. Through the car’s big screen interface you can tell it to start charging at a certain time but I don’t think you can tell it only to charge between certain hours. So something like the juice device would still be useful depending what features it offers.

        1. james b. says:

          Ford’s does… but with a horrible interface.

        2. CuriousG says:

          I believe you can do things like that with Visible Tesla Java application. Granted you have to monitor it with a PC or Mac.

      2. mega says:

        Just to make sure there’s no confusion; Nissan still allows you to interact with your vehicle via the NissanConnect EV website. I use it every day to precondition my vehicle, and control charging.

        However, most vehicles have annoying limitations (Tesla doesn’t even let you do an ‘end charging by’ session), so if this adapter would offer all these features, it would be a no brainer.

        Now if it could only read SoC, so one could schedule to charge the battery up to a certain percentage, especially now that Nissan did away with the 80% charging option … I’d buy several in a heartbeat.

        1. Thank you mega –

          We do have ‘charge by’ controls already, yes.

          We are also working on an ODB2 add-on that will be able to communicate with our EVSEs and JuicePlug for SOC info.

          Hope this helps.

          Thanks,
          Val

    2. Mister G says:

      I agree. Furthermore, now you are vulnerable to being hacked by a bored hacker living with his parents LOL

    3. Anderlan says:

      I have a LEAF, S trim, that has no capability to stop charging at 80%, just to stop charging based on wall time. I don’t pull in every night and charge at the same identical time with the same identical charge left. So, the wall time charge stop feature is useless. But I’d really like to only ever charge to 80% (or some such) except when I’m headed on a trip the next day. Soooo, I for one can use the heck out of a smart EVSE.

  6. Cloud = company want to spy on you and create personal profiles from your data to sell them to advertisement companies.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      In this case, they might want to monetize charging as a demand-response service.

  7. Speculawyer says:

    Hey that’s pretty cool. I could use one.

  8. e-lectric says:

    Isn’t their April Fools announcement a bit early this year. Last year was the Juice Box ATM feature. The problem is, it only seems to spit money inside EMW offices.

  9. jdbob says:

    “Once connected, JuicePlug is able to communicate with our servers over WiFi.”

    That’s the part that bothers me. If it had it’s own web server that didn’t need the “mothership” then I might be interested.

    1. jdbob says:

      Actually the really clever thing about this is how it must be powered, the rest is pretty straight forward. On a standard J1772 cable the only power most of the time is +12V through a 1000 ohm resistor, not a lot of power. You can’t pull too much power out of it because the voltage will drop and the EVSE will think it should be charging your car, even you don’t want it to at the time.

  10. Very clever. Kudos to Valery and team!

    I’ll back that Kickstarter.

  11. Freefree says:

    The collection of data into their cloud server bothers me. Even Apple makes you opt-in. This one doesn’t even offer that choice. Engineering startup walking into new territory. If they were wise, the data should be local only on your smartphone, like some fitness trackers. Deal breaker for me. Sigh. It was a good idea.

  12. KenZ says:

    I’d worry about the extra torque applied to your car’s connector as the extra cantilever hangs your charging cable further out. No guarantee that the car’s connector was designed for that.

    Otherwise: cool!

    1. Thank you Ken. This is a valid concern and we have spent a lot of time minimizing the size of the adapter.

      We also think that for the home use this is not going to be an issue since tensioned cords are very rare in home installations.

      Hope this helps.

      Thanks,
      Val.

  13. bro1999 says:

    Interesting. The *ONLY* thing I would really like to add feature-wise on my Clipper Creek LCS-25 is a way to track power usage….looks like this thing could do that.

  14. Erik says:

    If they can make the housing small and light, great – but really, the car better have a robust inlet – they might need to hang up to 25′ of heavy gauge EVSE cable off it!
    Powering the device is another concern. If they can ‘mooch’ power off the line, fine, just as long as they don’t violate any safety or other specs of the J1772 scheme.

    I’m not fond of the cloud aspect – A stand-alone option to link the device with a local LAN computer or smartphone would be desired.

    1. Thank you Erik. JuicePlug has a small battery inside that charges only when you car charges through the adapter. Hope this helps.

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