Live In California? Want A Free JuiceBox?

AUG 19 2014 BY JAY COLE 41

Electric Motor Werks Presents Free JuiceBox Offer To Californians

Electric Motor Werks Presents Free JuiceBox Offer To Californians

Our friends over at Electric Motor Werks sent us a note on a program that is now launching in California that can see plug-in vehicle owners get a “high power” charging station for free.

JuiceBox EVSE - A 15kw / 60A Level 2 Open Source Charging Station With WiFi Data Reporting

JuiceBox EVSE – A 15kw / 60A Level 2 Open Source Charging Station With WiFi Data Reporting

We spoke to Valery Miftakhov about the offer to get a JuiceBox EVSE – a 15kw / 60A Level 2 open source charging station – for free* and he noted that the program worked in conjunction with OhmConnect and there was actually a couple (fairly easy to jump) hurdles in qualifying to get the free unit.  (Sign up for that here)

  • California residency
  • reliable WiFi connection

Next you have to choose one of two programs to compensate for the cost of the unit:

Specifically, one of the programs will require you to sign up for the time-of-use tariff with your local utility – to be used only for your EV, so your house stays on the same plan as it is now. PG&E customers know this arrangement as ‘EV9-B tariff’ – only with us, you will not have to install a separate meter for your EV – the JuiceBox will be your meter. This pilot is administered by the CPUC and we have qualified as one of the participating companies. We are passing ALL the pilot payments from CPUC to you – this is how you get the FREE station under this program.

Another program will require you to give us partial control over your charging rate. We will use that capability to help manage supply-demand in the grid by modulating the rate of charge of your car. Don’t worry – all operations will be conducted strictly per J1772 charging standard and there will be no danger to your vehicle at any time. We will also guarantee your vehicle to be fully charged by the time you need it in the morning. Furthermore, you would be able to override our control signals if you so desire. Under this program, the charging stations will be helping to stabilize our electric grid – the service for which we will be paid for by the grid management entities. This is how you get the FREE station under this program.

Don’t like those two options?  Mr. Miftakhov says more will be added soon:

“We are also working on a couple of additional programs as we speak. Chances are that by the time we start processing your applications we will have 1-2 additional programs ready for you, as well.

Regardless of a specific program you will fall under, we think that a free 15kW EVSE is a pretty good deal, wouldn’t you agree?  Now, unfortunately, there is a very limited number of free JuiceBoxes available at this initial stage. These will all be first come, first serve.”

You can apply to be part of the program here, and accepted applications can expect the units to arrive in September or October.

Categories: Charging

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41 Comments on "Live In California? Want A Free JuiceBox?"

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In for 5. Lol

I watched the video where he makes these things, and I was skeptical about the contactor, but he showed me the data sheet and confirmed that yes, it is good for 60 amps. This is a very very basic unit, but then all EVSE’s basically are not much.

Even out of staters like me could afford these as they inexpensive, a 32 amp kit version is around $400 including the 14-50plug.

Not sure about the long term reliability, and I’m not confident about leaving the thing unattended on a combustible surface, but for those who want the lowest cost unit, this is it. A 40 amp kit version for a rav4 or Tesla S/Roadster is $447 plus shipping. Seeing as they want almost double that for the Leviton 400 many might want to take a chance on this unit since it is undeniably a better deal than the overpriced commercial products

On their website, they peg product life at around 5-10 years. Not sure how that compares to other similar products. I would guess on the shorter side though.

Wouldn’t a 60A equipment require a higher rated outlet than NEMA 14-50? Not to mention the circuit.

We are now talking at the level of entire-household electrical circuitry. And there are hardly any BEVs that can handle this type of current, except for Tesla which comes with its own pretty good EVSE as far as I know (or am I wrong here?).

In short, even if I was in California I’d probably wait a few years before accepting such a double-edged present.

+1. we’re already maxed out to get 40 amps for the level 2.


Moreover: existing ~6-7kW L2 chargers are well within NEMA ‘x’-50 safety constraints and standard 50A circuitry, and can provide your BEV up to 40-50kWh overnight.

Given that we hope and expect BEV efficiencies to improve overall, why on Earth would someone need 2x that charging rate in an ordinary household charger?

I’d say let’s focus on making chargers that fit with normal household electricity constraints, more affordable/compact/versatile/etc.

Advertising your charger as 15kW might sound catchy, but you gain practically nothing and add a whole lot of risk, and open yourself up for questions whether you know what you’re doing.

Well, that’s advertising for you. 14.4 kw tops is called “15 KW Class” and 19.2 kw tops is called “20 KW Class”.

Except car manufactures , especially those basking in the lime-light, leave out the “Class”.

The EVSE is rated for 60 amps.

If you choose to supply power via a NEMA 14-50 plug, then obviously you would need to reduce the max power to 40 amps continuous. If you want more power, just hard wire it with the proper gauge wire for your requirements.

Most homes in California have at least 100 amp panels so 15kW is reasonable, as long as you don’t expect to use an existing outlet.

Read the forums for reliability information about these units.

Took your advice…. Doesn’t look too good, especially if you want to put any large amount of current through the thing. Besides having a really chinsy look, I always wondered about that ‘ventilated’ switching power supply having no ventilation.

Perhaps the best thing to do is order a reputable circuit board for the data link smarts, and do everything else yourself. You might spend a bit more money, but if you design the unit yourself for 60 amp loading then you can spend a bit on the housing and baseplate, and also some rectifier fuses with holders along with fusing the power supply which would make the unit a heck of a lot safer.

Ok, lets stop this now. An L2 charger DOES NOT INSERT ITSELF INTO THE POWER GOING TO THE CAR AT ALL. It operates a relay to supply or not supply current to the car. There is no power conversion going on at all within the charger. It is all happening at the car level. What the EVSE does is tap a minor amount of power to operate the logic and CPU for the charger itself.


What the

A switching power supply is included with the unit to provide logic power for the requisite electronics in the unit.

No one said there is any ‘power conversion’ going on through the juice box.

However, it is YOU who are hopelessly ignorant of the use of switching power supplies. The idling power of the unit while low, is not zero. And the ‘ambient temperature’ is the temperature inside the box, which is heated by conductor loss, termination loss, contact loss, SWP inefficiency, and circuit board power consumption. All these losses increase with temperature, so the inefficiency gets worse the hotter it gets.

Some of that I would have assumed would be obvious

Note to Jay,

You’re right, I needed a bit of editorial cooling off. Its only a blog after all.

not sure which product you’re actually referring to here. The EVSE is not a switching supply. We do have a full DC CHarger as one of our products and it is a proper switching power supply. But it’s not a product we are talking about here.

I have provided real data on reliability elsewhere in this comment thread.

OH, understood Valery, incidentally, I was the one you gave the data sheet on the contactor. That frappo dude thought I was saying something that I’ve never said.

You could clear up some things if you’ve done some real world testing with the device.

After a 2-hour ‘warm up’ under full load (60 amp) (warm up time), what is the BTU/Hour loss of the juice box with the cover on? Also, if you have an infrared thermometer, what are the hot spot temperatures experienced? That would put me much at ease as to the reliability.

There was an electrician who had a horrible experience with your product on one of the blogs, but admittedly, even he said that if you were charging a volt or leaf there would be no problem. The problem only presented itself when attempting to use the full 60 amp rating.

I would expect my concern is a very common problem. I own the first Schneider EVLink sold in the northeast.

Unmodified, it overheats the cable and contactor when running 30 amps for 8 hours. So I modified it.

(It runs volts, and 3.3 kw leafs running cool).

Quoting my former post:, “….I always wondered about that ‘ventilated’ switching power supply having no ventilation. …”
, its not surprising to me that they are having a 2 – 3 % failure rate of their switching power supply.

Just be very certain that your city and your insurance company will accept a non-UL-listed EVSE installed in your home.

I’m all for open-source, and I take plenty of due care with my high-power electrical circuits, but none of that matters even a little to the contract between me and my insurer.

I’ll second those remarks:

In my case the inspector is worried about my ‘oversize’ wiring, but the only fire hazzard was my ‘Unmodified’ Schneider EV-Link.

Underwriter’s Laboratories surely isn’t the organization it once was. I couldn’t believe this device got a UL listing, what with how hot the unit got FAR AWAY from any field supplied wiring.

Modifying the unit nodoubt kills the UL listing, but I’d much rather have my garage *NOT* burn down.

Hi Guys – EMotorWerks here. Thanks for your comments!

On reliability – complete transparency here. We have ~1,200 units installed as of today. We see ~2-3% field failure rates, mostly due to power supply failure within units. As it happens with most electronic products, majority of these failures happen within the first month or so and are fixed / replaced under warranty. The lifetime of the units is a bit of a guess at this point hence the 5-10 year range.

Re UL – we have started the process with Intertek to certify the UL compliance of the next iteration of JuiceBox. The intent is to get that done before we actually start shipping under these programs.

The sign-up for these programs is non-committal at this point and we will release more info as we go along so there is no downside to apply.

Team JuiceBox.

Hi Valery,

Appreciate your hard work and passion to bring this low cost, open source, high spec charger to the market and help the EV movement and my lungs.

Thanks so much!!!

Valery hi,

Thanks for pitching in.

See my questions above at length, here in concise form:

1. If your equipment is 60A rated, how is it safe to use with NEMA 14-50 which is 50A rated?

2. Why bother designing and advertising it as 15kW, when almost no one has circuitry that can deliver that, and when almost no BEV really needs – or can even handle – that kind of rate for ordinary household charging?



Assaf – fair questions, of course.

To get the max output of 60A, you would have to wire your unit directly. There is no easily accessible listed 75A plug / receptacle.

The good news is that, as you said, the vast majority of EVs needs just 40A which can be perfectly handled by 14-50 connection.

We advertise as 15kW because that’s what it will do. In fact, we could probably rate at full J1772 spec of 80A but we can’t source the J1772 cables at that power level at reasonable prices. We do have a few Tesla Model S Twin Charger customers who are enjoying our extended ratings…

Hope this helps.

Team JuiceBox

Thanks Valery!

One last follow-up: would you custom-make a NEMA 6-50 cable for your system, or does it work only with 14-50? Some households might already have 6-50 circuitry. Disclaimer: I already recently got a Clipper Creek with 6-50… but there might be others interested and your price is likely more affordable (esp. for California residents, it seems 🙂 ).

Thanks again, Assaf

I recently installed a GE Wattstation which also uses NEMA 6-50, so I’m also interested if it’s possible to connect the Juicebox to a 6-50 receptacle. It doesn’t seem like there is an adapter from 14-50 plug to 6-50 outlet.

There surely are some in the opposite direction:

Best to call a welding store, seems like that’s where the largest target audience for these adapters is.

The NEMA 6-50 does not contain a common wire that is used by a 14-50, hence no adapters. A 6-50 pigtail could be used instead of a 14-50 pigtail.

Hi, If you look at Valery’s website you can order the unit without the 14-50 cord. Just pick up a welder plug (Nema 6-50P), or go to a welding supply house where they may have a molded cable already made up. You can make up your own purchasing a NEMA 6-50 plug from a big box store, and also purchasing a few feet of 6/3 ,S, SW, SO, or SOW rubber cable. (That’s extra heavy duty,and optionally water and / or oil resistant).

Thank you Valery!

I think this is one of the best ways for EV’s to help smooth out the power grid rather than generate spikes. I am thoroughly impressed that you have gotten cooperation from the utilities to make this actually happen.

I have seen references to using things like On-Star to allow the utilities to temporarily suspend charging, but that assumes my car is actually charging and in a location that need reduced load. Having the control in the EVSE makes the most sense. The EVSE would be at a fixed location, have the ability to determine how much power is being currently being used and make very precise adjustments very quickly.

My car averages a bit over 2 hours of charging each night, and is set to only charge during the lowest rates. As long as it is full by morning, I don’t really care when or how long that charging occurs. Since we would have the ability to override this when needed, there are no concerns over needing an immediate charge once in awhile.

Great job EMotorWerks! I already put in my request, I hope you are able to work with Southern California Edison!

This is an excellent opportunity. We had similarly free digital thermostats under a similar program when thy first came out in Austin.

Our municipally owned electric utility found that by synchronizing them all, we could save on needing costly new generation and climate change pollution.

I encourage everyone to jump on this program, enjoy the benefits, help the research and to share the plug with others on Plugshare!

They could give me one of these, and give me a few hundred bucks along with it, and still cost more than my $800 charger.

“PG&E customers know this arrangement as ‘EV9-B tariff’ ”

PG&E has two EV tariffs.
Schedule EV
Schedule E-9

Each rate schedule has an A and B sub-rate. A is for whole home metering and B is for dedicated EV metering. E-9 was closed to new customers when EV was made available in August 2013. I suspect that this program will use the EV-B tariff.

Wow, it would be interesting to be aware of how many actual individuals asked these ridiculous questions and haw many were written by an employee of “JuiceBox” which is what the majority seem to be to me. The questions and answers seem to have been written by a sales person with little technical training. And who is going to pay an electrician to install it and the dedicated 240 GFCI circuit breaker in your home. (Note EVSE with UL Certification are available for less than $350 now. (Plus installation.)

Probably the same people who would pay to have any other EVSE installed. I considered this as part of the purchase price when I bought my electric car.
I believe the Juicebox has GFCI so would use a normal breaker (like most other EVSE’s). If you already have a 240 volt EVSE, it should be a direct swap (you will have to set the max power on the Juicebox to match your wiring).
As far as I can tell, Valery is the only poster affiliated with Juicebox, and he clearly stated that in one of his posts.

Ahem, I don’t feel my questions are ridiculous in the slightest, in fact one of my concerns has INDEED shown up as a 2 – 3 % failure rate of the power supply, as verified by the designer himself…

Sometimes the “uninitiated” are bamboozled by questions that they themselves don’t understand why they are being asked. That in no way diminishes the importance of the question.

Other interface questions such as 14-50, 6-50 intermingling are fair for this blog seeing as some people will be very interested in purchasing the kit, and interfacing it to their existing home facilities. Certainly no problem tolerating that, right?

Well Dennis, did you read the attached link?

Anyways, most of the poster in this thread are long-time posters so unless EMW has hijacked all their usernames then your conspiracy theory doesn’t fly.

I also want to say a big thanks to Valery for doing this and helping push forward the adoption of EV’s.

The EV9-B rate plan requires a dedicated meter to PG/E and so does not work in your favor if you have grid-tied SOLAR since you would really want to use your generated solar power for your home and EV!

KUDOS to eMotorWerks!!!