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Bosch Automotive Service Solutions introduces sub-$450 Level 2 EV charging station

8 May 2013

Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, formerly SPX Service Solutions, has introduced Power Max, a plug-in vehicle residential charging station with a starting price point of less than $450. The Power Max, which offers Level 2 240V charging in 16 or 30 amp models, will retail for roughly half the cost of current EV charging stations.

Power_max4_LG
Power Max 16A / 12’ cord entry level model. Click to enlarge.

The Bosch Power Max is UL-certified in both the United States and Canada, and is designed to safely and efficiently charge electric vehicles. Bosch Automotive Service Solutions has provided more than 16,000 EV charging stations and performed more than 6,000 installations, including the SPX Power Xpress, tested by a national laboratory as the most efficient charging station on the market, according to the company.

Power Max comes in a NEMA 3R enclosure for both indoor and outdoor applications and offers standard safety features including a cord breakaway system and non-live current wire. A hardwired on/off switch completely shuts off power to the unit and ensures no power is consumed.

We believe that for the foreseeable future most EV drivers will primarily charge at home. Because many of the incentives available to offset the costs of purchasing and installing residential Level 2 charging stations are expiring, we believe it’s critical to maintain the momentum towards Level 2 by offering high quality, but lower cost charging solutions to our customers.

—Tanvir Arfi, President, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions

The Power Max will begin shipping in early June, with initial customers receiving their charging station in late June to early July.

Bosch also offers professional guidance for customers purchasing a Power Max or other EV charging station. Trained Vehicle Charging Advisors walk customers through a free on-site estimate, installation, inspection and ongoing support, including finding money-saving rebates offered by utility companies, government or vehicle manufacturers. Bosch installation services include a 3-year limited product warranty, all permitting and many times filing rebate paperwork.

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Comments

Ideal low cost solution for home charger?

There is a whole revolution in power electronics and falling prices supporting EVs.

This unit seems to contain very little power electronics, it simply channels the 240 AC to the car. The onboard charger takes care of everything. In essence, it is an extremely expensive wall socket.

Calling an EVSE an expensive wall socket is like calling a catalytic convertor an expensive muffler because you do not value clean air.

An EVSE provides a connector with a "dead front" until it is engaged in the vehicle, which is a big plus for safety. In Europe where three phase power (at 400 volts) is above the arc-flash threshold, this is even more important than the US where the main threat is inexpensive connectors that energize prongs while still exposed. Do you really want to plug your EV in while standing in the rain with nothing but a GFI for protection? A GFI is a mitigation device, not a prevention measure. And at 240 volts, a GFI probably cannot prevent cardiac arrest in all cases.

An EVSE also tells the car how much power it can safely draw without tripping a circuit breaker, which is a big convenience. Did you ever try to find a breaker that has tripped in an unfamiliar location? That is what you face if you have a powerful charger and no EVSE.

Many EVSE can provide smart grid services, etc. Please resist the temptation to claim that something lacks value just because you do not know anything about it.

Yes, a J1772 charging stations is more or less an expensive wall socket.

But that wall socket provides idiot-proof safety and reliably tells the car how much power it can pull from that socket varying from 6-80A.

If you want to build your own expensive wall socket, you can do so, complete specifications have been provided by the Open EVSE project.

If you really try, you can probably build one yourself for about $250, but you'll probably spend $350+ to do it well. The most expensive part is the plug and cable.
It is difficult to build one yourself for much less than what Bosch is charging.

That is essentially the J-1772 standard, Anne.  There is some handshaking to make sure the power leads are dead unless a vehicle is connected and manage current demand.

The Leviton 240V/30A charger lists at about $1600.  The cord and vehicle connector lists for about $150; the rest is a box and some electronics, which I believe I could cobble up on an experimental basis for under $100.  But if chargers drop to less than $450, it wouldn't be as much of a coup.

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