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A Portable AeroVironment Home Charging Station

How about bringing your Level2 charger with you any time, anywhere there is a 240V outlet where you’re going? With Aerovironment’s EVSE-RS Plug-In, this could mean a very convenient charging experience for electric car drivers.

AeroVironment has just announced an intelligent expansion of its already popular EVSE-RS home charging product line with a new EVSE-RS Plug-In. The EVSE-RS Plug-In is a mobile system, which allows homeowners to easily and securely plug it into a dedicated 240 volt outlet, which eliminates the need to hardwire the charging station. Of course, the station is SAE-J1772 compliant and recharges all battery electric vehicle, EV and plug-in hybrid vehicles, PHEV respecting the SAE standard.

EVSE-RS Plug-In. I spoke to Robert Barrosa, director of product development at AeroVironment to understand how this latest addition eases the installation process for home owners. In a nutshell, the EVSE-RS Plug-In charger slides in and out of a wall-mounted bracket you can install anywhere in your garage. By mounting the charger on a wall bracket near a 240V plug, this allows any electric car driver to take their EVSE-RS Plug-In charging station with them when they move or visit. In essence it allows them to charge at other frequently visited residences, such as relatives’ homes or vacation homes equipped with a dedicated 240 volt outlet. The station comes with an installation kit and mounting template and retails for $1,099.00.

NZ. If I understand this correctly, this is a smart unit that bypasses many of the problems new EV owners run into, permit, electrifying the garage, so on, so forth. Essentially, you are giving them the convenience of plugging in a mobile charging station anywhere they find a 240V line, at home or anywhere?

RB. Exactly! Rather than hard wiring the charger into a garage or other property, the EVSE-RS Plug-In can be easily wall-mounted and plugged into a dedicated 240 V outlet. The station is very simple to install and comes with an installation kit and mounting template. The station weights 10lbs. (excl. cord) and 19 lbs. with the 25’ cord making it an easily moveable device that can be taken to relatives’ homes or vacation homes equipped with a dedicated 240 V outlet.

Some permitting may still be required for EV drivers who do not already have a 240 V outlet in their garages and need to have one installed. The necessary permits vary depending on location.

NZ. Can you give me the background on how the idea came about? I don’t think I know of any other charging companies that offer the same ease of use.

RB. From our experience in the industry and working closely with EV drivers, we know that more convenient charging infrastructure encourages broader EV adoption, which in turn can reduce our carbon footprint and bolster U.S. energy independence. We heard from EV drivers that they want a charger that they could easily install or take with them if they move, visit a relative’s house frequently, or visit a second home. We created the EVSE-RS Plug-In as an easy to install and moveable solution.

According to Wahid Nawabi, senior vice president and general manager of Efficient Energy Systems at AeroVironment: “The EVSE-RS Plug-In is easy to install, use and move. All EV owners need is a dedicated 240 volt outlet, and they can easily install the wall mount and plug-in charger at their home. If they want to remove it, they simply unplug, slide it out of the bracket and take it with them to another location.”

The idea of offering a portable charger for electric car drivers is potentially very liberating. Imagine you are staying away at a rental house with a 240V outlet in the garage. You could bring your own EVSE-RS Plug-In charger and enjoy your stay. Imagine also a day where 240V outlets are at every rest spots on highways and all the sudden, long journeys become more and more of a possibility. I’m impressed with Aerovironment’s thinking outside the box on something as simple as a portable charging station with its EVSE-RS Plug-In.