On the right: Kenneth M, JuiceBox user, volunteers to help deliver medical supplies and assistance to rural communities in Hawaii.
The Coronavirus-19 pandemic strained medical personnel everywhere, adding longer hours and greater pressures than ever. As the situation worsened in April 2020, the Enel X Team received a call for help from a caregiver in Haiku, a remote part of Maui. As a registered nurse at the Maui Memorial Medical Center, he was working 12-hour night shifts during the pandemic. He drove a 2015 i3 BMW (an electric vehicle) to and from work, for a 40-mile roundtrip. He loved his EV, but with his Level 1 charger, he couldn’t get a full charge overnight, and did not have enough power to fuel his trip home from work. He was having to go out of his way to charge at a public charger, making a long day even longer.
In his outreach to the team at Enel X, Kenneth requested a JuiceBox Level 2 electric vehicle charging station to allow him to fulfill his duties as an essential worker and healthcare provider during a time of crisis.
The team at Enel X immediately sent Kenneth a JuiceBox, allowing him to fully charge his vehicle each night. Now, not only does he make the round trip to and from work without hassle, he also volunteers helping homebound patients receive medical assistance. He makes multiple home visits during the day, without having to worry about running out of battery.
Kenneth has been an EV driver for more than two years. Before buying an EV, he and his wife installed photovoltaic panels on their home. They planned to use the solar energy the PV panels produce to charge their EV. That was a smart idea—the cost of electricity in Hawaii is generally higher than on the U.S. mainland due to heavy dependence on imported oil for electricity generation. Charging from solar would be greener and more cost-effective.
Even if they use traditional power sources, EV owners typically save between $800 to $1,300 on fuel in the first year, according to Consumer Reports. EVs also provide good torque, quick response, and reduced emissions. And they’re often more digitally connected than conventional vehicles—for example, drivers can control some EV charging stations, like the JuiceBox, using a smartphone app.
Kenneth agrees that EVs provide substantial benefits. “I’ve saved a lot of money on transportation costs with my EV,” he said. “No more gas costs and gas station lines.”
Still, Kenneth’s letter highlights one common fear of EVs—long charging times. Before reaching out to Enel X, Kenneth had a Level 1 charger, which plugs directly into a standard 120-volt. Most electric cars today come standard with a portable level 1, 120- volt charger.
A level 1 EV charger can charge your vehicle at a rate of 4 to 5 miles per hour, a very slow rate that is aptly called “trickle charging.” Some EVs with large battery capacity, such as Teslas, can even take as long as three days to fully charge on a level 1 EV charger. As his letter to Enel X explained, Kenneth ultimately couldn’t add miles quickly enough to keep his EV full of charge, leading to range anxiety.
There are two main plug types commonly used for home EV charging, both standardized and rated by NEMA, the largest trade association of electrical equipment manufacturers in the US.
A 240-volt, Level 2 home EV charging station eliminated Kenneth’s range anxiety and enabled him to travel where he needed, when he needed without worry. A Level 2 charging stations will charge most electric vehicles in around 8 hours, making it easy to get a full charge each night. JuiceBox lets Kenneth charge his EV cleaner than ever too. Kenneth’s JuiceBox is powered by his solar panels, making his travel emission-free.
A quick-release mounting bracket and integrated cables make the JuiceBox easy to install and use. With 25 feet of cable, Kenneth was able to place the charger in the most accessible location for him. Level 2 charging at 240 volts means he doesn’t have to wait for the EV battery to reach full. His car is full of charge and ready to go each morning.
The JuiceBox makes older EVs with low mileage batteries more practical. Unlike many of today’s electric vehicles that get around 400 miles of range with each charge, Kenneth’s 2015 i3 BMW gets only 90 miles per charge. Being able to keep older batteries charged is essential for people who have older EV models. Second-hand electric cars cost between 43 to 72 percent less than a new EV, making them a great deal. JuiceBox can help EV drivers with older models get the most out of their used EV by enabling them to charge quickly overnight. “With the low cost of older model EVs, they’re a great bargain,” Kenneth said.
Now that Kenneth has the level 2 JuiceBox home EV charger he requested, he can fully enjoy EV ownership and can focus on serving his community as a healthcare worker —without any of the headache of figuring out where he’s going to get his next charge.