Bosch Tries to Undercut Cost of Home Electric Car Chargers

By · May 11, 2013

The equipment needed to charge your electric vehicle at home is getting less expensive. Robert Bosch GmbH this week introduced an electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) that starts at less than $450—although recommended 30-amp units cost between $600 and $750. The Power Max, the brand name for the EVSE, will begin shipping in early June.

“Because most of the incentives available to offset the costs of purchasing an installing residential Level 2 charging stations are expiring, we believe it’s critical to maintain momentum towards Level 2 by offering high-quality but lower-cost charging solutions to our customer,” said Tanvir Arfi, President, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions in a statement.

Bosch Automotive Service Solutions is the former SPX Service Solutions, which Bosch acquired in December 2012.

The Power Max will provide Level 2 240V charging in 16 or 30 amp models with a cord length of up to 25 feet. It is UL-certified in both the U.S. and Canada. It has a NEMA 3R enclosure for both indoor and outdoor usage and includes a cord breakaway system and non-live current wire.

According to Bosch, the different choices and prices are: 16A, 12’ cord for $449; 30A 18’ cord for $593; 30A 25’ cord $749.

The rule of thumb in the EVSE world is that if you want to get a decent amount of additional range –say 30 miles in an hour of charging—at least 30 amps is recommended.

Installation of an EVSE can be daunting, involving the proper electric service and location. Purchase of a Power Max includes a free Trained Vehicle Charging Advisor who does on-site cost estimation, then works with the customer on installation and inspection. The Advisor will also help you find applicable rebates. Installation services include a three-year limited product warranty, all permitting, and multiple rebate paperwork filing.

Until now, EV owners have needed to spend around $1,000 before installation on a capable and durable EVSE. There are already at least a dozen EVSE manufacturers. Popular models in that price range include the Clipper Creek CS-40 at $1,750, and the Aerovironment EVSE RS-Plugin at $1,049.
Bosch is injecting a new level of competition into the home charging market.


· · 5 years ago

The 30 amp with the 25' cord at $749. is still reasonable by comparison, and given the quality Bosch is know for I would seriously consider one for my garage. Plus I like the look of it, if I'm showing someone my home charger I'd like it to look sleek and high tech. Some chargers look like a cheap plastic box.

· · 5 years ago

I hope that these will have metering - for those of us who want to know how much energy we use. The price will come down as time goes on. They are not all that complicated devices, as far as I know.


· · 5 years ago

@CDspeed. That is an interesting angle -- EVSE aesthetics! If prices become more or less equal, will the best-looking device win? @Neil Good point. I will check with Bosch.

· · 5 years ago

16 amps for $450 or under 500 including tax is not bad at all, and the unit looks rather stylish.

A larger unit wont really increase your range, Alysha is wrong about that. My Tesla Roadster will still go 244 miles, unless you mean like Volt owners that recharge several times a day rather than use gas, due to the microscopic battery they put in it..

· · 5 years ago

EVSE aesthetics, Alysha, is something that Elon Musk pondered with great care when designing the home equipment for Tesla S owners (scroll down about half way into the below linked article) . . .

Back in the more affordable J1772 stuff that the rest of us will be using, I'll also give a "thumbs up" to Bosch for making a nice looking wall mount box that meets a new low in price point and, presumably, a high quality build.

· · 5 years ago

Everyone keeps saying an installation of an EVSE is daunting. Its as hard to install as a wall outlet. Since Buffalo Ny is the apparently the only area of the country left with a few 110 volt houses, in other than these houses a 16 amp charger should really be a trivial install for most people, even those homes w/60 amp electric services.

Why do these articles have so many inaccuracies in them?

· · 5 years ago

I agree with Bill.

The amount of money that people are charging for installing EVSE is outragous...

Unless you are running a long wire through the house, most of the installation cost should be less than $200 or 1 hour...

· · 5 years ago

Since I am less than a neophyte at all things electric, let me ask: Do you mean that homes in most areas of the country are already wired to allow easy installation of 220V service? Other than an electric dryer and an electric range, I don't have 220V options. At least I don't believe that I do. My home was built in 1969, as were most of the homes in my development(Phila area). It was my (mis)understanding that I'd need to have a 220V line run from my breaker box into my detached garage, and in order to do that I'd need to upgrade my service, plus dig a trench from my house to the garage. if that's the case(and I am ignoring the costs of permitting) I think that this could still be a costly project, even if the EVSE is discounted.


· · 5 years ago

@Neil Here is the Bosch response re: metering.

The Power Max does not currently have a metering feature however many electrical utility companies offer incentives that include adding a second meter specifically for the charging station. Often times with a second meter customers may be able to receive discounted electrical rates or time-of-use (TOU) rates.

· · 5 years ago

In all fairness Alysha, the Clipper Creek CS-40 is a commercial unit and is not meant for residential installs. The LCS-25 is a 20A Level 2 unit and is priced at $595. This is with a 20' cable.

· · 5 years ago


Hi, yeah, I'm standing by what I'm saying. If you had a detached garage without any electric, you would have to dig a trench for underground service, or if cost prohibitive, many people actually run an overhead service drop to the garage, to install a 110 outlet for a light bulb or garage opener, etc.

If your home was built in 1969 it will have to have at least a 100 amp service. Your electric dryer (if a reasonably new model) draws around 6000 watts ( 23 amps on one leg, and 28 on the other, or thereabouts). This is actually the heaviest continuous load, especially if you have a lot of kids. The typical 30 " range must have at least a 35 amp feeder to it, but is rarely loaded this heavily. (A 12000 watt range must legally have 8000 watts supplied to it. It is assumed all four burners will not be on high, and the oven preheating at the same time).

You should have sufficient electricity, even for a large house on 100 amp service, for one of the 16 amp models such as the Pass and Seymour Legrand, Leviton 160, Eaton, or this cute little bosch model.. You need 2 spare 20 amp poles, or you need to 'free up 2 spare 20 amp spaces'. Or if you have fuses, then 2-20 amp fuses. If you could describe your main service panel, and see if there are any numbers on the main switch or circuit breaker ( if it has one), and then tell me if you apparently have 2 spare spaces in it, I could give you a better answer.

Alternatively, give me the name and model number of your panel on the inside cover, and tell me what switches or fuses are inside. I'll look up the info and get back to you.

In general though, you only need 12/2 with ground UF (Underground Feeder) cable which is direct burial ( you just pierce the ground, place the wire, and then throw a marking tape on top of the cable, along with a piece of wood strapping (you only have to go 1 foot deep if you have a wood protective board above it). This cable is $84 for a 100 foot roll at the big box stores. The 20 amp double pole circuit breaker is usually around $10. Its literally as complicated as installing a 110 volt outlet. Even easier since this thing is surface mount, and could be mounted on an outside wall.

· · 5 years ago


Correction: I just proof read what I wrote. Change the 1 foot to 1 1/2 feet. If all you are going is thru grass and there are no cars driving on it, you don't even need to dig a trench.. Just get one of those 18" long piercing shovels at the big box stores, along with a bit of pressure treated strapping (has arsenic in it so that carpenter ants aren't attracted to your house). Also, to be perfectly legal, put some cheap PVC 40 pipe around the cable as it goes down into the ground and up from the garage as a protection chase (I think this stuff is $1.51 per 10' stick), and fold the cable a bit like ribbon candy at both the house and garage ends so that when the ground moves (it always does in the northeast), the cable has somewhere to expand and contract to.

· · 5 years ago

Thanks Bill. I work for a retail company that has a history of providing EV charging for its customers as well as its employees on the West Coast. We are likely soon to have EVSE's installed where I work now, so if I can get free 220V charging here, then there is no need for it at home(yet). However, in the future, when my Mitsubishi I comes off lease and I (probably) buy an EV, I will consider having the work done, as it is still better to have that faster charging capability at home as opposed to only the 110V option. There have been times that I was limited in using the car, because I had exhausted its reasonable limit and didn't have time to fully charge for the next work day. An at home 220V EVSE or EVSE upgrade would have made that a moot issue. A friend of mine is an electrician, and I am sure he'd not rip me off on any costs. Thanks again for your help.

· · 5 years ago

Oh, let me add that the garage does have electric service to run the double garage door opener, the lights and therevare several other outlets(all 110V), so there is service in there, just not 220V.

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