I am a new ED owner. I didn't even know there was such a thing called EVSE until five days ago! After I got the car, there were a couple of things I wanted right away.
1. Faster charging than what is possible with the Level 1 EVSE supplied with the car. Plus, I wanted to keep the factory supplied EVSE just locked up in the car for emergency use while on the road.
2. Listen to the music on my iPhone via the standard car stereo without fumbling with wires to connect the phone to the AUX input every time I got in the car.
I'd like to share what I did to get those two things.
I couldn't stomach the fact that the EVSEs are so darn expensive for just a glorified box with a relay and a simple signaling mechanism. With a little googling, I found Juicebox
. I am an electrical engineer and I have done quite a bit of house wiring. So why not a DIY EVSE? I ordered a Juicebox and 25 feet of J1772 cable, drove 15 minutes to their warehouse to pick them up (how convenient :-), a little soldering and some wire hookups later, voila!, I now have a Level 2 charger that has worked well, at least for one night. My factory-supplied Level 1 charger can now stay in the tailgate for emergency use.
Not including the input cabling part, the juice box solution runs about $310 with a 25 foot cable EVSE. Still lot of money, but not so bad for a box that can actually put out about 15kW. (btw, you would need a 70amp J1772 ($$) if you want to push it beyond 7.5kW. And, anything more than 3.3kw is irrelevant for the Smart Car ED as its charger can't take more anyway.)
I did have a hiccup or two when wiring the Juicebox, but nothing that took more than 5-10 minutes to resolve. Their documentation is somewhat hard to read for the reading-challenged, and it doesn't seem to always match the rev of the board/box they are selling. But their email support was very prompt and helpful. Overall, it was easy to build.
DIY EVSE isn't for everyone, but I took this route. I still can't get over how much a commercial EVSE or even a kit like this costs. Niche market, I guess.
Wirefree music from iPhone to car stereo
I wanted to play the music on my iPhone wirelessly on the car stereo. I have just the standard factory stereo, not the fancy one.
So this is what I did. The Smart ED's glove compartment has a USB port and an AUX port. I paid less than $10 to get [ame="http://www.amazon.com/VicTsing-Portable-Bluetooth-Streaming-Receiver/dp/B00GX71GNO/"]this bluetooth adapter on amazon.com[/ame]
Connect the adapter to the USB and AUX ports, pair the iPhone, and that's it. All music played on the iPhone can now be heard via the car stereo AUX. Phone calls will still be through the phone.
What I liked about this bluetooth adapter other than the price was that it has no battery. It comes on when you turn the key in the car and goes off when you take off the key, just like how we would want it. When I was googling, I saw some units that had battery. I didn't want to mess with turning them on/off. This battery-less one seems like a better solution as there is nothing to turn on/off. The unit is small enough (an inch or so) to not interfere with anything in the already small glove compartment.
So there you go! A new guy's DIY EVSE and Bluetooth music.