Electric cars are increasingly becoming more popular, with more being purchased and hitting the roads every day. This also means that more people are in need of a way to charge their electric vehicle (EV) after driving their batteries down to the last miles.
Current options include charging stations, home charging, and in some cases charging at other people’s homes through apps like Plugshare. Most EVs come with an electric cable that can be used to charge their car at home. This will have a conventional three-prong plug you can connect to your standard electric outlet at home and the car’s plug on the other end. There is generally some supporting circuitry in the middle to help regulate the charging process.
An additional option some owners will opt for is to purchase a dedicated charging station for their home. Although it may sound like a lot, the charging station will generally consist of a small box you will mount on the wall or a small tower station you can set in the corner. Generally, they need to be hardwired into the home’s electric network like many larger appliances. Both will have a dedicated location for holding the charging cable and will allow faster charging. Many times up to six times faster.
One of the most recent additions to these products has been smart features. This will enable owners to schedule charging, track charging between different station locations and set reminders using their cell phones. A new product looking to break into this field is called “Prism.” As well as providing an additional solution for electric vehicle owners, Prism is also looking to provide a platform for current developers to prototype and test software on.
The Prism comes in a hexagon shaped housing with a modern color scheme, black and grey. Inside is all the necessary components to provide a smart electric vehicle charging station. These include an embedded Linux system, an ATM90E36 power meter with Fourier analysis functions, current sensors, and an STM32 32-bit MCU specifically designed for real-time DSP tasks.
The project has not yet launched on Crowd Supply, so the details are scarce. However, since it is targeting the developer audience, it seems it may be similar to an open source solution to EV charging. Despite not having much information currently available, they seem to advertise safety is their number one priority. Whether this catches on in the EV community may very well depend on the interest it draws from developers.