I followed this link and there was a whole lot of marketing fluff with a little of "what" the product is but nothing that told me "why" I would want one.
In brief, it provides a lot more "smarts" and Internet connectivity to the device. With the caveat that some features require support from utilities, JuiceNet enables:
- Setting charge times. (E.g, plug in at 6:00 PM, wait to charge until 1:00 AM.) Of course, the Volt can do that itself, but some EVs can't.
- Setting charge times based on electricity cost, eco-friendliness of source, etc. This one requires support from electric utilities, which is currently absent for me, but I gather it's relatively common in California. This lets you charge when costs are low (as the preceding feature does, in a cruder way) or when the grid is supplied mainly by green power sources.
- Reduce maximum charge rate. This could be handy if the 40/32-amp HCS-40 is plugged into a 30/24-amp line, or if you want to reduce the risk of tripping your house's main circuit breaker. This feature can also work with the utility to reduce charge rates when the utility is experiencing high loads.
- Remote control. It's Web-accessible, so you can start or stop charging, adjust charge rates, etc., via your cell phone or computer.
- Data tracking. It collects data on when your car is charging, how much it's charged, etc., so you can monitor this information. (FWIW, I've already seen that, left plugged in overnight, my Volt produces a brief spike of power use about every 1.5 hours.)
- Alerts. JuiceNet can be configured to send you an e-mail when the car starts charging, stops charging, is not plugged in by a specific time, etc.
There are hints on eMotorWerks' Web site that they intend to add more functionality, to enable coordination of various power-hungry electric appliances (EVSE, electric water heater, etc.) so as to help spread the load out over time in an intelligent way. So far it's just for EVSEs, though.
Right now and for my own needs, JuiceNet isn't required, and the main features it adds that are even remotely useful to me are the remote control and data tracking features, which are a little more thorough than what the Volt provides, and without needing an OnStar subscription. (JuiceNet adds about $100 to the price of the EVSE, which is equivalent to just five months of OnStar's minimum $20/month rate, which I consider a ripoff.) I bought it mainly for future-proofing -- I figure they're likely to add features in the future, and if they become really valuable to me at some point, it'll be better to have a device that's capable of handling those features than to have to get a new EVSE or use an awkward add-on like the JuicePlug, which is a new product to add JuiceNet features to any EVSE.
Customers need to understand why or those companies will fail.
I agree; eMotorWerks' site does a poor job of explaining the benefits of JuiceNet to end users. It seems to be geared more toward attracting partners (EVSE and other electric appliance manufacturers and utilities, mainly).