Splitvolt Fast EV Charger Debuts at CES

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Splitvolt has answered two major drawbacks to electric vehicle (EV) ownership, slow charging and costly rewiring. Their Splitvolt Splitter Switch is a game-changer, rolling out this week at the virtual Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Splitvolt Inc. is one of those techie, geeky Silicon Valley startups you wouldn’t normally hear about. Daniel Liddle, the founder and CEO, put together a team to address the pain points that would definitely keep me from adopting any EV: Simple and inexpensive power access, and fast recharging.

What the Splitter Switch does that’s mind-boggling is to use your existing 240-volt dryer socket, a standard household NEMA 14-30 wall socket that you already have if you have an electric dryer. Plugging the Splitvolt SPS 02-032 into the wall socket, you now have one NEMA 14-30 for your dryer, and one NEMA 14-50 socket for use with your EV charger.

A new product category, an EV Splitter Switch, shares your existing 240-volt dryer socket to provide full 24-amp power on demand, to dry your clothes, recharge your EV charger, or the vehicle itself. According to the company, it will deliver power to charge your car seven times faster, bypassing the cost, complexity, and time required to have an electrician install a new power circuit. In some locations, this may entail having to get a permit, another of those EV ownership drawbacks.

Plug it in, and Splitvolt seamlessly switches power on demand between your dryer and your EV, without having to do so manually. It displays real-time power usage information on a color screen and includes an internal circuit breaker for additional power protection. Real-time voltage, current, temperature, kilowatt-hours (kWh), and status indicators are there for those of you who must know what’s going on with the Splitter Switch at all times. There’s also an integrated 25-amp circuit breaker with easy reset for additional protection.

Splitvolt utilizes standard household NEMA 14-30 sockets and is compatible with common EVs from automakers including FCA, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Splitvolt is also compatible with third-party chargers sold in North America, such as Clipper Creek, Besen, and their own line of chargers, extension cables, and adapters. For this configuration, the charger must be set at the maximum safe-charging rate of 24 Amps.

The Switch monitors, displays, and transfers full 24-amp power-on-demand between the attached devices. The introductory price of $319 sounds like a real bargain, although at the time this was written, the product’s safety certifications were in process, and they have not received UL/CE approval yet.

[Images: Splitvolt]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jan 12, 2021

    My neighbor has an eGolf. He spent $800 to have a box wired by a pro, out to his driveway (weatherproof, there isn't a garage). If you own a home it's do-able, but not DIY for most people. If you rent or park in a public/private multiple garage, it's not electric time yet.

  • Splitvolt Splitvolt on Jan 15, 2021

    Hi, we are sorry that you feel this way, but we and the many, many customers who have purchased this product on Amazon.com, our website, or even from Indiegogo feel differently--and give it very high ratings. To answer your question, a good place to start would be reading a little bit more about the product. Accurate facts will help with understanding the product, and tell a very different story from the narrative in this comment. It is a new concept, so it makes sense that you (and likely others) will have questions, or make assumptions about how it works. Hopefully this note will help clarify this confusion, as I'll hit on each point. FIRST: This product is designed to intelligently share an existing 30amp dryer circuit and provide the fastest NEC-safe EV charging allowable--which is 24amps on a standard 30amp circuit. This is 7x faster than using the standard 125v wall socket with the trickle charger provided with most vehicles. The POINT is to avoid the $800 (you already spent) to install a dedicated charging circuit, by simply plugging-in the Splitvolt Splitter Switch and you immediately get 21mph charging! Your note states a number of specific concerns with the product that I'll answer in order: 1) You spent $800 on your installation in 2012, and in general, labor rates have gone up from there not down. Current quotes in SF Bay Area are still over $850 today. With a Splitter Switch you would have saved a net of $500 and not had to deal with any rewiring, nor permitting delays. Today, even in parts of the country where it costs below $500, you still are saving the $200 and get to use it immediately, and can take it with you when you move, or on trips... 2) Even for those folks with a GAS dryer, many models still use the 240v interface to run the electronics, so they would get all the normal benefit described above. But you are correct that if someone has an unused 240v socket that is available for charging, then they do not need a splitter switch. UNLESS they wish to use it to charge TWO vehicles on that one socket. (It works well for this.) 3) EV immediate proximity to the dryer is nice and convenient, but is not required. Many of our customers across the US use a standard 240v extension cable so that they have the flexibility to position the charger wherever it is most convenient. Splitvolt.com sells 16ft and 26ft 240v extension cables that when used with the Splitvolt portable EV chargers (16ft) can easily reach vehicles 40ft+ away, inside or outside a garage. 4) The "time-sharing" question also seems a little confused. To clarify, the device switches full power from/to the EV charger based on giving priority to the dryer. So any time someone runs a load of laundry, the splitter switch will pause charging on the EV until the dryer cycle is done. So this means that except for the 1-2 hours per day that you are running your dryer (assuming you do a *lot* of laundry), the remaining 22 hours your vehicle is charging at 21mph. That is *plenty* fast for even longest-range EVs. 5) The dryer does not need to be restarted in any way. Just run your dryer the same as you always do without thinking about whether or not the car is charging. It's totally seamless. 6) Safety certifications are already in place for all the charger, cables, adapter products we offer, and are in process for this unit. Safety is our top priority, so this not only goes into the product design and component quality, but we also included an extra internal circuit breaker set at fastest NEC safe charging rates, but below the safety tolerances of your home wiring and breaker panel. This ensures you will not overload your wiring, nor even risk popping your home sub panel breaker. It also provides a real-time display of power usage so you can see that everything is operating normally. 7) Regarding your comment about electricians, unfortunately we have found that there are still many out there who will try to scare and price-gouge new EV owners when it comes to installing dedicated circuits. This is one of the biggest impediments to mainstream EV adoption, and is precisely why we are here--and why we are seeing tremendous demand and satisfied customers across North America. (Anyone can do it.) I hope that this helps you, and others who may have questions about how this new innovative product works. Happy to answer any more questions that come up. Good luck!

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    • Mcs Mcs on Jan 18, 2021

      @Scoutdude I've used dual-ported equipment that can charge at 7.2kW (240V AC @ 30A) simultaneously. A ChargePoint CT4000 series will do it. You just need two 30a inputs. I've encountered the type that splits the power. You usually discover that when you get a message on your phone that your charge rate just cut in half. It would happen to me on a certain 5kW charger that would drop to 2.5kW when someone else plugged in.

  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.