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Belkin invests in smart charger for electric cars

Belkin, best known for its PC and Mac accessories, gets deeper into home energy management by investing in Juice Technologies, which makes equipment for charging electric vehicles.

Will home energy management become the domain of consumer electronics companies?

A mobile smart charger for electric vehicles developed by Juice Technologies. Juice Technologies

Belkin, which makes PC peripherals and accessories, said on Thursday it has invested in Juice Technologies, a start-up which makes equipment for charging electric vehicles and home energy monitors marketed under the Plug Smart brand.

Last month, Belkin purchased Zensi, a technology company which makes sensors to give people detailed information on electricity usage. Apple is rumored to have been a suitor for Zensi as well.

The acquisition and investment in Columbus, Ohio-based Juice Technologies--both for undisclosed sums--are part of Belkin's strategy to offer energy management products to homes and small businesses, the company said. "Our investment in Juice Technologies builds on our vision to help people make better, more informed decisions about their energy use. Their experience in the utility industry fills a critical need in our go-to-market strategy for our energy management solutions," said Belkin CEO Mark Reynoso in a statement.

Juice Technologies specializes in power management equipment for homeowners and businesses, including a smart charger for electric vehicles which is being tested by San Diego Gas & Electric. The mobile device is designed to let people charge electric vehicles to take advantage of off-peak rates and to charge different places on a single utility bill account.