Portable Electric vehicles (EVs) and gasoline-powered vehicles share many similarities, such as spacious interiors, long driving ranges, and robust safety features. However, they differ significantly in their fueling methods: EV portable charger require plug-in charging, while gasoline vehicles rely on refueling at gas stations.

We're all familiar with the quick and easy process of refueling a gasoline vehicle, typically taking just 5 to 10 minutes. In contrast, best portable EV charging times tend to be longer, and the number of charging stations is far less than the nationwide network of tens of thousands of public gas stations.

To help you navigate the world of portable EV charging, we'll guide you through the process of selecting, installing, and using the right charger for your needs. With more knowledge, you'll discover that portable EV chargers are not an out-of-reach option but rather a convenient and accessible choice for your daily commute.

What are portable EV charging stations for car

Portable EV chargers are essential accessories for electric vehicles (EVs), offering a convenient charging solution on the go. These chargers are compact, lightweight, and easily transportable, making them ideal for carrying in your car trunk or storing at home. They can be plugged into standard power outlets, significantly expanding your charging options.

How does the portable charger work

EV chargers primarily utilize two types of power: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). AC is the electricity that flows through your home's wiring, while DC is the type of power directly stored in your EV's battery.

For AC charging,The majority of home EV chargers operate on AC power. They draw AC electricity from the household grid and convert it into DC electricity compatible with your EV's battery. This conversion process takes place within the charger itself.

For DC charging,While less common in home settings, DC fast chargers are gaining traction. They deliver DC power directly to the vehicle's battery, bypassing the conversion step. This results in significantly faster charging speeds compared to AC chargers.

Why choosing the right best portable ev charger matters

Different electric vehicles have their own interface standards

Choosing the correct charger can ensure the compatibility of the charging interface and avoid connection problems and damage to the car's charging port.

Choosing the right charger can improve charging efficiency.

Charger power that is too low may result in a long charging time, while overly high power might not be utilized if surpassing your vehicle's charging capacity.

tesla ev charger

Ensure equipment and personal safety

The use of portable EV chargers that comply with car charging codes and standards can ensure the safety of the charging process and prevent overheating, short circuit or overload from causing combustion or even explosion.

Battery Life

An incorrect portable ev charger can cause an electric vehicle battery to be overcharged or undercharged, which can reduce the overall battery life. Therefore, the right charger can help maximize the life of your battery.

Economical 

Choosing the right portable EV charger can not only increase charging efficiency, but also extend battery life, which can help you save more money in the long run.

Best portable ev charger Important considerations for selection

1.Charging interface type:

When selecting a portable EV charger, compatibility is paramount to ensure a smooth and efficient charging experience. Compatibility encompasses two key aspects:

The first step is to ensure that the charger's physical connector matches your vehicle's charging port. Common connector types include Type 1, Type 2, CCS (Combined Charging System), and CHAdeMO. Refer to your car's manual or consult with a qualified electrician to determine the compatible connector type for your vehicle.

Beyond physical connection, some chargers go a step further by incorporating software that communicates with your vehicle. This intelligent communication allows the charger to optimize charging speed and efficiency based on your battery's current state and the vehicle's capabilities. For instance, it can adjust the charging rate to protect the battery from overcharging or maximize energy intake during peak charging times.

Charging interface type classification
  • American Standard (J1772):

In contrast to the GB/T plug's recessed design, the American standard (J1772) resembles raised calligraphy characters, where the raised portions form the portable EV charging ports. Additionally, the J1772 plug features a distinctive locking mechanism, making it easy to differentiate from other types.

  • Japanese Standard (CHAdeMO):

While the previous standards focus on AC (Alternating Current) charging, Japan has a unique standard called CHAdeMO (CHarge de Move) designed for DC (Direct Current) fast charging. This plug is distinct from the others, with a larger size and a unique design that combines both AC and DC charging capabilities.

  • European Standard (Type 2):

Similar to the J1772 plug, the European standard (Type 2) adopts a raised design for the charging ports. However, the Type 2 plug has two additional pins compared to the J1772, making it slightly larger in size.

  • Chinese Standard (GB/T):

Imagine a Chinese calligraphy art form where characters are carved into the surface. The carved-out areas represent the charging ports on a GB/T plug. With its seven distinct charging ports, this plug is easily recognizable.

EV port

2.Charging Speed and Power:

The cornerstone of a great portable EV charger lies in its charging speed, determined by its output power measured in kilowatts (kW). The kW rating of your charger dictates how quickly it can replenish your EV's battery from empty to full.Portable EV chargers come in various speeds, typically ranging from 3.6 kW (ideal for overnight charging) to 22 kW (capable of providing a substantial charge in as little as an hour).

A crucial consideration is matching the charger's output power to your vehicle's charging capacity. Exceeding your vehicle's charging capacity is akin to paying for a speed you cannot utilize. For instance, if your car can only accept a maximum of 7.2 kW, a 22 kW charger will not charge it any faster than a 7.2 kW charger.

3.Safety and Certification:

When dealing with high-powered electrical equipment like portable EV chargers, safety should never be an afterthought. It's crucial to prioritize safety by choosing chargers that meet rigorous international standards and carry reputable certifications.

Look for chargers that adhere to internationally recognized safety standards, such as IEC 61851-1 or IEC 62752. These standards ensure that chargers undergo rigorous testing to meet strict safety requirements, minimizing the risk of electrical hazards.Beyond meeting international standards, seek chargers that carry specific certifications like CE (European Conformity) or UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification. These certifications provide an additional layer of assurance that the charger has been thoroughly evaluated and complies with stringent safety regulations in respective regions.

In addition to certifications, look for chargers that incorporate built-in safety features to further enhance protection. These features may include:Fault Detection、Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Protection、Overheating Protection

By choosing chargers that meet international standards, carry reputable certifications, and incorporate safety features, you can significantly reduce the risk of electrical hazards and ensure a safe and secure charging experience for your portable EV charger.

Some tips for choosing the right portable ev charging stations:

Here are 6 tips to help you choose the best portable EV charger based on your EV type.

1. Determine the type of charging port:

  • Make sure the charger you choose is suitable for your car. For example, the CHAdeMO interface is mainly suitable for Japanese models, while the CCS interface is mainly suitable for European and American models.
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2. Pay attention to charging cable length:

  • Ideally, a longer charging cable will give you more flexibility between parking locations and power sources. However, please note that charging efficiency may be reduced if a charging cable is too long.

3. Understand the charging rate of electric vehicles:

  • The charging rate of electric vehicles depends largely on the power of the EV portable charger (unit is kilowatt, kW). If possible, choose a portable charger that can match your car's charging rate.
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4. Check safety certifications:Check safety certifications:

To ensure the safety of your portable EV charger, only purchase products that have obtained UL, CE or other relevant safety certifications.

5. Pay attention to charging cable length:

  • Ideally, a longer charging cable will give you more flexibility between parking locations and power sources. However, please note that charging efficiency may be reduced if a charging cable is too long.

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6. Consider price and brand credibility:

  • You may want to find a balance between quality, convenience, and cost. Depending on your budget and requirements, research each brand and model carefully to see which one is the best match.

How to find the best spot for your portable EV charger: Garage or Driveway?

Deciding where to install your portable EV charger, whether in your garage or driveway, is a personal choice that involves weighing various factors. While both options have their merits, let's explore the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.

Advantages and disadvantages of garage charging

Advantages and disadvantages of lane charging

Advantages:

  • Convenience: Protected from the elements, you can plug in and charge regardless of weather conditions.
  • Security: Your EV is shielded from potential theft or vandalism.
  • Temperature Control: Extreme temperatures can affect battery performance. Garage charging helps maintain an optimal battery environment.

Advantages:

  • Space: You don't need to sacrifice garage space for charging.
  • Accessibility: Plugging in and unplugging is often easier with driveway charging.

  • Solar Potential: If you have solar panels, driveway charging allows you to maximize self-generated solar energy for charging.

Disadvantages:

  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent the buildup of harmful gases, especially during charging. Ensure adequate airflow in your garage.
  • Cost: Installing an outlet or upgrading your electrical system in the garage may involve additional expenses.

 

 

Disadvantages:

  • Weather Exposure: Your EV and charging equipment are exposed to the elements, which can impact their lifespan.
  • Security: Your EV is more vulnerable to theft or vandalism.

  • Trip Hazards: Be mindful of the charging cable placement to avoid tripping hazards.

What is the difference in speed between home charging and public charging?

The primary difference between home and public chargers lies in their charging speeds. Home AC chargers typically range from 3.3kW to 22kW, while public DC fast chargers can deliver up to 350kW or more.

This difference in speed stems from the power capacity of the charging infrastructure. Home electrical systems are typically designed for lower power consumption, limiting the output of home chargers. Public charging stations, on the other hand, have dedicated high-power connections, enabling them to deliver the rapid charging speeds that busy EV drivers demand.

What kind of portable EV charge can you consider?

Many electric vehicles (EVs) charger, excluding Tesla models, come equipped with a complimentary trickle charger. These chargers, also known as Level 1 chargers, offer a convenient and cost-effective way to replenish your portable EV charger battery at home.They can be purchased individually for around $350 (Tesla's "Mobile Connector" is priced at $550).Unlike other portable EV chargers, trickle chargers don't require professional installation. They plug into standard household power outlets, making them a DIY-friendly option.Trickle chargers are ideal for overnight or extended charging periods. They provide a steady, low-power charge that gently replenishes your battery.

Standard household power outlets typically deliver a maximum current of 10 amps. Using Ohm's Law (power = current x voltage), we can calculate the charging power of a trickle charger:

Charging Power = 10 Amps x 230 Volts = 2.3 kWh

This means that trickle chargers typically provide around 2 kilowatts of charging power.

Given their slower charging speed, trickle chargers are best suited for overnight or extended charging periods.Trickle chargers typically provide a charging rate of around 10 kilometers (6 miles) of added range per hour.

While mobile chargers can be handy in a pinch, I recommend investing in a proper hardwired charger for your home. This will provide you with a more convenient, efficient, and safe charging experience for your electric vehicle (EV).

Conclusion

Ultimately, investing in the best portable EV charger aligned with the specific needs of the electric vehicle can lead to enhanced battery life, optimized charging efficiency, and long-term cost savings. Therefore, careful consideration and research are essential when selecting a portable EV charger to enjoy the full benefits of electric vehicle ownership.

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