The best portable EV chargers

Going somewhere really out of the way? Keep a top-up charger cable in the boot.

portable EV chargers

by Chris Williams |

‘Oh super,’ you might be thinking, ‘there are pocket-sized portable EV power banks that I can keep in the boot of my e-Golf.’ Sadly not. At least, not yet. The EV charging scene is still a new landscape the automotive world is wrestling with.

While the number of charging stations around the UK is ever-growing like blossoming flowers in spring, the task of shrinking them and making them portable like those you use for cell phones is yet to reach a breakthrough.

What do I do if my EV runs out of electrons then?

Firstly, and frankly, you really shouldn’t. With more than 21,000 charging stations around the UK according to Zap Map (including almost 5,000 in Scotland and almost 1,500 in Wales), there are plenty of EV charging points without you having to suffer a flat battery. Given Britain’s road network is about a quarter of a million miles in total, that means on average there is an EV charger for every 12.5 miles of British road. Of course, there are areas where there are higher concentrations of EV chargers such as London, but the principle stands because EV charger hotspots align with population density.

However, there are certain scenarios where a portable charger comes in handy, such as if you find yourself venturing up into the wilds of Scotland where the number of public EV chargers is thinner.

So are there portable EV chargers or not?

Not in the style of a cell phone power bank. There are units popping up such as the SparkCharge Roadie, but units like this are enormous and horrendously expensive. They are designed primarily for EV charger network providers in order to offer an emergency, mobile fast charge service.

While the technology inevitably works on shrinking the size, we must be content with portable charging cables for the time being. The best of these is the Juice Booster 2. It's an EV charging cable that can be plugged into almost any appropriate socket, thanks to the range of socket adaptors available for it.

Moreover, the Juice Booster 2 is better than other aftermarket EV charging cables because it can handle up to 22kW and therefore can fast charge. It's lightweight, can survive been run over, waterproof, and features a lot of regulatory software for safety.

Juice Booster 2 Basic Set

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Juice Booster 2
Amazon

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The Basic Set includes a three pin adaptor and 22kW three-phase CEE32 adaptor. There are many more adaptors. available

Most other aftermarket EV charging cables connect to a 3-pin home plug. They have a fairly low current and therefore don’t charge as fast as public points. But left to charge overnight at your serene hired cottage near Wick, your EV will have plenty of electricity to get you to John o’ Groats where there are rapid and fast chargers.

For a full rundown on how EV charging works, head to our guide to EV home chargers here.

In a nutshell, EV charging works like this: Current (amps) x Voltage = Power. For example, a charger cable with 13A current connected to a standard 230-volt 3-pin home plug will produce a power output of 3.0 kilowatts (kW). Therefore, if you have a Nissan Leaf with a 40kWh battery it will take the 13A charger about 13 hours to charge the battery fully from flat (40 divided by 3). These slower charging cables are ideally suited as helpful overnight top ups.

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