Which portable electric car charger is best?

Although you are prepared to stride boldly into the future with the purchase of a hybrid or entirely electric vehicle, the sad fact remains that many towns and cities lack the required infrastructure to make charging your car safe and easy. Fortunately, by purchasing a portable electric car charger, you can ensure that you can always fill up your battery bank by charging your car indoors and outdoors. With a top-of-the-line unit like the Pulsar Plus 40 Amp NEMA Ultra Compact Level 2 Electric Vehicle Smart Charger in your trunk, you can enjoy high tech electric vehicle charging with monitoring capabilities, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and much more.

What to know before you buy a portable electric car charger

If you live in the United States, make sure to get a Level II charger

Portable electric car chargers aren’t like regular portable electric chargers; given that the United States power grid infrastructure is based around the 120 V standard, Level I chargers will be unable to provide you with charging speeds which are sufficient for rapid recharging. As such, any portable electric car charger will need to be compliant with NEMA 6-20, 6-50, or 14-50 plugs, which are specific types of outlets commonly found in garages, laundry rooms and other areas with large power draws.

While such outlets are reasonably common, you may find you have to have one custom installed in your garage in order to make use of your Level II charger. Unless and until the United States makes the transition to a 240 V power grid, NEMA plugs are going to be your portable electric car charger’s best friend.

Understand the inherent dangers and purchase adaptable equipment

While this will hopefully comment no surprise to you, engaging with the amperage levels that a portable electric car charger is capable of producing can easily lead to injury or even death. Depending on your particular model of electric car, it may only be capable of using chargers that can produce a specific range of amperage. Since the batteries for electric cars are notoriously expensive and difficult to repair, it is highly advisable to consult your owner’s manual to ensure that any charger you purchase is compliant with the vehicle’s standards.

However, for those who can afford the more capable models of portable electric ca r charger, you can enjoy features including variable amp settings, which allows you to get around the need to use a NEMA plug by adjusting on the fly. Whether you are charging on a 16 W outlet or a 50 W outlet, you can ensure quality transmission of energy that can be monitored in real time.

Offers wide compatibility with major models and manufacturers of EV’s

If you happen to be fortunate enough to be driving around in a luxury electric vehicle such as the Porsche Taycan Turbo S or the Tesla Model S Plaid, more power to you. For everyone else who is driving around more affordable but still very impressive electric vehicles, you are blessedly free of having to purchase expensive and proprietary charging technology.

As such, all of the selected models of portable electric car charger have been specifically selected for their ability to service the vast majority of electric vehicles from a wide variety of manufacturers. Regardless of whether you drive a Nissan LEAF S, Chevrolet Bolt EV or BMW 5 Series 530e, any of these models will ensure your car charges swiftly and easily.

What to look for in a quality portable electric car charger

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to provide real-time monitoring

While not every model of portable electric provides such capabilities, being able to monitor the status of your car’s batteries through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is extremely convenient. In addition to providing real-time monitoring capabilities, some chargers can also adjust the required amperage levels by accessing free companion apps as needed.

In addition, those living in more urban environments or dealing with particularly expensive time- of-use electrical rates, you can fill up your car on the cheap and ensure you never go over with automatic scheduling functions. If you’re willing to invest a little more in your portable electric car charger, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Extra-long charging cables, simple charging indicators and faster charging

As anyone who has ever bought a new or refurbished smartphone can attest, the factory charging cable that is provided meets your basic needs but is often too short for practical use. Given the frustration that can be caused over charging your phone, imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t reach a convenient outlet and your electric vehicle was fully drained.

Thankfully for you, in addition to providing anywhere from three to seven times faster charging speeds than the factory equipment provided, all of the selected models of portable electric car charger feature cables anywhere from 21 to 25 feet in length. In addition, they all come with clear indicators that let you ensure a proper connection and inform you when your batteries are fully charged.

Provides sufficient levels of IPX protection to allow outdoor EV charging

While you might not happen to need the gasoline provided by the vast majority of service stations and convenience stores, you certainly might appreciate the overhang when dealing with inclement weather. As mentioned previously, dealing with electricity can be extremely dangerous, so you should ensure that any portable electric car charger is suitably constructed to prevent you from injury or worse.

For those who are unfamiliar, IPX stands for ingress protection and a larger number indicates a greater level of protection offered. When dealing with portable electric car chargers, it is highly advisable that you purchase a charger which is at least rated for IPX5 or IPX6 for waterproofing as well as protection from overheating, overvoltage and much more.

Portable electric car charger cost

Depending on your desired features and any budget constraints, a quality portable electric car charger can cost between $199-$650.

Best portable electric car charger FAQ

Is it alright to leave my electric vehicle plugged in overnight?

A. Since it is an industry standard practice to incorporate technology to prevent your vehicle from becoming overcharged, there should be no issues with leaving your vehicle to charge overnight.

Will cold weather affect the battery capacity and charging rate of my electric vehicle?

A. Unfortunately yes, cold weather can lead to significant decreases in your overall driving range as well as causing significantly longer charging times.

What’s the best portable electric car charger to buy?

Top portable electric car charger 

Pulsar Plus 40 Amp NEMA Ultra Compact Level 2 Electric Vehicle Smart Charger

Pulsar Plus 40 Amp NEMA Ultra Compact Level 2 Electric Vehicle Smart Charger

What you need to know: This top-of-the-line portable electric vehicle charger has impressive technical capabilities.

What you’ll love: This unit features the ability to charge at 50 A using NEMA plugs as well as conventional outlets with an adjustable capacity from 16A up to 40A. In addition, this unit offers live monitoring via Bluetooth and WiFi and a free companion app.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit malfunctioning following firmware updates.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top portable electric car charger for the money

MEGEAR Level 1-2 EV Charger(100-240V,16A) Portable EVSE Home Electric Vehicle Charging Station

MEGEAR Level 1-2 EV Charger(100-240V,16A) Portable EVSE Home Electric Vehicle Charging Station

What you need to know: This is an affordable and capable portable electric car charger.

What you’ll love: This unit features level 2 EVSE charging speed up to three times faster than the factory provided charger. In addition, this unit has IP55 rating waterproofing, UL94V-0 rating flame resistance and 12 months warranty with after sales service.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit failing within months of purchase.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lectron 240V-32 Amp, Level 2-EV Charger, with 21ft Long J1772 Charging Cable _ NEMA 14-50 Plug

Lectron 240V-32 Amp, Level 2-EV Charger, with 21ft Long J1772 Charging Cable & NEMA 14-50 Plug

What you need to know: A rugged and reliable portable electric car charger that has a 21-foot extension cord.

What you’ll love: This unit features a 240V 32 Amp Level 2 Electric Vehicle charger with a J1772 Cable and NEMA 14-50 Plug. In addition, this unit offers simple LED lights for charging levels and fault indicators.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit being prone to chronic overheating.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Daniel Martin  writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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