Even though SEMA has has received more of Warning this week there is arguably a bigger gathering going on right now at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. A newly formed small business called ZipCharge launched a portable EV charger at the annual United Nations climate change conference. And while the device does have some drawbacks, it could help drivers with range anxiety.
This is similar to portable battery our own Jason torchinsky thought about it years ago, and this one is called the ZipCharge Go. The company says it will provide a range of 20 to 40 miles. It’s a big difference! Likewise, the charging time varies from 30 to 60 minutes. The range and duration depend on the model of EV charging, the capacity of the EV and the outside temperature.
The Go itself charges from household outlets, which means no special equipment is needed. It uses a Type 2 plug, which is standard in the EU, but differs from the J1772 plug used in the US market. So you couldn’t just buy one and have it shipped to the United States when it goes on sale next year.
ZipCharge Go’s sales model is also unclear. The BBC reports that the outright price is unknown, but a monthly subscription could cost Â£ 49, or around $ 66. That’s way too much, if you ask me! Also, subscriptions suck.
In a way, it’s a modern companion to a spare tire – although full size spare parts are unfortunately no longer common. I know I would want both a spare tire and a spare battery next to my luggage if I was traveling by car with an electric vehicle.
ZipCharge even compares it to a suitcase, and it looks like generic rolling luggage, although it weighs around 50 pounds. But the company doesn’t think Go’s usefulness is limited to its use as a spare battery. It indicates that the portable charger is good for recharging while on the go, or for those who don’t have a charger at home. Like, say, people who live in an apartment building.
I’m not sure I would agree, as I probably wouldn’t leave it connected to my car unattended and would be more reluctant to leave it next to my car if I was parked on the street. It might just be me, but it looks like someone could easily unplug it and roll it up. However, the Go will have cellular connectivity, according to the BBC, intended for use with a smartphone app, so it can be easy to follow.
Overall, the ZipCharge Go is a good idea. A 20 mile boost is small, but it could come in handy in an emergency. A 40 mile boost, on the other hand, is substantial and could convince someone electric worm that has been on the fence.