The SparkCharge Roadie Portable Charger for Electric Cars
Jerry cans have been the solution for years. Call up AAA and they’ll bring you a couple of gallons of gas to get you back on your way. But electric cars face new problems, especially with charge times. So what can you do if your car runs out of charge away from a charging station? SparkCharge may have the answer, with their Roadie portable charger.
The Roadie isn’t just a charger, it’s a fast charger
There’s an array of chargers across the country, with the fast charger network expanding more each day. But it’ll be years before they’re as abundant as gas stations, and the remaining Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations take hours to fill up the battery. The Roadie, however, is a Level 3 DC fast charger that can fill up a car.
The Roadie uses a CSC charging connector, which is one of the most common fast-charging outlets around. That means the Roadie is available for most electric cars on the road today. But, similar to a jerry can, the Roadie can’t fill your car up all the way. It can charge a mile a minute, which is 14x faster than Level 1 chargers. But the amount of miles you charge depends on how many Roadie batteries you use and how long you’re willing to wait.
How does the Roadie portable charger work?
One thing that makes the Roadie Batteries stand out is that they’re modular. Depending on how many miles of range you need, you can stack the batteries on top of each other. There are three packages: Package 1 uses two batteries and the charger, Package 2 uses three batteries and a charger, and Package 3 uses four batteries and a charger. Depending on your car, Package 1 can give you 20-28 miles of range, whereas Package 3 can get 40-56 miles.
These batteries take just four hours to recharge from any traditional power outlet, and while they weigh 51-pounds a pop, they could be a lot heavier. You’ll have the option of calling someone to bring the battery to you or buying the batteries yourself and keeping them in the car. The majority of people will have to go for the latter option, or get their own electric car generator, as the SparkCharge network and it’s availability is currently very small.
Where do you have access to it, and for how much?
As of now, you can call for a Roadie in Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco. Three major cities, each with a very strong electric car presence. But that leaves the rest of the nation S.O.L. On top of that, purchases of the Roadie are limited to commercial use only. So the average joe can’t just stuff a bunch of these in the back of their EV and set off.
If you’re one of the lucky few that have access to the ChargeUp network, you can subscribe to the program for just $25 bucks a month. This includes unlimited charging from anywhere in the area, and you don’t even have to be by the car. So if you’re at work and just want a boost, you go onto the app and let SparkCharge know.
It’s a promising and convenient solution to the most prominent electric car problem. But whether it’ll take off in the rest of the country before more electric car charging stations pop up is yet to be determined. All we know for sure is that the Roadie is a promising stepping stone to personal, portable charging.