Juice Americas launched its portable two-in-one EV charger, the J+ BOOSTER 2, in North America last fall and invited Electrek to review it. Here’s how it went.
July 6, 2023 update: The J+ BOOSTER 2 set is now available on Walmart’s website, as well as on Amazon.
December 27, 2022:
J+ BOOSTER 2 specs
Juice Americas is the US subsidiary of Swiss-based Juice Technology AG. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based Juice Americas sent me the J+ BOOSTER 2 set, which included a cloth-covered bag with velcro on the bottom so that it doesn’t slide around in the trunk; the J+ BOOSTER 2 with an SAE J1772 vehicle connector; and NEMA 14-50 and 5-15 adapters.
It also comes with a wall bracket, and that’s why the company says it’s a two-in-one: It can be used as both a wall charger and a portable charger.
Michael Boehm, managing director of Juice Americas, told Electrek in a video call:
In the US, people like wall chargers at home. Ours is just as fast if not faster, plus it has the added value of portability. We like to call it a portable wall charger. It’s basically a 2-in-1. Because most portable chargers are not really designed to be everyday chargers.
Adapters for NEMA 6-15, 6-50, and TT-30 charging outlets are now available for purchase as of this month.
The company is also now offering the 120-240 VAC, 40A heavy-duty cable in an extended 25-foot length option (list price $749.97) in addition to its original 21-foot length option (list price $699.97).
The 2.2-pound (1 kg) BOOSTER 2 is IP67 water and dust proof, and its aluminum housing is UV resistant, so it’s safe for outdoor use. It can withstand 6,600 pounds of pressure if you accidentally run over it with your car.
And the J+ BOOSTER 2 is compatible with any EV, including Teslas, if you use Tesla’s J1772 adapter.
J+ BOOSTER 2 review
The BOOSTER 2’s power input options cover all supply current variants, either 120V or 240V, and from 6 to 40 amps. The unit delivers a charging power ranging from 720 W to 9.6 kW. In my garage is a NEMA 6-50 outlet with a 30 amp breaker (I didn’t install it) and a standard 5-15 outlet.
If I charge my 2021 Tesla Model 3 with Tesla’s portable EV charger, for which I have adapters for both outlets, I just plug it in, and the car takes care of the rest. Tesla’s 6-50 adapter can handle a maximum 32 amp output.
When I plugged in the J+ BOOSTER 2 charger to charge my 2023 Volkswagen ID.4, it initially worked:
But the charger defaulted to 40 amp capability, tried to draw too much power, and eventually tripped the box.
The function display flashed a red LED “socket” fault indication. (Error messages are explained on page 15 of the product’s manual.)
I unplugged the BOOSTER 2 to reset the charger. My electrician also told me I could hold the “select” button down to reset it, but it doesn’t say that in the manual.
The permanent solution to my problem was to manually change the amperage by pressing the select button on the function display. I set it for 24 amps, and it now charges my VW ID.4 without tripping the box.
If I’d read the manual more carefully, I probably would have avoided this glitch. The Swiss are considering including a quick start guide for North America, which would be great for those of us who are a wee bit impatient.
Know your amperage and set the charger accordingly if necessary.
If you already have a Level 2 EV wall charger and a portable EV charger that can charge at both Level 1 and Level 2, along with necessary adapters, then you probably don’t need a J+ BOOSTER 2.
If your utility offers special EV charging rates if you use their wall charger, then the BOOSTER 2 might not be your best option for everyday charging.
But if you are a new EV owner, and your car doesn’t come with a portable EV charger, and you haven’t yet installed an EV wall charger and won’t get special charging rates from your utility, then the BOOSTER 2 is a great option.
You don’t need to pay an electrician to install it, and you only need to buy one charger, so it’s cost effective.
Hang it on the wall bracket to charge up at home, and take it with you when you travel.
As a two-EV household, we found this to be a great option as it’s versatile, reliable, and portable.
Just remember to RTFM.
Photos: Juice Americas
(Editor’s note: Product links are affiliate links.)
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