J+ BOOSTER 2 Home/Travel EV Charger Review [Video]

Juice Booster 2 Home/Travel Charger Review

Zürich Switzerland-based Juice Technology AG aims to simplify home and travel charging with the Juice Booster 2, a level 1 and 2 portable charger that is tough as nails. We use it on our own EVs to find out how it fares.

As veterans, we often forget, but new EV owners don’t realize just how pitiful the stock charger is with a new electric car. Many manufacturers include a charger in the trunk that can charge with a regular 120v outlet. An overnight charge will add about 30-40 miles to the average EV, which isn’t enough for much more than daily tasks.

To get more use from their EV, The committed owner is obliged to install a dedicated 240v circuit in their home, and install a faster level 2 system which can charge most cars overnight. After power gets to the wall, an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment) is affixed to the home. Normally these are plastic boxes with a simple display that imitate larger pedestals at public charging stations. 

Why the Juice Booster 2?

The Juice Booster 2 is an ultra durable home EVSE, which can also be fitted with native connector types and taken on the road. The unit itself will determine all the proper input and output automatically, and charge the car so long as the power source plug (or adapter) is plugged in. On the face of the enclosure is a simple binary indicator for Faults, Current, and Mode. Changing mode will changes the display from a light to dark mode, in case the persistent blinking charging indicator bothers you (although, many EVs have their own light display that can’t be turned off).

The current offering for the USA market features a J1772 plug, which is standard for most makes of electric vehicles, at least for now. Going into the power source, Juice has a variety of connectors available, including TT-30, 6-50, 6-15, 6-20, and 5-20.

Juice Booster Display

Juice Booster 2 at home

As a home unit, the Juice Booster 2 can charge up to 22kw with the right power source. At this rate, most any EV will be charged overnight. This is a much faster top current compared to many competitors, which cap at 12kw. Will your home outlet provide that kind of power, and is that the speed at which you want to charge your car every day? Probably not. Thanks to the current selector on the Juice Booster 2, the charger can be tailored to provide the right amount of power without charging the car too fast over the lifetime of the battery.

Scuffed up the rubber cup, but oh well.

Juice Booster durability

Plastic, wall mounted home EVSE units are not durable. They sit cozy on the wall, and that’s their lot in life. The Juice Booster 2 is made to withstand the elements, and immense crushing weight. The unit is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance, and is tough enough to be run over with a 5,000 lb electric car. I did it twice myself.

While this kind of durability seems like a parlor trick, it’s super practical considering that these units are sometimes left straddling the garage, and prominently placed in the pathways of vehicle tires. Not having to worry about squashing a charger solves one of the first concerns of new EV owners.

Nema 5-10 Connector (Included)

Juice Booster 2 abroad

Traveling with an EV is a new experience for many, one that requires less and less planning as time goes on. The Juice Booster 2 is sold as a travel charger that can be plugged into a variety of sources, using their native connector, or 3rd party adapters. This feature seems to have a lot more value in other markets, like Europe, where regularly crossing borders result in different plugs and voltage levels that require adaptation.

Home Outlet/Nema 5-15 Plug (Included)

In the land of stars and stripes, this feature is less useful. Traveling on the road, (and not using public chargers) the only outlet of regularity is the common 120v home outlet. Plugging into a 240v dryer or oven outlet is certainly possible, but how often do we need this charger, and also feel comfortable asking our house hosts to use them?

With L6-30 Adapter (Not Included)

Juice Booster 2 use case

I’m going to imagine that many USA customers won’t get much value from the travel application of the Juice Booster 2, but here is an illustration to show how it can be great.

Every couple months or so, we pack up the kids for a trip to the grandparent’s house, which happens to be in the country. Their small town doesn’t have a public charger nearby, and likely won’t for some time. Our EV can make a round trip from the closest public charger, but we like to charge after arriving, especially in the winter.

Juice Booster plugged in

Grandpa has been trying for years to justify his welding equipment, which required a specialty 240v outlet in the garage. With the use of a simple adapter, we were able to plug in the Juice Booster 2, and solve three issues: #1, charge up the car, #2, make Grandma feel like we will come over more often, and #3, justify Grandpa’s largely unnecessary expenditure (he uses it like once every five years).

After running it over, twice. (Included wall mount)

Electrek’s Take

After using the Juice Booster 2 for some time, I think it’s a great option for someone getting their first home EVSE. The design is impressively durable, and I really like the source connector, as it locks into place and confirms a great purchase on the plug. The ease of mind for durability and whether resistance is top notch, especially if a car has to be charged without a garage or cover.

If you have circumstances anything like mine, then the Juice Booster 2 could be a surprisingly good fit for your car. On the other hand, if you already have a home EVSE, and a 120v trickle charger in the trunk, then you’re pretty much set.

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J+ BOOSTER 2 Home/Travel EV Charger Review [Video]

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