Once you’ve bought an electric car, you can become slightly obsessed with plugging in whenever you have the opportunity. That’s certainly the case for us at Electrifying – if we see a plug and are parked up, our natural instinct is to top up the battery - especially if the electricity on offer is free.
Most electric cars will be supplied with a cable when new, but often it is only the simple car-to-charger type, known as a Type 2. If you’re lucky you might get a three-pin ‘granny cable’ thrown in.
But if you don’t have a three-pin, the car maker will want £500+ to supply one.
Instead, it might make more sense to invest in an aftermarket cable which will be able to take power from any socket, from a domestic plug right up to the 32A power supplies you’ll usually find in commercial buildings.
We’ve been trying just such a cable, called the Juice Booster 2. It’s far from cheap at £948 (from www.juiceworld.com) but if you are considering splashing out on a charge cable from the car’s official dealer, the Booster might not be too much more expensive and opens up far more charging options.
It also seems to be far more efficient at getting power into your car. The electronics monitor the power flow and draw as much as possible from the grid, unlike the official granny chargers which will usually err on the side of caution and never take more than 2kW.
The Booster has stopped us feeling flat on filming locations
If you want to change the type of socket to a 32A or even a foreign type of plug, you just swap the head for one of three provided in the Juice’s zip-up case.
At its fastest, the Juice can take 22kW from a three-phase supply at a commercial property with a chunky electric supply - that’s 11 times faster than a normal domestic plug can provide and three times as fast as a domestic wallbox.
As cables have to live outside (and be reliable) in all weathers and survive being dropped or even run over occasionally, the Juice feels as though it will survive last a lifetime of abuse, with rubber bumpers and machined metal parts. It’s certainly worked faultlessly for us over several weeks.
A low-tech LED display shows when the car is charging and the strength of the power feed, letting you check at a glance that the electrons are reaching your battery.
It all works really well, and has allowed us to get charged quickly in multiple brands of cars, ranging from a Fiat 500 up to a Bentley. Unlike another similar cable we have been using, the Juice has put up with our constant use in all weathers too.
But there’s no denying it is pricey, and for the amount it costs we’d have expected some sort of connectivity or smart charging capability. That said, we’d be left feeling a little flat without a Juice in our lives.