The EGO Power+ Nexus Portable Power Station is a portable power generator, but instead of using a gasoline engine, it uses batteries to generate electricity.
EGO is a company I came to know five years ago when I reviewed its battery-powered lawn mower. It makes a full line of outdoor tools, including string trimmers, edgers, chain saws, blowers and hedge trimmers, that all use the same battery.
About the size of a drink cooler, the Power+ has built-in handles for carrying and slots to attach up to four EGO 56-volt batteries. The Power+ will work with one battery attached, but its run time will increase as you add more batteries.
The base unit weighs 44 pounds, and each 7.5-amp hour weighs 6.3 pounds. A lugging it around will give you a workout. I wish it came with wheels.
The front panel has the power outlets. There are four USB ports and three regular 120V AC plugs. You can turn the ports on and off with buttons on the front panel or via a smartphone app that can connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The Power+ can output a continuous 2,000 watts of power, with 3,000 watts of peak power.
Different battery capacities
EGO has been making 56-volt batteries for many years, and they are all compatible with the Power+.
That said, EGO makes 56-volt batteries with different capacities ranging from 2 Ah up to 7.5 Ah. You’ll get more run time from batteries with more amp hours.
As you would expect, the larger batteries are more expensive.
The prices range from $129 for the 2 Ah battery up to $349 for the 7.5 Ah battery.
The Power+ comes as a kit with the base unit and two 7.5 Ah batteries for $1,197.
EGO products are available at Home Depot and Ace Hardware stores and other independent dealers. You can see the dealers on the EGO website.
The Power+ doesn’t mind if you mix and match any combination of old or new batteries of any capacity.
Connecting to power
When you first unpack the Power+, you’ll need to plug it into the wall to charge the batteries. That will take the good part of a day, depending on the number of batteries and their capacity. The display on the front will show you how much time is left before the batteries are fully charged.
When you’re ready to use some power, unplug the unit from the wall and press the small button under the ports you need to use. The ports are covered when they are not in use. The Power+ is weatherproof if you install all the included covers.
When you press the power button, the display shows how much run time you can expect under the current load.
Don’t pay any attention to the amount of time left until you connect your devices. Once you connect a TV or fan, the unit will automatically calculate the electricity usage rate and show you how much time is left before the batteries are exhausted.
The display refreshes often and adjusts if you change what’s charging. Even turning my fan to a higher speed made the display update to show a little less time available.
If you connect devices that pull more power than the Power+ can provide, the unit shuts down. There’s a reset button you’ll need to press before it’ll continue working.
What can it run?
The Power+ can run almost anything you have in your house.
How long it can keep those things running depends on how much power is drawn and the capacity of the batteries installed. A Power+ with four 7.5 Ah batteries can provide 1,680 watt-hours of power.
My 55-inch LED TV uses 170 watts per hour, which means I can get about 10 hours of viewing before I need to recharge.
I will admit, I connected my TV to the Power+ for a few hours during last week’s power outage so I could watch the NBA Finals.
My other power needs included a CPAP machine and a fan. I was able to power both with time to spare during the night.
Everyone’s needs will be different. The nice thing about the Power+ is that you can swap out batteries during use. The newest EGO batteries have a five-bar fuel gauge on top. Older batteries have a status light (green or red). As the batteries become exhausted, you can simply pull one out and drop a fresh one in its place. The hot-swap only works if you have more than one battery powering your base unit.
The Power+ can run most 15-amp power tools unless the tool’s motor requires more than 3,000 watts to start up.
If I were going to need to use it long term (and money wasn’t an option), I could have 10 batteries ready to go and just swap them out as I exhausted the ones in use. You’d have to pre-charge them, of course.
EGO is also going to offer a solar charging option for the Power+ later this year. Pricing hasn’t been released, but it will be a great accessory to have if power is out for an extended period. You’ll be able to keep the batteries charged with the sun.
The Power+ can be controlled from a smartphone app that connects via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The app shows the ports, which can be powered on or off remotely. You can also check the charge left on your batteries and see the amount of power being output and the time remaining on the battery life.
The EGO Power+ Nexus Portable Power Station is really handy to have in a power outage. Trust me.
But there are plenty of other uses: when you need power at a campout or during an afternoon watching your kids’ soccer tournament. It would be great for tossing in the back of a pickup to do some work with power tools far away from any power source.
There are certainly gasoline-powered generators that can run longer and provide more power, but those can be loud and must be used outdoors with long extension cords.
Setting up the Power+ on the kitchen counter next to the refrigerator is simple.
The cost is a factor. Adding two more batteries to this kit brings the price up to $1,895.
If you have other EGO products and batteries, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Pros: Quiet, plenty of output and swappable batteries.
Cons: Not cheap, heavy and no pass-through power.
Bottom line: It’s great in a power outage and has plenty of other uses, too.
Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at email@example.com.
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