AeroVironment Unveils Small Format $599 Portable Charger

By · January 30, 2014

Aerovironment Turbocord

AeroVironment, a leading supplier of electric vehicle charging equipment, today unveiled TurboCord, a portable charging cord that weighs less than five pounds and plugs directly into electrical outlets. The availability of TurboCord follows a trend of EV charging equipment becoming smaller, simpler, and more affordable.

The dual-mode version of TurboCord that accommodates 240-volt 16-amperage as well as 120-volt charging sells for $649, while the 240-volt only version is available for $599.

When the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt first went on sale in late 2010—and throughout 2011 and 2012—some sellers of EV charging stations offered hardware with special branding, connectivity features, and other bells and whistles. Some long-time EV drivers complained that these products were unnecessarily expensive. But since that time, as the EV market matured, and after-market products such as EVSEUpgrade emerged, the price and complexity of charging stations have been reduced.

See our Quick Guide to Buying Your First Home EV Charger, which indicates that consumers should not spend more than about $600 for a home charging station.

Aerovironment Turbocord

It is generally advisable for charging equipment to be rated for 30 amps—so that EVs with relatively large battery packs can take full advantage of the capabilities of the 6.6-kilowatt charging rate used on most of today’s EVs. However, the TurboCord and other 16-amp cord sets are portable and especially well-suited for plug-in hybrids.

“Research shows that plug-in hybrid owners are charging wherever they can to squeeze out more electric miles to avoid using gasoline,” said Wahid Nawabi, senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Efficient Energy Systems business segment. “ TurboCord’s portability and power are perfect for these drivers because they now have the option to charge faster with our dual-voltage cordset.”

Aerovironment said that if owners already have a NEMA 6-20R 240-volt outlet near their desired charging location, then TurboCord is as easy as plugging in and charging. No installation required. If they do not have a NEMA 6-20R outlet, an electrician can install one for as little as $250. TurboCord is now available for purchase on Amazon.com or AeroVironment’s website TurboCord.com.

AeroVironment is a well-respected supplier. TurboCord comes with key safety features, such as waterproofing for indoor and outdoor charging, all-environment operation and built-in thermal sensors for protection against faulty wiring or inadequate power.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
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  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
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  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.