Interesting chat with Andy Harris, MD of the most excellent (IMHO) RoadPro company at the NEC last Friday whilst he made me a cup of coffee from a coffee machine driven by an inverter powered by a Lithium Power Pack known as an EZA. Plenty of information available as to the technical side which I need not go into (succinct summary by Out and About Live here). My interest is on a purely subjective level with a brand new van and 440 Amp Hours of batteries on board – would it work for me?
RoadPro only stock quality kit so if Andy is distributing it then in terms of reliability and build I think that can be taken for granted. What took me by surprise was the notion that this would actually replace my leisure batteries all together – could that really work?
So, the premise is, the EZA when fully charged is 125 Amp Hours, unlike a battery you can use at least 95% of that power and running the engine for 20 minutes will put 30 amps back in it if you need to. We are a pretty heavy user and like to be ‘off the grid’ as much as we can. This is currently achieved via the leisure batteries supported by engine charging and a 2.9KVA onboard Dometic generator. Internally we have a 1200 watt inverter which runs a few (4 or 5?) of the plug sockets and entertainment system with the remainder only ‘live’ when on hook up or running the Genny.
This is not a cheap piece of kit at say £3,000 BUT we wouldn’t (according to Andy) need the Genny – saving roughly the same amount.
My conclusion? If you like to be off the grid and move around regularly then this probably is a practical alternative. If you wild camp and stay in one spot for a few days then running the engine for 15 to 20 minutes is a bit like running the Genny. I think you would absolutely also want to invest in solar panels – as much as you can get (or link two EZAs together for double the power, double the time – and double the price). Then I again think this is practical. If you like to go to the Alps for skiing and are likely to encounter temperature below -10 degrees with no hook up then that might be an issue as I believe that is the noted operational temperature minimum. EDIT FEB 29TH Temperature may not be an issue if the EZA is mounted in the garage or double floor and heating is on.
I do think it is a great alternative to the EFOY which I have often looked at but always shied away because of carrying and obtaining the methanol fuel.
It will be interesting to see if the EZA catches on and ideally would be offered as an option when specifying your vehicle – it would be a great solution for a lot of people.