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BatPower Car Charger for MacBook and MacBook Pro (USB-C and MagSafe Models)
Related: accessories, Apple iOS, Apple iPhone and iPad, iOS, laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, USB, USB-C
The diminutive BatPower CPD 110W PD USB-C Car Charger for MacBook Pro @AMAZON plugs into the cigarette lighter socket standard in vehicles to directly charge any MacBook or MacBook Pro with USB-C ports (2016 and 2017 and later models).
There is also a version with cables for the 2015/2014/2013 MacBook Pro and earlier ones as well; both cables are included, the BatPower CCA 110W Laptop Car Charger for Macbook Pro, MacBook Air and MacBook (2006-2015 Mac laptops) @AMAZON.
- Charges a MacBook Pro at 90 watts (the maximum)
- Two high power USB-A ports
- Total charging power of 110 watts.
- The BatPower Laptop PD technology automatically detects and delivers 5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V(Max90W), based on your devices needs.
- Charges MacBook Pro and many other devices.
- CPD Car Charger size: 3 inches (L) x 1.8 inches (W) x 1 inches (H) Weight: 3 ounces.
- Packing list: BatPower CPD Car Charger Adapter, PD USB-C Converter, Type C Charging Cable, Instructions Manual.
- Warranty: 30 days money back or exchange, free 18 months warranty. (Note: Sold by BatPower only).
The only difference between the two models seems to be the supplied cables, because the high power socket on the charger can accept all three cables interchangeably: a USB-C charger cable, 2012-2016 MagSafe Charger cable, or a 2011 and earlier MagSafe Cable. Thus one could buy the USB-C version and then add the BatPower 5M2 Charging Cable for 2012 to 2015 Retina MBP MBA and MB @AMAZON to be able to charge a 2012-2015 MacBook Pro.
The design is well considered: one port on the BatPower charger, takes any of the three kinds of cables, thus making it a quite versatile charger should one have both USB-C and MagSafe Apple laptops—well done!
MPG tested the BatPower charger in two vehicles. In both case, the the charging performance was impressive, with rapid gains in battery charge, just like a wall charger.
MPG drained a 2017 MacBook Pro to 16% battery level. Charging over a 43 minute trip, the charge went from 16% to 67% in 43 minutes. Returning home (another 43 minutes), it went up to 99% charge. Adding that up: 16% charge to 99% charge in 86 minutes*. An iPhone was also connected and being used to listent to music, so there was additional draw from the iPhone while the MBP charged.
With a 76 watt hour battery in the 2017 MacBook Pro, that charge rate suggests 63 watt hours in 86 minutes, or roughly 0.73 watt hours per minute. That equates to 44 watt hours per hour for a battery at 20 volts. This implies at least a DC input @ 12.4 volts = 71 watts (44*20/12.4). But since there is some power draw when sleeping and approaching 99% charge does not draw anywhere near the full charge current, the BatPower is probably drawing something closer to 90 watts in its bulk charging stage.
Going from 16% to 67% in 43 minutes is a gain of 51% of capacity or 39 watt hours in 43 minutes ~= 54 watt hours per hour for the bulk charge phase:
54 watt hours/hour * 20 volts * / 12.4 volts = 87 watts
... which is very close to the rated 90 watts. It supports the idea that the BatPower performs as advertised or close to it, at least during the bulk charge phase with the computer sleeping.
Charge behavior and power draw could differ with active use. For example, it is possible to use a MacBook Pro hard enough to draw 75 watts. If power supply can supply 90 watts, that’s only 15 watts remaining to charge a depleted battery.
* This of course averages out the bulk charge phase with the diminishing trickle charge phase as the laptop becomes nearly fully charged. Actual charge rage is thus almost certainly higher than 47 watts per hour
The BatPower charger did become hot, but not overly so and it does not make any noise or otherwise show any issues. Indeed enough current was flowing (90 watts is about 7 amps) that the end pin on the BatPower as well as the socket of the outlet were quite hot (not burning hot, but hot). That is what happens when high amperage goes through a wire—expected behavior. A little bit of A/C directed at the charger unit dispelled the heat quite well.
In addition to the 90 watt laptop charging port, USB devices like the iPhone charge very quickly on the two high power USB-A ports. Thus one can charge two iPhones and a laptop all from one handy little device.
MPG needs more time in the field to use the BatPower charger, but so far it looks to be an outstanding choice for charging laptops and phones in the car.
Like most vehicles, the vehicle used to test charging does not like a steady raw of 90 watts for more than 10 minutes or so; it cuts power to protect the battery. Many vehicles won’t even provide power when the engine is off—starting the engine resolves that issue.