Last week I had a timely reminder of why having a battery power station at home is a good thing these days, when our power went down for about three hours. I use a laptop for work, so that shouldn’t be an issue. However, losing power also means the lights go out, my external computer monitor goes down, and we lose internet access (even though internet service was not affected, no power means the ISP’s gateway goes down). No coffee, either! However, I was not impacted at all, because I have a high capacity battery power station in my office.
The power outage also happened to coincide with the winding down of testing on one of the more capable battery power stations I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate: the Mango Power E. If you don't have coverage for a power outage, you might want to read on about this one.
The Mango Power E makes a very good first impression. Manufacturing quality seems high–plastic color is uniform, edges are smooth, panels are aligned and it feels solid. I liked the design, which is functional but not boring. The Power E is a two-tone gray box with rounded edges, black background for the inputs and outputs, air vents on the sides, handles on the top for lifting and a 4.3-inch, high resolution color touchscreen display. It has a huge array of power outputs on its front, including four AC power outlets. With a 3533 Wh LFP battery, you know the Power E is going to be heavy and at just a hair over 100 pounds, you’ll probably want two people if you want to lift this thing.
However, portability is not an extra-cost option for this power station. Built-in wheels and a telescoping handle are standard. If it’s on a reasonably flat surface, one person can easily wheel it around.
High Capacity, High Output, Premium CATL Batteries
The Power E has 16 different power outputs, so it can power or charge virtually any device or appliance. Its four AC outlets are each rated for 20A and can output a combined 3000W. While many portable power stations call it quits if you try to run a high-draw appliance like an electric kettle, space heater or a microwave, the Mango Power E easily handles these. With a battery capacity of 3533 Wh, the Power E will keep devices running for a long time as well.
This power station uses high quality LFP batteries made by CATL, a company known for being the world’s largest supplier of batteries to the EV industry. As a result the Power E is rated to retain 70% of its initial battery capacity after 6,000 charge cycles. The company estimates that this translates into a roughly 20-year lifespan with frequent use and Mango Power backs up the batteries with a 10-year warranty.
While the Mango Power E is very capable on its own and could be used as a home power backup or a portable power station for camping, one of its key strengths is expandability. The base Power E can be upgraded through optional accessories. These include a 3500 Wh expansion battery, a 240 split-phase kit, a kit to connect into a home’s electrical panel and solar panels.
Ultimately you could grow an initial Mango Power E power station into a whole home power supply that automatically switches over to battery power when the grid goes down, with 14kWh capacity, 6000W AC output and solar recharging. That would be an investment considerably beyond the $4,250 price for the first Mango Power E, but you would be able to seamlessly shrug off any power outages.
Mango Power E Key Specs:
3533 Wh LFP CATL battery rated for 6,000 charge cycles at 70% capacity
3000W continuous power
16 output ports ( 4 x AC, 2 x USB-C, 6x USB Type-A, 1 x AC TT-30P, 2 x DC 5521, 1 x 12V DC car
4.3-inch built-in LCD touchscreen display (480 x 800 resolution)
Integrated wheels and telescoping handle
Supports 240V split phase with a second Power E station and optional Mango Power mSocket Pro
Supports whole home backup with optional Mango Power mPanel Pro
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
Supports fast charging (up to 80% in one hour)
Capacity expandable using optional 3500 Wh Mango Power E expansion battery packs
Optional solar panels
Mobile app (note: one mobile device only)
IP21 water resistance rating, operational temperature of -4°F to 113°F
Meets all U.S. and International Safety and EMI Standards
10-year battery warranty, 5-year comprehensive warranty
17.8 x 13.6 x 19.4 inches, weighs 100.1 lbs
Hands-On With The Mango Power E
The Power E was able to easily run any of the small appliances in my kitchen, including an electrical kettle, toaster and an air fryer. If we had an extended power outage, I definitely wouldn’t starve. Mango Power says the Power E can also recharge a smartphone 270 times, or run a typical CPAP machine for 75 hours.
I lugged the review unit over to my in-laws for a tougher hands-on test. It was connected to a full-sized refrigerator and a full-sized chest freezer. It kept the pair running for nearly 20 hours.
Next, the appliances were left plugged in and the Power E was connected to power and switched into Backup Mode–this is the mode you would use if the power station was set to automatically kick in and replace the household electrical supply for anything plugged into it during a blackout. So, with the refrigerator and freezer both running (and plugged into the Power E), and the default 500W charging setting selected (you can also opt for 1800W fast charging), it took about 9.5 hours for the Power E’s battery to charge back to 100% capacity.
My father-in-law pointed out that you do want to be careful in Backup mode to make certain that the appliances and devices plugged into the Power E don't exceed the amperage of the circuit the power station itself is plugged into–and that you leave some overhead for the power station to recharge as well.
The one issue we encountered here is that the mobile app would only let one smartphone have access to the power station. For a different phone to gain access, the current phone would need to be unpaired. I confirmed with Mango Power that this is a security feature, but it did prevent me from remotely monitoring the Power E’s stats.
Overall, the Mango Power E delivered a strong performance.
The Mango Power E is an imposing, but impressive battery power station. Yes, it’s big (and heavy), but built-in wheels and a telescoping handle make the size a lot easier to deal with–at least if you stick to one floor. Out of the box this battery power station’s specs, capabilities and wide range of outputs should satisfy the home backup needs of most people. However, it can also be expanded through optional accessories to be the heart of a comprehensive whole-home power backup solution, wired right into the home’s electrical panel.
The only real knock I have against the Mango Power E is it’s price, which is on the high end for a 3.5kWh power station. However, if you weigh the price against factors like design and quality, battery life, outputs, available accessories and warranty, that does take some of the sting out of the initial cost. So does the prospect of recouping 30% of that cost through a tax credit (for American buyers).
Disclosure: Mango provided a Power E for evaluation purposes but had no input into this review.
Written by: Brad Moon, Forbes
Updated Dec 3, 2023,05:43pm EST