top of page
Car Dashboard

PlugOut v4.1 vs Power Station Comparison

The Plug-Out and hybrid/plugin car combo makes a phenomenal power source. Think about it. The hybrid or plugin (e-car) is already a great DC generator with motor and generator keeping the hybrid battery full. The Plug-Out Inverter adds high quality, pure sine wave, AC/DC power output from the hybrid's battery.  The same AC power/stored energy capabilities can be had, at smaller power, from a 12v inverter using the e-car’s 12v system.


Now, consider a new product category; portable power stations.  These packs provide a battery and charger to store energy from the grid, and inverter with sockets to turn battery power into AC power for appliances.  There are smaller portable stations offering quite limited energy storage and inverter power.  The larger wheeled carts offer larger luggable inverters-batteries with solar options. 


The idea of using an inverter with a hybrid/plug-in car offers an alternative design for mobile power that has many advantages over the battery power packs for the same uses.  Hybrids/plugins have huge energy storage reservoirs already paid for.  Inverters can be sized to suite the need. 

  • A full car tank offers 10-100x energy storage vs portable power stations.

  • Inverters on the car can be more powerful and need no external battery
    for lower weight, size, and cost.

Camping pushes the limited capacity of a power station battery, but requires only a small fraction of a car’s capacity.  Camping requirements can vary from:                       Needs                   Wants

  • a few lights and accessory charging,                                             500w                    1kw

  • to adding food prep and/or entertainment devices,                     1kw                       2kw

  • to adding cooking ability.                                                                 3kw                       5kw

Emergency power at home is more like the last category, and is beyond the capacity of most battery power stations, except for light and short term use.  The hybrid/plugin car however has much larger capabilities in power and stored energy and can be quite useful for emergency situations.

We’ll compare the Power Stations vs an e-car + inverter design.  The e-car inverters are offered in two ways:  a 1000w 12v inverter for a low power option, and a PlugOut 3kw and 5kw for higher power options.  Note the 12v inverter is not supplied by PlugOut Power, but it can be bought from many 3rd party sources.  The Power Stations and prices are from GoalZero, Jackery amd Generark websites,
April 2021. 

Small Systems <= 1kw:   Cost approx        Power [watts]    Storage [wh]       Weight  [lbs]             Space [ft3]

Yeti 500 Power Stn           $700.                     300                       500                      13                            .4

Jackery 500                       $450                      500                       500                      13                            .5

Jackery 1000                     $1000                   1000                     1000                     22                           .75

Generarc 1                         $1100                   1000                     1000                     22?                      .75              

12v Inverter 1000              $250                     1000                     70,000                  5                             .25 

If you have an e-car [hybrid or plug-in], there is a HUGE Advantage to using just an inverter. 


Larger Systems > 1kw:    Cost approx        Power [watts]    Storage [wh]       Weight  [lbs]           Space [ft3]

Yeti 1500                            $2000                  2000                     1500                     45                          1.1

Generarc 2                         $2200                  2000?                   2000                     44?                       1.5              

PlugOut 3kv4.1 +pigtail    $2500                  3200                     70,000                  50                          .9

Jackery 2000                     $2100                  2200                     2000                     43                          1.3

Generarc 1                         $3300                  3000                     3000                     66?                       2.2              

Yeti 3000                            $3200                  2000                     3000                     70                          1.4

Yeti 6000                            $5000                  2000                     6000                     107                        1.6

PlugOut 5kv4.1 +pigtail    $3000                  5200                     70,000                  55                          1.5

Adding solar options to the Battery Power Stations adds some storage potential, but adds still more cost, bulk, weight and setup requirements. 
The car has so much energy storage already that solar is not necessary with PlugOut for mobile uses. 

If you have an e-car, there is a Big advantage to using the PlugOut inverter,  energy storage over 10x better, inverters are about 1/2 the weight and bulk.  Setup is easier and quicker.


No matter the use, more energy storage means less distraction from energy sufficiency.  More power means less concern over what appliances to use.  Having enough power to replace open fire reduces health and site-damage risks and increases the number of places where you can camp [ex: shady areas, dry zones, desert].

PlugOut inverters can be mounted on a camper, 5th wheel, RV, mobile home, or cabin, even combined with solar panels and solar battery for longer camping/vacation. 

Using the car to recharge solar batteries adds a whole new dimension to remote/off-grid energy use!

bottom of page