It’s late at night, you’ve parked down a dark alley in the city and taken off for dinner. You come back and your car won’t start. Flat battery. Uh oh.
Australian company Laser has released the Portable Power Bank and Car Jump Starter, which it claims to have designed for situations just like this.
To be fair, it’s a lot harder to flatten the battery of a new car today than in years gone by, thanks to features such as auto-off headlights and audible warnings that let you know if you’ve left the car vulnerable to battery drain.
Despite all this, flat batteries can still happen. In addition to being able to bring your dead car back to life, Laser’s power bank and jump starter can also charge smartphones, tablets and cameras quicker than the USB or 12V outlets in most cars via mini and micro USB, 30pin and 9pin Apple connectors. Even the old iPhone 4 is covered.
The unit weighs around 400 grams and Laser claims its lithium battery holds its charge for up to six months. It’s charged either via mains power when plugged into a normal household socket or can be charged via a 12V connector in the car while you’re driving. From a full charge, it’s capable of jump-starting a car 13 times. It needs to have at least 20 per cent charge to deliver a jolt.
The power bank also has an LED with three different settings (single beam, fast flashing or slow flashing) to assist with visibility in the dark, to attract attention or act as a safety signal.
With the starter button pressed to accessories mode, we do everything we can to drain the battery as quickly as possible: high beams on, hazard lights flashing, air conditioning cranking, stereo blasting and every USB and 12V port filled charging phones, iPads and GoPro cameras.
Our efforts don’t take long to have the desired effect. Within about an hour the lights start to flicker and strobe. Then one by one, the functions and lights fade.
We connect the included jumper leads to their respective positive and negative points and plug the cable into the fully charged battery pack.
We power it up and… the ignition starts straight away.
Typically it’s important to drive around for a while after jump-starting your car to replenish the battery, but with one of Hyundai’s tech team on hand, we hook up the Santa Fe to a supercharger and it’s soon as good as new.
The Laser Portable Power Bank and Car Jump Starter retails for $129.95.
Click on the Photos tab for more images by Christian Barbeitos.