EGO Power Station Review: What You Need To Know Before You Buy (2021)
Climate change is ruthless.
Millions of people all over the world are affected by wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and heat waves across the planet.
All these extreme weather events show how fragile our grid power system is. When a disaster strikes, a battery power station is the only source of power you can trust.
The EGO Nexus is the latest juggernaut in the portable power station lineup.
Its Judgement-day design, four detachable batteries, and 2000 raw watts of continuous power look formidable in spec sheets.
But when the grid blacks out, is the EGO Nexus THE power station you want by your side?
Let’s find out.
What Is the EGO Nexus Power Station?
The EGO power station is a portable battery power generator for indoor and outdoor use with a modular design that consists of the main unit and four detachable lithium batteries.
Under the hood, the EGO Nexus produces 2,000 watts of continuous power with 3,000 watts of startup surge power, so it can run tools with AC motors.
How Long Does the EGO Nexus Power Station Last?
The EGO Nexus power station lasts between 2.5 hours to 5 hrs depending on the number of batteries you have and the wattage of the device or appliance you plan to run.
For example, two 7.5Ah batteries can provide 840 watt-hours of power, so it can power one 150W mini-fridge for around 5.5 hrs. On the other hand, the power station will last only 2.5 hrs if it needs to power one 330W grow light.
Is the EGO Nexus Power Station Pure Sine Wave?
Yes, the EGO Nexus power station is a pure sine wave source. You can safely use it with all your devices including sensitive electronics, medical equipment, AC motors, and compact fluorescent lights.
How Do You Use an EGO Power Station?
When you unpack the EGO Nexus power station, you’ll need to plug it into the wall to charge the batteries. Since I bought two extra batteries, it took me almost 14 hours.
It comes with three 120V outlets for tools and home appliances and four USB ports which I use for my phone and other USB-friendly devices.
You also get a handy EGO app that lets you switch between Bluetooth and WiFi connection, track the current load per outlet, turn outlets on and off and check the status for each battery. The app also allows for easy and free upgrades.
Can I Charge the EGO Battery With Solar Panels?
Yes, you can charge the EGO battery with solar panels.
When the EGO Nexus was launched, it didn't support solar charging. However, since then, the company has offered a special solar adapter I had to buy separately.
Unfortunately, you can only use solar panels with this adapter charger. To make it worse, this charger allows only 180W of solar power.
Way too weak for such a powerhouse.
Can I Mix EGO Batteries?
Yes, you can mix EGO batteries. EGO makes 56V batteries with capacities ranging from 2Ah to 7.5Ah, and you can make whatever combination you want, but each setup will perform differently.
How Do I Charge My Solar EGO Nexus Power Station?
You can charge your solar EGO Nexus power station with the built-in battery charging system. In other words, you need to attach them to the unit. The batteries charge at 2.3 Ah per hour. If you have two 7.5 Ah batteries, they will take full charge in about 7 hours.
If you have more than one battery, the charger automatically switches from one to another so they’re all charged at the same rate.
How Do I Turn On My EGO Nexus Power?
When the display shows your batteries are full, unplug the EGO Nexus power station and press the small yellow button under the ports you want to use.
Press the power button, and now the bright LED display shows you how much run time you have under the current load.
If you plug more “wattage” than the EGO portable power station can handle, the unit shuts down. But don’t worry — there’s a reset button you need to hit before it starts working again.
Is It OK to Leave the EGO Battery on the Charger?
Yes, it is OK to leave the EGO battery on the charger. It won’t reduce the battery life. However, after some time the battery will self-discharge to 30% capacity.
EGO Power Station Benefits
Flexible Battery Options
Since I already have the EGO commercial hedge trimmer, I liked the idea of swapping batteries between different EGO tools and then using them to power the portable power station in an emergency or on an off-grid weekend.
I wanted to buy spare batteries in different capacity combination and keep them charged just in case I ever have to upgrade the original set of four.
By the end of this review, you’ll see why I gave up on that.
Emission-Free AC Power
Unlike traditional gas generators, the EGO Nexus portable power station is much more sustainable. It doesn't make fumes and it isn't harmful to the environment.
At the same time, I like the fact that I can use this power station inside safely. If there’s a petition to ban gas generators, I’d sign it right away, just because of the carbon monoxide hazard.
Built Like a Tank
Dropping your portable power station from the tailgate is a real scenario. The EGO Nexus has a roll cage which gives it a good chance to survive.
Tailgate parties aside, when a disaster strikes, things tend to get rough. Having an armored power inverter buys you peace of mind that your gear will endure everything nature throws at it.
However, this ruggedness doesn’t come free. Fully loaded (four batteries), it weighs almost 70 lbs. Yikes.
See our Green Store for more products like this.
EGO Power Station Shortfalls
Too Darn Heavy
With robust steel handles and heavy-duty plastic bumpers, this portable power station will take some use and abuse.
But are you ready to schlep almost 70 lbs what the whole package weighs?
Call it irony, but the EGO’s biggest selling point is also its biggest shortfall.
You’re free to disagree, but I want my battery power station to be mobile and portable, especially when I don’t get much in exchange for the extra bulk.
There are much better options that offer decent protection at as little as 20 lbs.
No Pass-Through Power
This complaint is often heard in negative user comments. I must admit that I was disappointed when I discovered that I can’t charge and use the portable power station at the same time.
If you power anything and plug in the charger, the inverter cuts the power and starts charging the batteries.
The pass-through charging technology is nothing new, and I’d definitely like to see it on every generator I buy.
Flexibility Comes at a Price
The second biggest selling point for the EGO Nexus portable power station is the modular design and swappable batteries. However, there’s a price to pay. Literally.
Depending on the retailer, you can buy only the battery inverter and then use it with whatever EGO-made batteries you have at hand. However, even the base costs more than many competitors which offer a full kit.
For example, four 5Ah lithium-ion batteries will cost you alone $999, while you’ll pay $739 for two 7.5Ah batteries.
Limited Port Options
Unlike every portable battery inverter I’ve tested so far, the EGO Nexus power station doesn't offer 12V DC and USB-C ports.
So, you’re stuck with regular AC outlets and regular USB ports.
This might not be a problem for some users, but I expect more versatility from a power unit the size of a cool box.
Solar Panel Charging
The EGO Nexus portable power station doesn’t support solar charging by itself. However, the company now offers a special solar adapter that you can use to charge your power station off-grid.
Ok, I’ve bought it and it works, but then came another disappointment — it supports only up to 180W of solar power, which means it takes forever to charge up.
I can’t even use it with my 2x110 W solar panel kit.
This is a big minus, especially now when the whole point of having a portable power station is to be sustainable and independent from the grid whether in an emergency or at your leisure.
Needs All Four Batteries
Ok, we’ve covered how flexible the batteries are and how you can use batteries of different capacities, and even those from other EGO products you have.
The problem is that every “cocktail” of batteries you make will have a different capacity than the other, which ultimately affects the performance.
For example, it wouldn't run my Keurig coffee maker with two batteries but worked fine when I attached another pair for more power.
Other People’s Thoughts
Some swear by it, others swear they’d never buy another one. As always, the truth is in between. Here are some of the honest user reviews plus one by my friend Boca who runs a carpentry business.
Just purchased the Nexus power pack. Great product, just could use a few upgrades. 1st, it needs a 12V DC outlet. This would improve efficiency, as I am now inverting 56VDC to 120 VAC and converting it back to 12 VDC. 2nd, the solar input needs to handle at least 400W instead of 150W.
Retiredmastersparky, EGO User
Works well except for a few critical bugs. The Wi-Fi feature WILL NOT WORK, I spent an hour with tech support trying to get it to work.
kevdesign, EGO User
I live in the Bay Area and power outages are becoming a regular occurrence. So I bought this and it has been incredibly useful during this most recent and ongoing outage. It is pure sine wave so it powers my sony 50" tv, and anything else 150 watts and below.
Popeye Doyle, EGO User
The EGO Nexus power station can only charge or power the outlets. This limitation makes it a bad choice for rolling blackouts. That’s when I need something that can say power the tools while there's no power. But then the power comes back, your batteries need to back up quickly while still providing power to your devices. This should have never made it past the drawing board.
Boca, Geppetto Carpentry
Things To Consider Before Buying A Portable Solar Generator
What Output Wattage Do You Need?
The output power is the first two numbers that you need to know with any power station. The output power or wattage tells you what is the biggest load (or a combination of loads) you can run.
As a rule of thumb, devices with motors and heating elements always draw more power than electronics.
Where Do You Want to Use It?
This isn’t as much about where but how. If you need a portable power station to replace your gas generator at occasional camping trips or tailgate parties, you should be concerned about neither output power nor battery capacity. You need something lightweight and sturdy.
Finally, if you need a power station as an emergency source in a power outage or an emergency caused by an extreme weather event, you need something that charges fast, lasts through the night, and carries easily.
Is Solar Charging Important?
On the other hand, if you plan to use it as a portable power source in an off-grid cabin or boat, you definitely need a reliable power station that pairs great with commercial solar panels.
In this case, you need a highly efficient inverter and a battery with enough onboard capacity to store as much of the available sunlight as possible.
The best portable power station is the Jackery 1000. It’s an extremely well-rounded solar power unit that feels at home in every role you can imagine — camping, road-tripping, off-grid living, and emergency. It offers a compact package, solid battery life, and works seamlessly with solar panels.
Yes, a portable power station can power a microwave, provided that its power rating is not bigger than that of the power station, which should be at least 1000 watts.
Home Depot stopped selling EGO because they wanted to offer only cordless brands whose power tools have interchangeable batteries among themselves, like Ryobi, Makita, DeWalt, and Milwaukee.
EGO Power Station: Should You Buy It?
The overbuilt design and weather-resistant construction drew my attention to the EGO Nexus power station. What is more, I was planning to carry extra batteries and have a virtually unlimited source of power whenever I had to bridge a power outage.
However, I cannot recommend this portable power station. In my experience and use scenarios, the Jackery 1000 wins in almost every field.
Whether I’m venturing into the woods or trying to survive through a storm followed by a statewide blackout, I want my power source to be as mobile as possible.
I’m someone who works out regularly, but I simply don’t care for EGO’s 70 lbs.
The Jackery 1000, on the other hand, is like the overhead luggage — it fits everywhere and is ready to go.
Also, I need a reliable capacity, and the EGO Nexus power station failed to deliver. With different batteries and their charging times, I never know what I can expect.
THE JACKERY EXPLORER 500
After using Jackery 1000 for a little less than a year, I’ve come to learn exactly how much I can run different devices I own.
I’m also a big believer in solar capability. Whereas EGO’s weak solar adapter comes more as an afterthought, I’m perfectly satisfied with how my Jackery 1000 runs on twin-110 W panels.
The EGO Nexus has some interesting features but after using and considering them both, I can easily say — go with the Jackery 1000.
Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen’s readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.