Since DJI stopped including car chargers in their Fly More bundles, anyone who wants to charge a battery for one of their recent drones on the move will need an aftermarket solution.
Despite only being released this year, there’s already quite a range of compatible chargers for the Mavic Air 2, plus an official option from DJI. And if you don’t fancy any of these, you could even get an inverter to use your mains charger in the car in an emergency.
1: With the official car charger
The best way to charge a DJI Mavic Air 2 battery in the car is probably with DJI’s official charger. With a power output of 35.6W, it’s only marginally slower than the 38W mains charger, taking 1 hour 40 minutes to fully charge a depleted Intelligent Flight Battery. (compared to 1 hour 35 minutes with the official mains charger)
It’s compatible with the 3-way charging hub included with the Fly More bundle, so you can charge multiple batteries on a long journey without having to switch manually along the way – although if you’d rather leave that plugged in at home you can always pick up an extra charging hub.
The Mavic Air 2 is some really high-quality kit and the batteries have a £105 RRP, so many owners aren’t keen to trust them to a cheaper, third-party charger. The DJI charger features low-voltage and overheating protection and the peace-of-mind of knowing any potential issues won’t void your warranty.
2: With a third-party charger
A third-party car charger usually comes in slightly cheaper than the official solution, and many of those for the Mavic Air 2 also offer extra functionality that DJI’s charger lacks.
The official chargers can only charge one battery at a time, even with a charging hub, which charges batteries sequentially (one after the other). Most third-party chargers support parallel charging and will recharge two batteries in the same time as one alone.
Most also provide a USB port or two, allowing you to charge your Mavic Air 2’s controller or your smartphone at the same time as your drone batteries.
3: With a mains-power inverter
Inverters aren’t considered great for sensitive electronics, the ‘modified sine wave‘ the produce can wear the components over time – but if you’re only going to be charging in the car on an emergency basis, they might be the answer for you. You can also spend a bit more on a ‘pure sign wave‘ inverter to eliminate this additional wear (like the red model above).
They’re priced comparably with the dedicated Mavic Air 2 car chargers, so if you’re only likely to charge a drone battery in the car a couple of times a year – say you forget to charge overnight before travelling to a planned shoot – consider using one of these in combination with your existing mains charger.
The big advantage is you’ll also be able to charge your other gear, like camera batteries or laptops – and it’ll always be compatible with any other drones you end up buying. Though as said above, if you’ll be charging something in the car on a regular basis and can’t charge it over USB, consider buying a dedicated charger for that device to avoid wearing out your original mains charger.
A basic inverter with 200W of power should be more than enough for your Mavic Air 2 or any laptop charger,