Android Central Verdict
While the Bluetti EP500Pro is portable, you probably won't carry it around much due to its 187-pound rating. But the wheels are great, and can even be locked to keep the unit from moving. Once set, this large power station can handle nearly any charging needs you have with a 3000W output, and can even act as a UPS backup.
Nearly any output port you could want
Excellent power capacity, output, and input
Very well designed and built
Feature-rich touch screen for controls
Manage the unit over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth using the app
Bluetti app is limited
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In case you haven't heard, the electrical grid in the United States has been feeling the strain of longer-lasting and stronger heat waves these past few years. That, in addition to more and more devices drawing from the grid, has led to outages of various degrees. Finding ways to get electricity and not rely on the traditional methods has picked up steam as a way to combat this situation. Bluetti is a company on the leading edge of portable power stations, and the Bluetti EP500Pro does it in impressive style.
Yes, the EP500Pro is technically portable, but due to its weight, you may not want to pick it up and take it with you camping. But that doesn't negate this power station's potential to keep your essential devices running during a power outage, or act as an off-grid power supply. With massive capacity, the ability to expand that capacity, the output rating, and the number of port options, this may be the best portable power station for long-term outages or off-grid living.
Bluetti EP500Pro: Pricing and availability
Bluetti launched the EP500 and EP500Pro in March 2021 through a Kickstarter campaign, reaching its goal of $1 million in 10 minutes. Retail availability came in August 2022 through Amazon and the Bluetti website. Both units come in Elegant White, with the EP500 selling for $4,999 and the EP500Pro for $5,999.
Bluetti EP500Pro: What's good
There are a lot of excellent portable power stations available today, and each has its own place in the market based on varying factors. Things like size, capacity, power output, ports, and methods of recharging the unit. The Bluetti EP500Pro is a beast of a power station that offers features that few, if any, of its competitors currently match. I've spent the better part of two months using it, and I knew the moment it arrived that it was going to be impressive.
FedEx called me to ask if I would be home at delivery, and if where I lived if there was room for a freight truck to park. After realizing the shipment weighed over 200 pounds and was strapped to a pallet, I had to readjust my expectations for the unit. Unloading and unboxing the Bluetti EP500Pro was a chore, considering when unboxed it weighs in at 187 pounds.
The design of the power station is very nice. It's solid, and the two-tone white and black — or as Bluetti calls it, "Elegant White" — is a welcome change from the typical all-black or grey seen on many other devices. It's also shaped differently than most options, as it is taller than average at nearly two and a half feet, and with almost two feet of depth. It is also narrow, coming in under 12 inches. Once set, the EP500Pro is easy to move around thanks to the four wheels, two larger fixed wheels in the front, and two smaller rotating wheels in the back that can lock into place.
I decided that I was going to set the unit up in my office to use it to offset my electrical costs for running the AC. After flipping the primary breaker switch on the unit's backside, I pressed the large button on the front to power the system on. The 4.25-inch touchscreen is illuminated and has a very familiar look to the Bluetti AC200Max I previously reviewed. But now it has a few more menus, and the downside from the other model of being challenging to read in bright lights is less of an issue, since the EP500Pro is less likely to be in the sunshine.
Bluetti also improved the connectivity options with the EP500Pro by adding Wi-Fi to complement the Bluetooth. Yes, Bluetti has an app that monitors and controls the unit's basic functions. Pairing is relatively simple, and allows Bluetti to push software updates to the power station as well.
From the EP500Pro's touchscreen, along with viewing what power is coming in or going out, you can enable and disable the AC and DC output, change the input and output voltage and frequency, adjust if the unit is set for single or split phase, the UPS mode, and much more. You read that correctly — the EP500Pro can be linked with another EP500Pro with an optional accessory to provide 240V and double the battery capacity. As for the UPS mode, I'll go more into that later, but the unit can act as an automatic battery backup for devices.
|Specs||Bluetti EP500 Pro|
|Dimensions||29.9 x 11.8 x 22.8 inches|
|Battery||LiFePO4 5120Wh, 3500+ Cycles to 80% Capacity|
|Expandable||✔️ (with B230/B300 batteries or another EP500 Pro)|
|Display||4.25-inch diagonally LCD|
|AC Output (4)||3000W total (surge 6000W), 120V~ (60Hz) Pure Sine Wave|
|NEMA L14-30 RV Output||30A 100-120VAC|
|DC5521 Output (2)||12VDC, 10A Total|
|Car Charger Output||12VDC, 10A|
|USB-A Output (2)||5VDC, 3A Total|
|USB-A Fast Charge Output (2)||18W, 36W total|
|USB-C Output (2)||2|
5/9/12/15/20V 5A, 100W Max per port
|Aviation Port||12VDC, 30A|
|Wireless charging (2)||5/7.5/10/15W|
|AC Input||3000W Max|
|Solar Charger Input||2400W Max, 12-150VDC,12Ax2, 12V/24V,8.2A|
|Protection||Over Voltage Protection, Overload Protection, Over Temperature Protection, Short Circuit Protection, Low Temperature Protection, Low Voltage Protection, Overcurrent Protection|
|Environmental Charging Temperature||32°F ~104°F (0°C ~ 40°C)|
|Storage Ambient Temperature||32°F ~113°F (0°C ~ 45°C)|
|Water and dust resistance||🚫|
Looking over the chart above, you can see that the Bluetti EP500Pro has some awe-inspiring numbers. Standout specs would be the 3000W, output with up to 6000W of surge power. This means that nearly anything you want to power that runs on 120V can be run with this unit. That power is pulled from a massive 5120Wh LiFePO4 battery cell. This battery chemistry means that it is more stable, allows for more output, and the lifespan is much longer than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Bluetti has it rated at 3500+ Cycles to 80% capacity.
While still talking about output, the number and variety of ports available for you to utilize all of the EP500Pro's power is also quite impressive. The four AC outlets, and single 30A NEMA L14-30 port typically used by RVs and campers, all reside towards the bottom on the front of the unit. Each has its own built-in rubberized cover to keep dust and debris out while not in use. On top of the unit, under a spring-loaded door, the four USB-A ports, dual 100W rated USB-C ports, and an aviation port is on top of the unit.
Another thing that stands out from the spec sheet above is the input charging rate. This is something that I wish was faster on the AC200Max, but for the EP500Pro, it is very good. When charging from a wall outlet, the power station can recharge at up to 3000W with the proper power supply. Using my standard 110V plug on a 15A breaker, I get around 1800W when the battery level is low.
The thing that is really impressive about charging the Bluetti EP500Pro is how much it can take in from solar. This power station can handle a whopping 2400W of solar input! That is a massive number to pull in using free energy. This makes the EP500Pro a fantastic candidate for off-grid homes or an RV, so long as you don't plan on moving around too much. Both grid and solar charging cables are included in the box, and I really like how they have a locking collar to ensure they don't come undone.
I don't have enough solar panels to reach that number. But with what I have, I've been able to run my office AC for free using the EP500Pro and the sun. I hope to get some more panels to offload even more of my office to the power station. Bluetti does sell a Smart Home Panel that can be wired into your home — best to be done by a professional that allows the EP500Pro to automatically power circuits for outlets, appliances, etc., should the power go out.
However, suppose you want automatic power backup for specific devices like refrigerators, computers, medical equipment, or others. In that case, the Bluetti EP500Pro can still help out in those situations without any extra equipment. Thanks to the built-in UPS (uninterruptible power supply) feature, that can work in a few different ways.
In Standard UPS Mode — with the EP500Pro plugged into your wall and the devices you want to ensure stay powered on in an outage hooked up to it — once it is fully charged, the power station will essentially bypass the batteries to keep the devices plugged into it running. Should the power go out, the EP500Pro will automatically switch to batteries to keep your appliances going.
The Time Control UPS Mode works similarly to Standard UPS Mode, where the unit is plugged into the wall and devices into it. But you set the times when the power station recharges and when it doesn't to save money, should your electric utility company offer peak and off-peak rates. Then, when the EP500Pro isn't charging, it switches over to batteries to keep devices running.
There's also a PV Priority UPS Mode designed for stable electrical grids, so it instead utilizes solar and only charges to certain levels when on the grid. Finally, Bluetti included a Customized UPS Mode where you can set nearly all parameters of how the unit operates in terms of being a UPS.
Bluetti EP500Pro: What's not good
If it seems like there are few faults of the Bluetti EP500Pro, its because that really is the case. Two aspects that may seem a bit obvious as negatives are the price and weight of the power station. The Bluetti EP500Pro closely follows the standard one dollar per Kh of battery, and the current price of $5999 is a little over that rate, but very close. Keeping in mind the features that come with this power station, that additional cost makes sense. Depending on how you plan to use the unit, the price may not be that high.
As for the weight, there's really no way around it — 187 pounds is heavy. While the Bluetti EP500Pro is solidly built and has handles, almost nobody is going to want to pick it up to move it. The wheels roll very well and support the weight of the unit without any issues. But, if you live in a multi-level home or want to take it camping, you'll want help moving it.
Those two cons can't really be fixed. Sure, Bluetti could slash the price, and perhaps some sales may come up that will make the cost a bit more palatable. But what can be resolved is the companion app.
It has a nice design and does what it can quite well. But the problem is that it's very limited in what it can do. Simply all you can do in the app is monitor the electrical input and output, enable AC and DC power, and update the unit's firmware. While those things are better than nothing, I'd love to have the ability to monitor each AC circuit, control the recharge rate, and more, all from my phone. EcoFlow, another power station brand, offers many of these features in its app, and I'd like to see Bluetti up its game in this area.
Bluetti EP500Pro: Competition
While there is a lot of competition in the space, with plenty of reasons to own a portable power station; units of the size and capability of what the Bluetti EP500Pro offers are less so. One option that stands out is the EcoFlow Delta Pro. Ever since I reviewed this unit, I've utilized it in many different ways, thanks to its output and input rates, portability, and available ports.
Starting with portability, the Delta Pro is easier to move around than the EP500Pro thanks to a couple of things: Mainly, it weighs less, and has a retractable handle to make rolling it around less of a burden. Saying the Delta Pro is lighter isn't difficult since the EP500Pro weighs so much, but the EcoFlow unit still comes in at about 100 pounds.
As for output, the Delta Pro is rated for 3600W with a 7200W surge from the 3600Wh LFP battery. Aside from the wireless charging pads and the aviation port, you'll find all the same ports on the unit as the Bluetti EP500Pro. Recharging the unit can be done at 1800W from a wall outlet, 1600W solar, 3400W from an EV charging station using the available adapter, or combine methods for a staggering 6500W.
The EcoFlow Delta Pro is expandable with additional battery packs, offers 240V split-phase, and can power your home in an outage with a Smart Home Panel accessory. However, the Delta Pro doesn't have UPS functionality built-in to automatically power devices should the power go out. But, the cost for the Delta Pro is quite a bit less than the EP500Pro. So, knowing your power needs and how you want to use a portable power station like these two is vital to getting the best unit for you.
Bluetti EP500Pro: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You need a lot of power and capacity.
- You need a 30A output option.
- You want flexible UPS functionality.
- You need off-grid power that is expandable and recharges quickly.
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want to take this camping.
- You want a lot of control over the unit from your phone.
- You want a cheap portable power station.
As with most things, knowing how you'll use the device and your physical limits are key in picking a portable power station. The Bluetti EP500Pro is excellent with proper expectations. Its 3000W power output and 6000W surge rating can handle nearly all power needs, and it can be recharged quickly using multiple methods. The 30A plug means it can work very well in an RV or camper, but that's assuming you don't plan on moving it often.
Because it is so heavy, carrying it around a campsite or around your home is something you'll likely want to avoid. Also, because the companion app is so limited in what you can control, you will want to be familiar with the on-device touchscreen to manage most functions.
Aside from the raw power and capacity of the Bluetti EP500Pro, the flexible UPS system that's built-in is fantastic. It brings peace of mind for devices you don't want to or can't have go offline. Knowing should your power go out you can keep appliances or medical equipment going without a blink is great. Bluetti has an excellent product in the EP500Pro, just don't plan on it being too portable.
The Bluetti EP500Pro is perfect for off-grid living and as a UPS for essential appliances in an power outage. Between the ports, power output, and capacity, it can help keep the lights on. Just don't try to carry it around much.