New PowerDrive+ 4 won't charge on my BMWs front socket, but it will charge on the backseat and trunk sockets. Any ideas?

new PowerDrive+ 4 (54W) won’t deliver power from my 2017 BMWs front dashboard socket. The red perimeter led strip won’t even light up. However, it will indeed deliver charge from the backseat and trunk sockets.

Surprisingly the PowerDrive Speed 2 (39W) does deliver charge when connected to the front dashboard socket.

This was tested using an iPhone 6, but I don’t think that has any influence on the result.

Only reason I can think of is BMW limits the wattage that can be pushed through the front dashboard socket.

Has anyone had this same issue ? Any solution ?

Is there compatibility information that I can check before buying my next charger ?

Thanks! :thinking:

I’m sorry to hear you’re having issues! Shoot an email and they will gladly issue a refund or send a different car charger that might be compatible with your phone.

I’m leaning towards your theory, but to confirm it, you’d have to test additional car chargers with various wattages.

If that is true, the PowerDrive+ 3 (36W) should work.

Are you only interested in the +4 because of its USB-C port? Anker should be coming out with more USB-C car chargers very soon. @AnkerOfficial may be able to say how soon it’s coming, but it’s unlikely they’ll share many details until the release. I’ll be sure to respond to this post whenever a new car charger is released from Anker, so be sure to check back on the Anker Community frequently!


Yes, I though it would be fantastic to have an USB-C compatible PowerDrive on the off chance I would need to charge my MacBook on-the-go.

I’m keeping the charger anyway. It’s now connected to the backseat socket where the kids can enjoy it.

Would appreciate to now if something in the 39W range with an USB-C is launched.

Thanks for your response.


Have you tried charging your MacBook/MPB with the PowerDrive+ 4? If it works, it would likely be unbearably slow, especially for emergency situations. Anker will probably release one that is capable of charging it faster soon, although it would probably only have 1 port for it to be 39W or less.

I’m not against your idea of keeping it now, however. If they come out with one that would better suit you within 18 months of your puchase, they’ll still gladly issue a refund… I’d probably go that route.

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Haven’t tried it, but will give it a shot.

Unfortunately Anker specs don’t list the power output for the USB-C port, but there’s hope. My MacBook power brick is only 39W.

I have a colection of CarChargers so this one won’t be my last.


Huh? What MacBook are you talking about?

The 12" is 29W, the 13" is 61W, and the 15" is 87W.

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Good to know about the 18 months refund policy. I wasn’t aware of it.

I’ll save the packaging from my next purchases.


It’s the 12", You’re right it’s 29W not 39W. So there’s a little more hope the 54W would be able to deliver decent charge.

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Let me know when you’ve tested it, but I still guess it’ll be utterly slow.

Here is a portable charger that will charge your MacBook pretty fast. Again, though, Anker will be improving this and offering more of them at a lower price soon. This is new technology, so I’d wait until you have more options at a more reasonable price that are improved, too!

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD with 27W PD Portable Charger Bundle for Nintendo Switch & USB Type-C Laptops (e.g. 2016 MacBook) Power Delivery Support

Also, I’d love it if you checked out my review of this charger!

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First World problems

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You’re probably not interested, but this car charger is currently on sale on Amazon.

Anker Ultra-Compact 24W 2-Port Car Charger PowerDrive 2 Elite with Built-in Micro USB Cable for LG, Nexus, HTC and More

Your cars cigarette lighter is probably too shallow. I had the same exact issue with anker power drive 2 and my ford truck. Worked perfectly on the one labeled power port but would not work in the other Port unless it was pushed in. Anker could easily fix this problem with a slightly longer contact one the end of the charger.

Anker Roav SmartCharge Car Kit F2, Wireless In-Car FM Transmitter Radio Adapter, Bluetooth 4.2 Receiver, Car Locator, App Support, Dual-USB Car Charger With Power IQ, AUX Output, USB Drive MP3 Player

Here’s another new car charger. Price might be a tad on the high end if you’re not going to use any of the other features, though.

I purchased the PowerDrive Speed 2 and have a similar issue with my 2012 BMW 328i. Except the LED lit up around each port, but would not charge. I troubleshot with Anker support and tried it in both front and rear outlets with no luck. We assumed it was a defective and they sent me a replacement with the same issue. I ended up trying it in my wife’s Town & Country and it works like a charm there.

So your thoughts seem correct - BMW must have some sort of limiter on how much juice the lighter ports can pull.

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It’s the socket design, the socket is slightly smaller than American sockets…I just went through this withe my wife’s Saab, I also have a Saab but forgot I had wired in a socket in the front which is an American lighter socket. You can do the same if you prefer or get the adapter cables

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It is probably that while the back two sockets have their own circuit (battery-fuse box-socket) the front shares with the radio and other car electronics which means it does not have as much available current to draw from.

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Indeed it is. It’s just that the socket is deep and narrow so the charger tip doesn’t reach the contact.

Could probably be worked out with a contact extension, but not that big a deal since I can plug it in the backseat.

Good to know the standards are actually different.

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