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NEMA Plug vs. Hardwire
Updated over a week ago

The Emporia Energy Level 2 EVSE EV Charger offers two installation options for connecting to your power supply: a pre-installed NEMA 14-50P plug or a pre-installed hardwire whip. This flexibility allows you to choose the best installation method for your specific needs and existing electrical setup. Below, we outline the key differences between these options and provide guidance on selecting the right one for you.

1. NEMA 14-50P Plug/Outlet

The EV Charger is available with a pre-installed NEMA 14-50P plug. This option is ideal if you already have a NEMA 14-50 outlet where you plan to install the charger. An Emporia EV Charger that has a NEMA 14-50p pre-installed can also be converted into a hardwire installation if needed. Here are some important details:

  • Ease of Installation: Plugging the charger into an existing NEMA 14-50 outlet is straightforward and requires minimal electrical work.

  • Maximum Charge Rate: The NEMA 14-50 outlet supports a maximum continuous charge rate of 40A, in accordance with the National Electric Code.

  • Portability: If you move or need to change the installation location, the NEMA plug makes it easy to unplug and relocate the charger.

2. Hardwire Whip

The EV Charger can also come with a pre-installed hardwire whip, providing a more permanent installation option. Here's what you need to know:

  • Maximum Charge Rate: Hardwiring the charger allows for a higher maximum charge rate of up to 48A, provided you use a 60A+ breaker.

  • Permanent Installation: This method involves connecting the charger directly to your electrical panel via a dedicated line, typically running through a junction box. This is a more permanent solution compared to the plug-in option.

  • Consultation with an Electrician: Due to the complexity and variability of hardwiring, it is recommended to hire a licensed electrician. They can ensure proper installation, taking into account factors such as wire length and electrical panel capacity.

Choosing the Right Installation Option

Deciding between the NEMA 14-50P plug and the hardwire whip depends on several factors:

  1. Existing Electrical Setup: If you already have a NEMA 14-50 outlet, using the plug is the simplest and most cost-effective option. If not, you may need to factor in the cost of installing this outlet.

  2. Desired Charge Rate: Consider your vehicle's charging capabilities. Some vehicles cannot utilize the full 48A provided by a hardwired connection, making the 40A from a NEMA outlet sufficient.

  3. Installation Flexibility: The NEMA plug offers greater flexibility for relocating the charger in the future. The hardwire option is better suited for a fixed installation where you do not anticipate moving the charger.

  4. Local Electrical Codes: Always check local electrical codes and regulations to ensure compliance with safety standards.

Additional Considerations

  • Installation Cost: While the NEMA plug may have a higher upfront cost due to the need for a specialized outlet and GFCI breaker, the overall installation cost is often lower than a hardwired setup, especially if you already have the outlet installed.

  • Maintenance and Wear: Frequent plugging and unplugging of the NEMA outlet can cause wear over time. Hardwired installations eliminate this issue, providing a more durable connection.

  • Future Upgrades: If you plan to upgrade your electric vehicle or charging needs in the future, a hardwired installation might provide more flexibility in terms of accommodating higher charge rates.

Feedback and Suggestions

Our goal is to provide comprehensive and helpful information to assist you in managing your energy efficiently. If you have any suggestions or feedback to improve this article, please reach out to our Customer Support team. We are committed to continually enhancing our knowledge base to better serve you.

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