There are a few major differences between the two types of installation options related to the power supply of the EV Charger itself.
1.) 14-50 NEMA Plug/Outlet - The EV Charger will ship with a pre-installed 14-50 NEMA plug attached to the device itself. This option is the easiest installation option if you already have a 14-50 NEMA outlet located where you wish to install the charger. Using the NEMA 14-50 plug will allow you a maximum charge rate of 40A. This 40A limit is due to the NEMA 14-50 outlet being limited to a maximum continuous output of 40 amps as per the National Electric Code.
2.) Hardwire - This option is possible by disconnecting the included NEMA plug from the charger and terminating your own wiring into the EV Charger. The hardwire connection is a line from the breaker in your electrical panel directly to the EV Charger itself. If you decide to go this route, you will likely need to consult a licensed electrician on how to go about hardwiring the charger as variables like wire length can change the installation of that line. Using this installation option will allow for a maximum available charge rate of up to 48A, provided you're using a 60A+ breaker. Details about the hardwire installation option can be found on the Installation Guides starting on step 8a-1.
Which option to choose mostly depends on your local electrical system as well as your targeted charge rate for your vehicle. Many vehicles have limitations on the available charge rate, so that might have an impact as to which option you'd choose for your installation since many cars cannot charge at 48A even if using the Hardwire installation approach. If you have any questions about your specific installation scenario feel free to ask your local electrician or can reach out to Customer Support for any clarification as well.
Feedback and Suggestions
This knowledge base is pretty new for the Emporia team. Our goal is to provide all of the information we can to help you manage your energy in better ways. If this article wasn't helpful, or we could be more clarifying on any points please reach out to the Customer Support team and we'll certainly work to improve these guides.