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- By Uber Energy
What is a NEMA 14-50 outlet?
The NEMA 14-50 is a 240-volt, 50-amp configuration that can safely deliver a continuous load of 40 amps (making it very popular for EV charging). NEMA 14-50 plugs can commonly be found in Recreational Vehicle & Mobile Home parks, in homes powering dryers, and on welder’s benches.
How much do NEMA 14-50 outlets cost to install?
NEMA 14-50 outlet installations typically run between $400-$2500 depending on site considerations – the higher end price for job sites that require trenching or traveling a significant distance from the panel. An outlet installed right next to the breaker panel is generally cheapest, as it requires the least amount of material and preparation. Be sure to hire a licensed electrician to install any electrical outlets.
What is a “Hard wired” charger?
Instead of installing an outlet and plugging in an EV charger, we can wire the charger directly to the panel without an intermediary plug. Hardwired chargers do not use a wall outlet or plug, reducing the risk of plug failure. In addition, hard wired chargers cost on average 400-500$ less than a NEMA 14-50 outlet.
Which is BETTER, Outlet or Hardwire?
We have found that hardwired charger installations have substantially fewer issues in the long-term. Any outlet in your house, by design, will naturally expand and contract proportionally to energy consumption. Over time, as these connections expand and contract, outlets can have issues (this goes for any outlet, they get ‘loose’ over time – think of a phone charger that won’t stay plugged in to an old outlet). As outlets get ‘loose’ the resistance increases and excess heat is generated (see below picture). Hardwired chargers do not face the same issues as there is no physical connection point other than the wired circuit.
Why is a NEMA 14-50 outlet MORE MONEY than a hardwired charger?
NEMA 14-50 outlets add a layer of complexity that hardwired chargers do not and require more materials ($$$). NEMA 14-50 outlets are also subject to increasingly stringent electrical codes regarding Electric Vehicles (EVs). NEMA 14-50 outlets require these additional considerations:
- More wire is required for the 4th prong (which is unused by ALL EV chargers)
- The outlet, box, and cover are all required for a NEMA 14-50 outlet
- NEMA 14-50 outlets require more labor than hard wiring
What if I already got a NEMA plug in charger?
Most of the popular EVSE solutions come in a hardwired version, certain brands are only available in hardwired models. If you already have a plug-in charger, it can likely be converted to a hardwired model.
Have any questions about NEMA outlets or EV chargers? Contact us today.