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Hardwired vs Plug-In EV Charging Installation: Which Is Better?

If you are on the market for a new electric vehicle (EV), you’re probably doing a lot of research on the best options for charging one. KB Electric LLC has been doing EV charger installations for quite some time, and the calls keep coming in to get them done. Many EV owners purchase a level 2 charger and have one of our master electricians install it for them. There are two options when installing your level 2 EV charger: a hardwired vs plug-in EV charging installation. So, which is better? Let’s take a look at what a level 2 EV charger is, the two options for installing one, and which option KB Electric LLC recommends for installation.

Before we dabble with the details, no matter the hardwired type or plug-in, EV chargers should be installed by a professional. KB Electric LLCalways recommends that a licensed and insured electrician installs your EV home charger, especially if it is hardwired.


Hardwired EV Charging Installation – Tesla Charger


What Is a Level 2 EV Charger?

A Level 2 EV Charger utilizes a 240v outlet, also known as a NEMA 50r receptacle (when not hardwired). This outlet is the same as the one your clothing dryer uses (if you don’t have a hardwired dryer). Level 2 EV chargers can take up to 6.5 hours to fully charge the battery using a brand like the ClipperCreek LEVEL 2 HCS-40PR. For most brands of EVs, level 2 chargers are typically 3 to 5 times faster to fully charge the battery than a level 1 EV charger (utilizes a 120v outlet). 

There are so many brands of level 2 EV chargers on the market. Most of these EV chargers can be installed inside or outside of your garage. Most of the level 2 EV chargers can also be hardwired instead of plugged in using the 240v outlet. What does hardwiring your EV charger entail? Let’s go over it.


Hardwired vs Plug-In EV Charging Installation 


With a hardwired EV charging installation, an electrician installs a dedicated 60AMP line from your main electrical panel to the desired EV charger location. At KB Electric LLC, we install a fire-rated backboard, as well as the NEC code required sub-panel to terminate power to the unit if needed. For this installation, the EV charging unit does not utilize a 240v outlet since it is hardwired into your main panel. 


Hardwired EV Charger Installation
Hardwired EV Charger Installation



With a plug-in EV charging installation, an electrician installs a 240v outlet also known as a NEMA 50r receptacle, at the desired EV charger location to plug into. 


Plug-In EV Charger Installation
Plug-In EV Charger Installation – NEMA 50r (240v) Receptacle


Plug-In EV Charger Installation - NEMA 50r (240v) Receptacle
Plug-In EV Charger Installation – NEMA 50r (240v) Receptacle


Should I Get A Hardwired or Plug-In EV Charger Installation?

At all comes down to preference. Personally for the owner at KB Electric LLC, the hardwired option looks the cleanest. So you can say it all comes down to aesthetic appeal. Just take a look at the two pictures above in the hardwired section of this blog . The cord on the EV charger rolls up nicely, and you don’t have any wires hanging down. It also poses less of a trip hazard from the cord being left out. Either way, the hardwired or the plug-in EV charger install can be executed by the master electricians at KB Electric LLC. Call us today for your EV charging installation! (267) 467-3178


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