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I just received my charger and my ID4 Pro S is on a truck en route to the dealership. What is the difference between hard wiring and using an outlet for charging. I am having an electrician out next week.
Will it get the same voltage either way or is it diminished with the outlet?
 

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#17

Recommend he wire a 6-50 240V circuit to a socket and install paired-50A breakers which will accommodate 40A "max load" thruput. You'll need a 6-50 plug (my Chargepoint Flex could be ordered with either a 6-50 or a 14-50 plug).
But if you feel you need higher 48A thruput (albeit negligible time savings in a typical overnight session) then have him hardwire direct to your EVSE. Will require 60A breakers.
It is L2 240V (dual 120V split-phase) regardless hardwire or socketed.
I just received my charger and my ID4 Pro S is on a truck en route to the dealership. What is the difference between hard wiring and using an outlet for charging. I am having an electrician out next week.
Will it get the same voltage either way or is it diminished with the outlet?
 

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Benefits of direct wiring instead of an outlet:
  • Fewer Issues
  • Lower Cost (both initial and long term) especially if outdoors where a waterproof in-use cover is needed.
  • Less Maintenance
  • You can get higher than 40 amps output (48 is highest for ID.4 but other cars can use higher.)
  • Safer
  • Cleaner Looking install
  • Follows many manufacturer instructions and requirements
  • Follows Code without a GFCI that is otherwise required with all EVSE outlets:
    2020 NEC 210.8(A)(2)&(3) and 625.54,
    2017 NEC 625.54, TIA 17-2
  • Because of these issues, some electricians will not do any outlets for EVSE depending on which code is enforced in your area.
Advantages of an outlet:
You can unplug and replace a faulty charger easily.
You can take the charger with you on road trips and for this 14-50 plugs are more common like at RV parks, but you can buy adapters for most plugs.
You can use it for a welder or RV too.
 

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"Einstein" - 2021 ID.4 AWD Pro S, Scale Silver
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#17

Recommend he wire a 6-50 240V circuit to a socket and install paired-50A breakers which will accommodate 40A "max load" thruput. You'll need a 6-50 plug (my Chargepoint Flex could be ordered with either a 6-50 or a 14-50 plug).
But if you feel you need higher 48A thruput (albeit negligible time savings in a typical overnight session) then have him hardwire direct to your EVSE. Will require 60A breakers.
It is L2 240V (dual 120V split-phase) regardless hardwire or socketed.
I'm going to have to disagree with the NEMA 6-50 advice - if you're pulling a new circuit from the panel there is NO GOOD REASON to go NEMA 6-50 over NEMA 14-50. There is one (and only one) reason to possibly favor NEMA 6-50 over 14-50 - you save material and labor costs of one wire (3 vs. 4 conductors). NEMA 6-50 has 3 wires - 2 hots and a ground whereas NEMA 14-50 has 2 hots, a ground, and a neutral. NEMA 6-50 is actually a legacy standard from the days of dumb 240V appliances that had analog controls. When digital electronics became the standard in appliances things transitioned to NEMA 14-50 because inside the appliance you could tap one of the hots and the neutral to get 120V - this is impossible if all you have is 2 hots and a ground. Both standards are rated the same as far as sustained/max load. Furthermore all modern 240V appliances are wired for NEMA 14-50 not 6-50. The reason a 6-50 EVSE is offered is for maximum compatibility with existing older circuits - if you have 240V in a 40 year old house it's probably NEMA 6-50. If you're pulling a new circuit, however, the price difference between the two is negligible IMHO. It's kind-of like installing a new 120V circuit but wiring up 2-prong receptacles instead of 3.

As far as plug vs. hardwire - go plug. Most people hardwiring are doing so because they want to get a 48A EVSE instead of a 40A EVSE (maximum for plug). IMHO hardwiring to chase an extra 8A is something that only matters for bragging rights - not in practical application. Why? Because if your car is charging in the dead of night does it really matter it takes 9 hours instead of 8? In either case it's charged up when you wake in the morning. Aside from that observation - a plug means you can use that plug for other purposes besides your EVSE - why not have the flexibility? Also if your EVSE goes bad or you want to change it - it's trivial with a plug. With hardwire - not so much...
 

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For my own installation, our electrician recommended hardwiring the EVSE in our garage. My wife owns and operates a remodeling business, and we used her electrical contractor whom we know and trust. His reasoning echoed much of was was in SunWizard's post above.

Our electrician cautioned that for any 240V plug, code in our area requires a GFCI which adds the potential for nuisance trips, especially on higher powered EVSE's. In the end, hardwiring saved us significant cost as well, as our subpanel location allowed the EVSE to be wired directly to the panel using the factory installed "whip" on our Juicebox 48. As an added bonus, I can run a 48aH charger.

The installation, which I watched, was very simple and believe it really eliminated as many failure points as possible - there is zero additional wiring, the OE whip from the EVSE wired directly into the panel breaker. I had the good fortune however, of our service panel lining up exactly with the rear right of my parking spot in the garage.
White Gas Electricity Electrical wiring Cable
 

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I'm going to have to disagree with the NEMA 6-50 advice - if you're pulling a new circuit from the panel there is NO GOOD REASON to go NEMA 6-50 over NEMA 14-50. There is one (and only one) reason to possibly favor NEMA 6-50 over 14-50 - you save material and labor costs of one wire (3 vs. 4 conductors). NEMA 6-50 has 3 wires - 2 hots and a ground whereas NEMA 14-50 has 2 hots, a ground, and a neutral. NEMA 6-50 is actually a legacy standard from the days of dumb 240V appliances that had analog controls. When digital electronics became the standard in appliances things transitioned to NEMA 14-50 because inside the appliance you could tap one of the hots and the neutral to get 120V - this is impossible if all you have is 2 hots and a ground. Both standards are rated the same as far as sustained/max load. Furthermore all modern 240V appliances are wired for NEMA 14-50 not 6-50. The reason a 6-50 EVSE is offered is for maximum compatibility with existing older circuits - if you have 240V in a 40 year old house it's probably NEMA 6-50. If you're pulling a new circuit, however, the price difference between the two is negligible IMHO. It's kind-of like installing a new 120V circuit but wiring up 2-prong receptacles instead of 3.

As far as plug vs. hardwire - go plug. Most people hardwiring are doing so because they want to get a 48A EVSE instead of a 40A plug. IMHO hardwiring to chase an extra 8A is something that only matters for bragging rights - not in practical application. Why? Because if your car is charging in the dead of night does it really matter it takes 9 hours instead of 8? In either case it's charged up when you wake in the morning. Aside from that observation - a plug means you can use that plug for other purposes besides your EVSE - why not have the flexibility? Also if your EVSE goes bad or you want to change it - it's trivial with a plug. With hardwire - not so much...
I agree with Mike. One big advantage of not hardwiring is that if you ever want to upgrade to a smart EVSE or just a different EVSE it will be plug and play. Also, like Mike says 14-50 is the newer standard and what most new EVSE installations are using.
 

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Technically 6-50 is the newer standard. 14-50 is a carryover from needing the add’l neutral wire for older dryer electronics. And again most welders are 6-50. ;)

Ok, so we have provided most all the permutations of advice, with our respective rationale for same. So the OP will just have to pick one. 🤷‍♂️

I agree with Mike. One big advantage of not hardwiring is that if you ever want to upgrade to a smart EVSE or just a different EVSE it will be plug and play. Also, like Mike says 14-50 is the newer standard and what most new EVSE installations are using.
 

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My 14-50 is just 3 wire - The EVSE plugged into it is just 3 wire (the neutral pin is not used) and that's all that's gonna be plugged in there, so I just ran 3 wires. 4 wires are only needed for a 240/120 volt appliance

The big difference between using a connector and hardwiring is the current capacity. The plugs are limited to 50 amps, so they can safely deliver 80% of that, or 40 amps. If you want/need to recharge your ID.4 as fast as possible, then you must hardwire the EVSE so it can deal with 50 amps . . . . from a 60 amp circuit breaker, which you cannot legally do with a plug

But again, very few owners will ever need 50 amps, or even 40 for that matter. 32 will recharge this car overnight just fine
 

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My take from reading countless threads is that many owners consider hardwired "permanent" or "more difficult" or "not DIY friendly."

Really, it's none of those. I would consider installing a receptacle more labor intensive than splicing 6 AWG copper using a split bolt, and if the wiring can be extended from the breaker directly to a terminal block inside the EVSE (no splice) even better!

The thinking should be reversed: default to hardwired unless there's a necessity for a plug-in, namely that it's going to need to be unplugged from time to time. Hardwired really isn't that much different than removing a 12 volt battery from a car -- tools are required, a little bit of time is necessary, but it's not particularly difficult.
 

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Well, one additional factor for hardwiring is participation in cost from your local electric utility. Mine offers a $500 rebate for certain approved EVSEs, but requires hardwiring. I presume that the reason for this is to prevent one from disconnecting the device and moving to a location served by a different utility.
 

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...I presume that the reason for this is to prevent one from disconnecting the device and moving to a location served by a different utility.
Maybe. I would expect if the utility is requiring hardwiring to take part in their program, it's because they want to promote a safer and more reliable installation. Is some lowlife wants to take advantage of the program and pocket the rebate, I can't imagine a little twist-twist / snip-snip wouldn't be much of a deterrent.
 

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So do you think there are a large percentage of “lowlifes” among the population of EV owners?
No, that's why I think they stipulate hardwired installations for safety reasons. I can't imagine they're really worried about being hoodwinked by their customers in any meaningful way.
 

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So your "14-50" is really a 6-50 in application. ;)

I agree that 32A will charge overnight just as capably and if that is your typical routine, as mine, then adequate (although I did go 40A socketed in a new installation).

One could consider that if you rarely need a faster charge than head over to your nearest EA DCFC, if reasonably available.
My 14-50 is just 3 wire - The EVSE plugged into it is just 3 wire (the neutral pin is not used) and that's all that's gonna be plugged in there, so I just ran 3 wires. 4 wires are only needed for a 240/120 volt appliance

The big difference between using a connector and hardwiring is the current capacity. The plugs are limited to 50 amps, so they can safely deliver 80% of that, or 40 amps. If you want/need to recharge your ID.4 as fast as possible, then you must hardwire the EVSE so it can deal with 50 amps . . . . from a 60 amp circuit breaker, which you cannot legally do with a plug

But again, very few owners will ever need 50 amps, or even 40 for that matter. 32 will recharge this car overnight just fine
 

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I'm going to have to disagree with the NEMA 6-50 advice - if you're pulling a new circuit from the panel there is NO GOOD REASON to go NEMA 6-50 over NEMA 14-50. There is one (and only one) reason to possibly favor NEMA 6-50 over 14-50 - you save material and labor costs of one wire (3 vs. 4 conductors). NEMA 6-50 has 3 wires - 2 hots and a ground whereas NEMA 14-50 has 2 hots, a ground, and a neutral. NEMA 6-50 is actually a legacy standard from the days of dumb 240V appliances that had analog controls. When digital electronics became the standard in appliances things transitioned to NEMA 14-50 because inside the appliance you could tap one of the hots and the neutral to get 120V - this is impossible if all you have is 2 hots and a ground. Both standards are rated the same as far as sustained/max load. Furthermore all modern 240V appliances are wired for NEMA 14-50 not 6-50. The reason a 6-50 EVSE is offered is for maximum compatibility with existing older circuits - if you have 240V in a 40 year old house it's probably NEMA 6-50. If you're pulling a new circuit, however, the price difference between the two is negligible IMHO. It's kind-of like installing a new 120V circuit but wiring up 2-prong receptacles instead of 3.

As far as plug vs. hardwire - go plug. Most people hardwiring are doing so because they want to get a 48A EVSE instead of a 40A plug. IMHO hardwiring to chase an extra 8A is something that only matters for bragging rights - not in practical application. Why? Because if your car is charging in the dead of night does it really matter it takes 9 hours instead of 8? In either case it's charged up when you wake in the morning. Aside from that observation - a plug means you can use that plug for other purposes besides your EVSE - why not have the flexibility? Also if your EVSE goes bad or you want to change it - it's trivial with a plug. With hardwire - not so much...
Agree. I arrived home last evening after a 500 mile drive and I arrived with less than 20% charge. I think it was around 13% actually, but I was tired and really didn't look too close. My 14-50 based EVSE charged to 80% in just under 5 hours.
 

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If you are going to install a receptacle, I would strongly recommend a NEMA 14-50 that is rated "heavy-duty" or "industrial". I used a Hubbell 9450A has very robust contacts and the wire is securely clamped with a v-shaped contact which is tightened with an Allen screw. There is a Bryant equivalent. They are quite expensive but well worth the price for the resultant quality and safety.
Stay away from the cheap "dryer receptacles" sold by box stores or on-line. They will overheat with the prolonged duty cycle of EV chargers.
 

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I guess you could say that - But the EVSE came factory wired to a 14-50, so rather than cut off that connector, I just installed a 14-50 socket, using the same 3 wires used in the plug
Understandable. But it's still a code issue. Sometime in the future, after you've left the property, some unknowing person can come by and try to plug in an RV into that socket. The RV actually uses the neutral line, and it's missing. That's an ugly situation.

My personal rule of thumb is to wire everything permanently attached to the house to code and use adapters for any conversions. That way there are no mistakes or misinterpretations about a socket permanently attached to the house.
So, in this case I would have wired a 6-50 in the wall and used an adapter like this one:


That way when everything is removed, there is no doubt that there isn't a neutral available. I know it seems silly because we all know what's going on. But the NEC is generally written to try to be idiot-proof. But to quote the great Robert Heinlein: "It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so ingenious." Leaving an open neutral on a 14-50 attached to the house is just begging for trouble.

ga2500ev
 

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I run 2 welders and a plasma cutter, all with Nema 6-50 plugs, so in my case, the receptacles were already there. It was a no brainer decision. If I had to start from scratch, knowing that I weld/cut, I would go that route again. The other advantage is, if you move, easy to unplug your charger and take it with you, same goes for a replacement unit. If you are not comfortable working with electricity, the plug is the better option, if you are comfortable with wiring, then hardwire might be the better choice.
 
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