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240 Volt and 120 Volt Outlets for EV Charging

Here at EV-Chargers™, our mission is to simplify buying your next ev charger, so that you get the right product and understand why that EV charger is the right one.  There is a lot of jargon written by engineers and non-English speakers which has contributed to the confusion and complexity.

U.S. homes basically have two types of supply 120 volt and 240v volt domestic supply.  Power comes into the house and is split at the circuit breaker panel into 2 x 120 volt halves.  The 120-volt level is commonly referred to as 110V, 115V, or 120V as it gets routed through the house.  240-volt charging is when the plug is using two x 120 volts wires together.    Level 3 charging is normally 480 volts and uses direct current and this level of voltage is not provided to residential properties.

Why are different levels of voltages used in ev charging?

110 and 220 Volts

The vernacular “110 volt” and “220 volt” are older, an out of date standard for electrical appliances.  Neither voltage designations are used in new technology.  The numbers remain a common format to many people, so it is still commonly referred to today.   

115 and 230 Volts

The terms “115 volt” and “230 volt” emanate from standards used in engineering and product design.  Most electrical devices are built to work with this range with a tolerance of  +/- 10%.  This ability to work within a range ensures homeowners can plug their device into an existing outlet in their home.   

120 and 240 Volts

The power delivered to your home is 120 or 240 volts and is the standard power level delivered to the house from the property’s transformer.  This is more common in ev charging since it indicates the product covers both current standards, as well as being flexible enough to work with different ranges.

125 and 250 Volts

The outlets in your home are rated at the maximum voltage expected on the electrical circuit. They are designed to take up to 125 or 250 volts, depending on the nominal voltage of the circuit. Thus, outlets are marked at 125 volts or 250 volts.

Common questions regarding 120 volt and 240 volt ev charging

What is the difference between a 120-volt outlet and a 240-volt outlet for ev charging? 120 volt delivers power with just one of the two phases of electrical supply.  240 volt uses 2x 120 volt wire supply to provide more charging power.

What are the common 240-volt level 2 ev chargers? The most common plug types are NEMA 14-30, NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50 that are all capable of taking up 240 volts.

Which are the fastest 240-volt level 2 chargers?  The fastest 240-volt level 2 ev chargers are NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50. Both plug receptacles have 50A, 250 voltage rating service.   The NEMA 14-50 receptacle is more common of the two receptacles  

Is 240-volt EV charging the same as 220, 230, 240, and 250 volts?   Yes, these voltages are used to describe the higher voltage range. This higher voltage range is used for level 2 ev charges and is also used commonly for ovens, ranges, cooktops, power tools, water heaters, central air conditioners and more recently electric car level 2 charging.  

What is 120 volts?  120V is the alternating current voltage that is on a single hot wire. Put simply, this is just one phase of electricity supply.

What is the fastest 120 voltage ev charger? The fastest is a NEMA 5-20 plug, which has a 125 volt listing and is typically supplied with 3.7 kW single phase 16 amp.

How do EV extender cords impact voltage?    Assuming you are using a standard level 1 ev charger, then at the end of a long extension cord you could drop to 105-110 volts.   

EV-Chargers™ takes the complex and makes it simple.  We have created a simple drop down menu to help you find the right and the right charge power to match your vehicle and its battery. We provide the widest range of level 1 (120v) and level 2 chargers (240v) with the most common NEMA plug types all available as portable chargers.

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