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5-20 versus 5-15

There are many types of EV plugs, level 1 and level 1 EV chargers.  In the U.S., as the country developed, electricians, engineers, and grid planners worked independently, developing their own solutions and technologies for electrical grid systems.  As such, no universal, unifying electrical stand regarding voltage, shapes, and prongs was set from the beginning.

Are 5-20 and 5-15 level 1 EV chargers? 

Yes, both are level 1 EV chargers since they run at 120 volts and up to 16 amps (running 20 amps through a 20-amp rated plug on a 20 amp circuit is not advised)

Is a 5-20 or 5-15 EV plug type the fastest?  

A 5-20 NEMA socket type will provide more power compared to a 5-15.  A 5-20 plug will typically be on a 20-amp breaker, whereas a 5-15 will be on a 15-amp breaker.  

How much faster is a 5-20 versus a 5-15?

A 5-20 will provide 16 amps of power, whereas legally, a 5-15 should only provide 12 amps of power, so 25% faster. 12 amps will provide 1.4 kWh of energy into the car, whereas 16 amps will provide 2 kWh of power into the car.

How much faster will a 5-20 EV plug type charge my vehicle?

For plug-in hybrid vehicles especially, a NEMA 5-20 type EV charge can reduce charge times in a meaningful way.

What does a 5-20 and a 5-15 plug look like?

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5-20 versus 5-15
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Most EV owners like to have a level 1 EV charger since it will work anywhere and most manufacturers also provide a level 1 EV charger.  A 5-20 plug and a 5-15 plug receptacle can be found in most garages.  A 5-20 is slightly faster and worth the additional dollars to reduce charge times and provide added charging convenience at home

Liam Gillespie

[email protected]

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