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Is NEMA 14 50 the same as a 220v?

In this article, we will cover the different types of 220-volt outlets, their rated voltage, and the range your EV can expect to get.

When thinking about electric vehicle charging, there are three ways consumers, suppliers, and car dealerships talk about EV (or EVSE) charging.  The table below summarizes this succinctly.  The below outlet types are the most popular and safest 220-volt residential outlets.  You will occasionally find NEMA 6-30 also, but the three below are the most frequently fitted by electricians or may already exist in the home: –

They talk about plug typeThey talk about voltageThey talk about amps or kilowatts
NEMA 14-50  Is 220 voltsProvides 32 or 40 amps (9.6 kw)
NEMA 6-50Is 220 voltsProvides 32 or 40 amps (9.6 kw)
NEMA 14-30Is 220 voltsProvides up to 24 amps (5.4 kw)

In short, when people talk about a 14 50 EV charger or 14 50 EVSE, they implicitly mean that it is for a 220-volt outlet. 14 50 outlets are not designed for work with 110-volt appliances. They can typically provide voltages as low as 208 volts up to 240 volts. This is because voltage service differs by area, and so the outlet needs to be flexible to voltage changes.

The main difference between a NEMA 14-50 outlet and a generic “220-volt outlet” lies in the specific configuration and intended use.

More on the NEMA 14-50 Outlet

The NEMA 14-50 outlet is a standardized electrical outlet with a specific configuration defined by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

  1. It is a 220-volt outlet and can provide up to 50 amps of power.  That said, for EV applications, which are continuous draw of electricity since one may charge for 6-8 hours, then the EV charger should only pull 40 amps of charge (i.e., its maximum power setting).  There are plug-in EV chargers advertising higher amps, which the outlet is not designed for in terms of continuous load.
  1. The 14-50 outlet has four prongs: two hot wires (X and Y) (each carrying 120 volts from the electrical panel), one neutral wire (N), and one ground wire.
  1. Common uses for a NEMA 14-50 outlet are for RV, electric dryers, electric stoves, power tools, and more recently, EV charging

More on the 220-volt or 240 volt Outlet

The term “220-volt outlet” or “240-volt outlet” refers to the various available commercial and residential electrical outlets that provide higher voltage (typically in the range of 208-240 volts). These outlets are less common compared to standard household outlets (which usually provide around 110-120 volts) and are found everywhere in the home and garage.

These outlets can have various configurations and types, including different plug shapes and amperage ratings.

Various appliances need these outlets, such as EV charging, air conditioner units, welders, and power tools. Several household appliances, such as dryers and electric stoves, typically need a 220-volt outlet.

What driving range can I expect from a NEMA 14-50 or NEMA 6-50 outlet?

The different plug types we discussed will achieve different miles of range per hour of charging

Plug TypeAmpsMiles per hour of EV charging    Typical charge time
NEMA 14-50 EV Charger40 amps~346-8 hours
NEMA 6-50 EV Charger40 amps~346-8 hours
NEMA 14-30 EV Charger24 amps~18                ~ 12 hours
NEMA 6-20 EV Charger16 amps~12                ~ 14 hours

In summary 

A NEMA 14-50 outlet is a specific type of 220-volt outlet with a standardized configuration.  It has become the most popular type of EV charger for plug-in EV charging with Tesla originally providing versions of its residential charging in a 14 50 format.   It is the most popular type of level 2 EV charger and will generally provide to 220-240 volts and in EV charger applications up to 40 amps of power safely.

220-volt outlet refers to other outlets that provide higher voltages and includes various 3-prong and 4-prong outlets.

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