What is a NEMA 14-30 Outlet for EV Charging?

If you’re interested in installing an electric vehicle (EV) charging station at your home, you more than likely know by now that you need a Level 2 EV charger. A Level 2 EV charging station makes an overnight charge easy and you don’t have to worry about finding a public charging station. You can also ditch that Level 1 charger that came with your electric car and stop worrying about slow charging rates. A Level 2 charger requires a 240 volt outlet or receptacle. One of the plug types available for EV charging stations is the NEMA 14-30. In this article, we will explain what a NEMA 14-30 outlet for EV charging is and how it works.

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What does NEMA stand for?

Before we get into the different types of NEMA plugs for EV charging stations, let’s define what NEMA is. NEMA stands for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Power plug and receptacles that are NEMA rated follow the standards set by the organization. Not all plugs and connectors are NEMA rated. Manufacturers can choose to follow different standards for their products. Non-NEMA rated products are not as safe as NEMA-rated equipment and should not be used for an EV charging station installation. 

What are the different plug types for EV charging stations?

EV charging stations come in three different plug types: NEMA 6-50, NEMA 14-30, and NEMA 14-50. The NEMA 14-30 is a 30 amp plug and is the plug type commonly used in a home for an electric dryer. A NEMA 14-50 plug is commonly used for electric stoves and recreational vehicles. A NEMA 6-50 plug is also a 50 amp plug and is commonly used for welders. They all have the same voltage at 240 volts but provide different amperages. A NEMA 6-50 plug is a 3 prong plug, while the NEMA 14-30 and NEMA 14-50 plugs have four prongs.

What is a NEMA 14-30 outlet?

A NEMA 14-30 outlet is a four-wire 30 amp socket. It is found in millions of U.S. garages because it is the standard electric clothes dryer plug. In older homes, you may find a NEMA 10-30 socket. A NEMA 14 30 outlet will provide less power than the other two popular plugs for EV chargers, NEMA 14-30 and NEMA 6-50, since they are 50 amps, while a 30 amp circuit is on a NEMA 14-30 outlet.

A NEMA 14-30 is usually the cheaper option out of the three types since you may already have one in your garage. It can help you save on expensive panel upgrades. You will be charging at lower speeds than you would with NEMA 14-30 and NEMA 6-50 EV chargers, but you will still be charging at a much faster rate than with your Level 1 EV charging station. A NEMA 14-30 EV charging station should be able to fully charge a battery-electric vehicle in 5-6 hours. A plug-in hybrid will be even quicker. 

If you decide to use a NEMA 14-30 dryer outlet that is already in your garage and not being used for anything else, make sure the EV charging station you purchase has a NEMA 14 30 plug or power cord.

Hardwired vs. Plug-in NEMA 14-30

A hardwired NEMA 14-30 installation is the preferred option by most EV charging station manufacturers. A hardwired charger is permanent and is affixed to a wall, while a plug-in charger is portable and an electrician will install a NEMA 14-30 outlet for you. A hardwired installation is more durable, delivers a stronger EV charging connection, and does not require a GFCI circuit breaker. When you have a better connection to the car you’re charging, it will charge faster and more efficiently. 

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the benchmark for safe electrical installations and it requires a GFCI circuit breaker to be installed on a NEMA 14-30 outlet used for EV charging. This requirement is necessary to prevent injuries and house fires, but it does create a potential breaker-tripping issue. A plug-in NEMA 14-30 EV charging station is prone to this and can become a nuisance.

Can I charge a Tesla with NEMA 14-30?

Tesla owners often ask if they can charge with a NEMA 14-30 or should they purchase a Tesla charger. While the Tesla Mobile Connector is the recommended charger for Tesla vehicles, you can charge a Tesla with a NEMA 14-30 EV charger. 

To charge a Tesla with a NEMA 14-30 outlet you will need to use the mobile connector that is included as standard equipment with all new vehicles. It is a 20-foot cable with interchangeable adaptors, one of them will be the NEMA 14-30. You’ll have to purchase the adaptor separately. Attach the adapter to the Mobile Connector, plug it into the outlet and your Tesla should start charging. 

Your Tesla will only draw up to 24 amps (as opposed to 30 amps). With a Tesla Model 3, you will gain 22 miles of range per hour of charge, a Tesla Model S will get 17 miles of range per hour of charge, and the Tesla Model X will get 14 miles of range per hour of charge.

How do I install a NEMA 14-30 outlet?

A NEMA 14-30 has two hots, one neutral and one ground. When it comes to wiring requirements, the NEC recommends #10 wire. A licensed electrician will know this and be able to wire everything properly and safely for you. While you may be able to do it yourself it is not advised or wise to do so. If the wiring is done incorrectly or if the wrong type of 14-30 outlet is installed, disaster can occur. 

Protect yourself and your family by hiring a licensed electrician if you need to install a NEMA 14-30 outlet for EV charging. WattLogic has made the home EV charging station installation process simple and easy. Unlike the traditional route of calling different electricians and scheduling times for each one to come and see what your plans are and then coming back to you a couple of days later with an estimate, you can do all that in one easy step. Just fill out our quick survey – it will take you less than 10 minutes – and we will send you a quote in no time! There is no obligation so there’s no reason not to fill it out and see what your NEMA 14-30 outlet estimate is!