How to choose between Hardwire and Plug-In EV Charger?

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Most people nowadays are going for level 2 chargers. In this case, you usually have 2 options for home charging. You need to choose between a hardwired or a plug-in charger. It might not be easy to know precisely what you need to invest in. In this article, we will dive deeper into the differences between plug-in and hardwired EV chargers to help you make the best choice for your needs. 

Differences between hardwire and plug-in EV charger

  • Install

A hardwired electric vehicle charger is wired directly into your home's electrical system. The wires need to be enclosed and they need to be wired into an open, appropriate circuit in your breaker box. So it usually requires a professional electrician to install it. And with a plug-in electrical vehicle charger installation, a professional electrician will install a 240v outlet. Because it’s just plugged into the wall, it can easily be moved and isn't permanent. 

  • Safety

Hardwired chargers are directly wired into your home's electrical system, they do not rely on an extension cable to reach the outlet. This lowers the risk of overloading and tripping your electrical breakers. Also, you can install it with a weatherproof cover to protect the charger from water and potential tampering. Plug-in chargers can also be safe if you take the necessary precautions. It is always a good idea to contact an electrician for a second opinion about your outlet.

  • Output

Hardwired EV chargers are not limited by the power draw of the outlet. So they can have more output than plug-in chargers and offer a larger range of amperage and charge-speed options. However, faster isn't always better. The faster the charger, the higher the amperage it needs, so you need to check with an electrician to understand what your existing capacity is, and what it might cost to upgrade. Even if your car can handle a high charging speed, you likely won't need it if you typically charge overnight.