Best Home EV Charger


What is the Best Home Ev Charger?

In the field, I get alot of questions about what the best home EV charger is for the average home in Northern Virginia.  Given the cutting edge nature of EV technology, one might assume that the answer is highly technical and only easily understood by someone with a background in engineering.  The surprising truth is that the answer is fairly simple.  The best EV charger for your home is the one that gives you the most flexibility across the greatest number of available electric vehicles or the one made by your vehicle’s manufacturer.    

The best EV charger for your home really isn’t a charger at all, but a simple wall outlet.  Most electric vehicles and aftermarket brand wall connectors are designed to interface with your home’s electrical system using a 50 Amp, 240 Volt wall outlet, called a NEMA 14-50R outlet.  This outlet will in most cases allow you to charge your vehicle at somewhere between 32 Amps and 40 Amps.  At this rate of current, your electric vehicle will charge adequately for one day’s needed state of charge in somewhere between 4 to 6 hours.  In other words, if you are running 32 to 40 Amps, you can plug your car in before you go to sleep at night, and it will be ready to go long before you are ready to head off to work the next morning.  The real long-term value of this solution is that the customer can switch between any wall connector equipped with a 14-50P (the “P” stands for plug that works with a 14-50R outlet receptacle) without having to go through the expense of hiring an electrician to swap out the wall connectors. 

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Exemplary electrical work and customer service. This is the second time I have used Root Electric and they will continue to be my "go to" electrical contractor. The on-line estimate quote process works very well - there were no surprises. Bill Sr. gave me a 10:00 - 12:00 service window; he called at 10:00 to say he would arrive in 30 - 45 minutes. Bill wore a protective mask at all times, was very respectful and aware of social distancing. The two jobs were completed quickly. All in all, a real pleasure to work with.

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If user-friendliness is what you are looking for, the best solution is to simply purchase the wall connector supplied by or recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer.  (The term wall connector is the technical term for what most people call a “home charger”.  This is because the equipment attached to your garage wall does not actually do the charging, rather, the chargers are built in to your car.)  A few auto manufacturers who provide their own wall connector are Tesla, Ford, and Lucid.  These wall connectors are made specifically to work with their respective brands and have features that may be accessible exclusively with the intended vehicle.  For example, Ford and Lucid are rolling out a feature with their wall connectors that allow the customer to use the car as a battery backup for the house.  As I write this article, I am not aware of any aftermarket brand that offers such capability.  Some of the auto manufacturer’s native brand wall connectors can be modified with adapters to work with other brands as well.  Tesla’s wall connector, which uses a configuration not shared with other brands can be modified with such an adapter to charge other vehicles.  

What is a NEMA 14-50R Outlet?

The NEMA 14-50R is a specific type of electrical receptacle or outlet.

"NEMA": Stands for National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which sets the standards for the manufacturing of electrical equipment in the United States.

"14": Indicates that the outlet has four wires – two hot wires, one neutral wire, and one ground wire.
"50": Indicates the electrical rating of the outlet, which is 50 amps.
"R": Stands for receptacle or outlet.

Therefore, a NEMA 14-50R is a 50-amp, 125/250-volt, four-wire receptacle. It is commonly used for electric vehicle chargers, electric ranges, ovens, and RV hookups.

In sum, the best brand wall connector that you can buy is either one that will work with a NEMA 14-50R outlet, or the one made specifically for your car by its manufacturer.  Either of these options will give you either the greatest amount of flexibility and future value, or unlock the greatest number of available features that your new electric vehicle has to offer.

Call Your Northern Virginia Electric Car Charging Station Installation Experts

Contact Root Electric to discuss your electric car charging installation needs, whether you need a Level 2 EVSE installed at home, or you run a business that needs Level 3 charging stations for a fleet or for your customers: (703) 494-3989.


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Bill Root

About the author

During my tenure at Root Electric, I lead the transition of Root Electric from a primarily sub-contracting based business model to a prime-contracting based business model. Accomplishments have been made by developing a team based approach to researching and implementing a service-specific client management system.

My goals for the next five years are to fine tune Root Electric's brand strategy and to diversify its scope of services, while remaining true to the discipline of electrical work.