EV Chargers- 6-50 Versus 14-50: Which Is Better?

If you have purchased an EV, or if you plan to purchase one in the future, you will probably have already started doing your research into EV chargers. Doing so, you may have found that there are different plug types, and now, you are confused and don’t know what to buy.

That is why we are here, and we are glad you found us.

6-50 Versus 14-50: Which Is Better

There are different plug options for EV Chargers, and really, there is no better choice, there is no clear winner. There is just the plug that is best for you and your situation and needs.

It also depends on how you intend to charge your car too, this is another thing to think about prior to an EV purchase. Will you charge with a level 1, or level 2 EV chargers? Level 2 is faster to charge and EV, and if you go for this, it is the 6-50 and 14-5o you will be stuck between.

The 6-50 and 14-50 are the most common variations of EV charging plugs. The 14-50 is an earlier option, whereas the 6-50 is a fairly new outlet. Both work for EV level 2 charging, but there are some pros and cons.

Neither plug is perfect, and both have benefits for their users, depending on the specifics.

So, let’s take a look at the overall, and see which is best, not for everyone but for you.

Charging Your EV At Home

If you are charging your EV at home, you can either get a level 1 or a level 2 charger. You cannot get level 3 for home use. Level 2 is the standard for most EV users. Level 2 allows for a fast charge that works well for your cars’ battery.

You can plug your car in overnight and by the morning when you leave for work, it is fully charged. Fantastic right? Okay, well, if you want a level 2 charger, now you have to think about plugs.

Maybe you thought getting an EV would not be tech heavy, and it isn’t, not really. You just have to understand your electric car like you would a gas car. In some ways knowing what plug to choose is no different from knowing what gas and how much gas your gas-powered car needs.

Level 2 has two plug options, but we can’t say what is best. So, instead let’s get to know the outlets and the specifics, so you can decide which is best for you.

It Matters What Outlet You Have

Outlets. There is a difference between the charging connector for an EV and the plug. The plug will connect to your wall outlet at home, while the connector is what you plug into your vehicle.

In the USA, most of us have a home fitted with a 120V electrical outlet, most other countries will have anything from 220 to 230 volt systems. So, our 120V system is weaker? Yes. This is because our system pre-dates those in other countries.

It is all thanks to Thomas Edison, but we will save you the science lesson. Basically, most homeowners in the U.S. decided to purchase items that use the voltage that Edison instituted. We do not really notice the difference, however, with EVs there are some factors to note.

You see, with EVs a higher voltage is better.

So, we can plug an EV directly into the wall with our 120V outlets, but it is not the best, this will provide a level 1 charge which could take hours! A level 1 charge only gives you around 3 or 4 miles of range per hour of charging! No, thank you!

Instead, we want a level 2 charge, and this is why we need these plugs. A level 2 charge with a good home charging station can charge your cars’ battery from empty to full in just a few measly hours. Ahh, that’s better.

So, know that you need to have a charging station for level 2 charging anyway. If you fancy plugging your car into your wall, be ready for a long wait to charge.

Choosing The Plug Type

So, now we know why we require these plugs, and why plugging your car into a wall is not a fun way to charge it, let’s look at these plugs compatible with EV Chargers.

Both are standard and rated by NEMA who are the biggest association for electrical equipment in the U.S. So, they are safe and standardized.

Understanding The NEMA 14-50 Plug

Straight to the punch, a NEMA 14-50 EVSE charger plug will have a four-wire grounding system, which can be received in ratings from 15 Amps to 60 Amps. It has a voltage rating of 250 as well.

The wire outlet gives off around 50A, and there is also a neutral straight wire too. This is used for grounding.

To install this, you will need an electrician, unless you are an electrician in which case you’re ahead of the game here, kudos! It needs proper set up, and with all these wires, it has to be done professionally.

You need to have a 240V outlet with a 50 Amp circuit breaker.

It is the recommended 50A plug, simply because it is the most versatile option for many.

Understanding The NEMA 6-50 Plug

Understanding The NEMA 6-50 Plug

On the flip side we have the NEMA 6 plug. This has two straight prongs that are parallel. It also has a horseshoe shaped prong for the ground too.

The hot prongs that come with this one have various width options, the largest prong is on the right side.

This is used to connect a 250V, 50A circuit to charge up your EV, while the neutral wire grounds it.

The 50 A circuit typically works with 8 gauge or bigger wires.

You want a 50A, and you will know these as they come with a rounded face and a measurement of around 2 ⅛ inches.

It is used to mount it to the wall outlet of an electrical box.

This is actually a good plug for arc welders as well.


The 14-50 has been around longer, however, major EV manufacturers, such as Tesla stopped the shipping of newer vehicles with these adaptors, which means that unlike the 6-50 plug, the 14-50 is no longer considered ideal for EV home installations.

The 6-50 on the other hand is preferred due to its many benefits.

You cannot deny, the installation of the 6-50 is easier by a long shot, you don’t need another wire, so you save money as well. If you install with the 14-50, you need to get yourself an extra wire. Some might not mind this, but for others, why take on the extra hassle?

Of course, there is also a difference in the cable as well. You get a smaller diameter cable with the 6-50. It is more flexible than the 14-50, which many people do like.

In comparison to the older model, the 6-50 is also so much easier to install, and even cost drops with the 6-50 too.

Again, thinking about installation, with the 6-50 you do not need so many wires when you install your wall breaker box too. The whole installation and set-up with the 6-50 is easier.

The 14-50 requires more wires to complete the setup.

The 6-50 is basically a hardcore upgrade on its predecessor. That is not to say that the 14-50 is no longer good.

Even with phones some people will prefer the older versions of iPhones to the newer ones.

The NEMA 14-50 is still a very widely used option. It is still the ideal charger for Tesla stations. So, do not expect it to be going anywhere quickly.

It does have disadvantages in comparison to the 6-50.

Yet in the future, we do not know what to expect, after all, it looks like EVSEs won’t even be having the 6-50 alternative. But, right now we do have J1772 EVSEs that use the 6-50.

It is hard to say which is best, the 6-50 has many more benefits over the 14-50, yet the 14-50 is still widely used, and if you are buying a Tesla, most of these do still use the 14-50.

Which is best? That is really for you to decide, however, if you are looking to the future, there is no saying what the set up will end up being. Perhaps the 14-50 will stay on, maybe the 6-50 will take over, or maybe, it will be neither.

To Conclude

Which is best, the NEMA 6-50, or the NEMA 14-50 plugs? Hmm, neither really. The 6-50 offers a lot of benefits, especially around installation. With fewer wires, and a simpler set-up you cannot deny that it has more advantages when you bring it into your home.

However, in the long run, neither plug really seems to be better than the other. 14-50’s are still used a lot in spite of the easier-to-set-up 6-50 now being available.

Only you can decide which is best for you. Perhaps a 6-50 with an easy set-up is a good shout. If you have a Tesla, perhaps a 14-50 will be better.

It is all up to you.

Michael Schuck

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