If you drive an electric vehicle every day, you know the importance of being able to recharge your battery quickly. A clothes dryer outlet offers 240 volt power and will charge an electric vehicle faster than a regular 120 volt appliance outlet. But you’ll probably need to buy a special charger or adapter to plug into your dryer’s outlet.
Can you plug your electric car into a regular wall outlet?
Most appliance outlets you will find in the walls of your home offer 120 volts of electricity. You can certainly plug an electric vehicle into one of these outlets. But depending on the size of its battery, your car can take 40 or even 50 hours to fully charge.
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The U.S. Department of Transportation classifies a 120-volt system as “Level 1” EV charging. Level 1 charging almost always involves plugging your EV charger into a wall outlet, as all public chargers offer over 120 volts. Why is it? Because a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) can take five to six hours to fully charge with just 120 volts of power.
Full battery electric vehicles require significantly more power than PHEVs and have larger capacity batteries. This is why it can take two days to recharge an empty BEV if you only have access to 120 volt power.
In a pinch, plugging into a wall outlet isn’t a bad way to top off your plug-in. But it’s a less than ideal way to charge an EV from empty.
Can you plug your electric car into a clothes dryer outlet?
Many homes have a few 240 volt outlets. These are used for electric clothes dryers, some electric ranges, and even welders. That’s why you can find 240-volt outlets in your laundry room, kitchen, and garage. These sockets can even vary in amperage. You can probably order an adapter from your car manufacturer to plug your electric car into one of these outlets.
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Any charging system over 200 volts is classified as “Level 2”. This includes commercial 208 volt EV chargers as well as your 240 volt dryer outlet. Level 2 should be able to charge most EVs from empty in 4-10 hours. A PHEV should take one to two hours.
Do you have to charge your EV from your 240 volt household outlet?
Is it a good idea to plug your electric car into a clothes dryer outlet? Not always. Clothes dryers aren’t designed to be plugged and unplugged, so repeatedly switching from your car to this appliance can cause damage.
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Also, your garage’s 240-volt outlet may be 30, 40, or even 50 amps depending on what it’s intended for. You will need to make sure your EV charger can handle its amperage.
According to Clean Technica, you may be able to get around the plug/unplug problem by plugging a heavy-duty splitter into your 240-volt outlet, so you can leave your extension cord and clothes dryer plugged in, but only run one. only one at a time.
Yet many EV owners avoid having a purpose-built EV charger installed in their home. This will often charge your battery the fastest. An electrician can hook it up to your home’s existing 240-volt system, and you won’t have to unplug your dryer every time you need to charge your car.
If you often visit a friend who has a garage with a dryer outlet, it might be worth doing some research and buying the right adapter for your car. This could save you from being stuck with a 110 volt outlet and extremely slow charging.
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