Every Tesla, like any electric vehicle, needs consistent recharging. There are many reasons why it is more convenient to use an extension cord for your electric car. This means that to use an extension cord safely, you will need to get good cables. This allows you to reliably connect your vehicle to the Tesla charger.
A NEMA 14-50 or J1772 extension cord, they can both provide the extra length you need.
- For Tesla, here we’ve prepared a comparison of the best NEMA 14-50 extension cords.
- For the non-Tesla, next you will discover the top J1772 extenders.
Electricity can be dangerous. Have you ever worried about the safety of charging an electric vehicle with extension cables? It can be done wrong, and you can also buy the wrong EV extension cord that does not fit your situation. Most chargers come with a 16-foot cable, which is not long enough for many users. This article is for every EV owner who happens to have their electrical outlet or a charger farther away than ideal. Below you can find all the info you need to get the purchase right extension the first time.
Making an extension cable purchase is, for most users, just a functional thing and most don’t want to spend too much time pondering and analyzing this decision. If you are new to electric vehicles, then some terms may be new to you. Just like diesel and gas, electric vehicles have many different methods of getting the same job done.
It has to be the right caliber and length to charge your car without any problems. The Tesla charger extension cord is a 14-gauge wire. It can be used both at home and on the road.
Charging your Tesla can be a challenge when the outlet is out of reach of the charging adapter.
This can happen when traveling on a less-traveled route away from urban areas where we can use Superchargers, or even at home if the outlet is far from the garage or regular parking spot.
When taking a Tesla to a campsite, you can use many residential RV outlets to charge the car because they provide the amount of power needed. But again, you need to be close enough to it to be able to plug in a mobile charger, and that’s not always possible.
When choosing the best NEMA 14-50 extension cord, what matters to us is
- Technical specs
- Handle comfort
- LED power indicator
Charging cable extenders can give you an extended cable length of up to 50 feet, so you can reach outlets up to 70 feet away from your Tesla. The J1772 adapter comes with the Tesla, so you can use this type of extension cord easily.
Common plug types
The common term that all of the above connectors fall under is “EVSE”, or electric vehicle supply equipment.
Today we will be focusing on the NEMA 14-50 and J1772 connector types because these are the only plug types that allow using extension cables.
NEMA OR J1772. Which extension cord is the best?
When comparing the two options, keep in mind the following four criteria:
- Safety – is the product subjected to the elements and used in areas where people are often present?
- Technical requirements – does it fit your needs or other appliances?
- Portability – how often do you need to coil and uncoil the cord? How often do you need to store it?
- Aesthetics – does the design matter? All of the above products vary in color and design
Comparison of NEMA 14-50 vs J1772 standard
|NEMA 14-50 extension cable||J1772 extension cable|
|Application||Universal||Specifically designed for EV charging|
|Max Current for the standard||50A||80A|
|Nr. of pins||4 (hot, hot, ground, neutral)||5 (hot, neutral, ground, proximity sensor and control pilot)|
|Notes||Should be preferred for light-duty applications or if charging occurs infrequently.||A more proper solution is that the cables are sturdier and have more safety features, like overcurrent, overheat, and overvoltage protection.|
Let’s put it this way—a steak can be cut with any knife, but using a dedicated steak knife feels better and smoother. NEMA is the generic knife in this example. It is a universal option with a lower price, lighter weight, and this makes it also more portable. J1772 is specifically designed for EV charging. This makes it more convenient to plug in and unplug, a heavier but much safer option.
Charging with NEMA cable is considered safe, but why take chances when a more proper and safer option is out there?
NEMA standard is great but still inferior to J1772
Electrical code requires NEMA 14-50 to be installed with a ground fault circuit interceptor (GFCI). All modern cars are already equipped with a GFCI breaker, and two of those in consection tend to trip each other. This makes NEMA a bit of a less reliable option. It can be frustrating when you’ve charged your car before a long trip just to find out that the charging session has stopped in the middle.
The NEMA 14-50 outlet quality depends on your electrician. Cheaper outlets have been known to melt after a few months of continuous EV charging. It is understandable, since NEMA connectors are often used in short windows. Your oven or RV may pull max power for a while, but EV charging pulls maximum amps continuously.
J1772 can deliver more power. Even if your EV is not able to accept all that extra power, then most likely some of your visitors may appreciate it, and your next EV is likely to come with a more powerful onboard charger.
We recommend a dedicated wallbox style charger. Even Tesla does not offer a charger with a NEMA connector as standard anymore. That is their way of politely saying that people should opt for a wall-mounted charger.
NEMA is an excellent fit for some cases
If you own a condominium, then installing a proper Level 2 charger could be tricky since you probably need the green light from the HOA. With NEMA 14-50 outlet, it may be much easier.
You can find NEMA extension cables even 50 feet long. If your parking spot is farther away from the power source, then this could be a deal-breaker for choosing a J1772 extension cable.
J1772 is a more prevalent extension cord for an EV enthusiast
If you are an EV enthusiast, no other solution should be considered. You know you will be charging your car frequently and you want a proper solution.
Most EVs come with a dedicated charging adaptor that may or may not support the NEMA connector. Choosing J1772 means that you also have a wallbox type charger. This means that you can keep the charging adapter in your trunk for emergencies.
If you know that you are not going back to ICE vehicles, then why not choose a better solution today?
J1772 extension cables
If you have already decided to go with J1772 cable, then the only criteria left to choose from are length, materials, portability, resistance to elements, and design.
|Lectron 40ft/12m J1772 Extension Cable||
READ OUR REVIEW
|MUSTART 40 Amp 20 Ft J1772 Extension Cord||
READ OUR REVIEW
|LEFANEV 40A 20 Feet EV Charger Extension Cord||
READ OUR REVIEW
Comparison of the J1772 extension cables
|Materials||Copper, high strength ABS plastic, silver plating on inlets||Copper, PVC||Copper, PVC|
|Warranty||3 months||2 years||Contact seller|
|Weight||17.46 pounds||9.9 pounds||5.5 pounds|
|Max power rating||40 Amps||40 Amps||40 Amps|
All of the products above offer great safety, so choosing a product with a compelling design is also not a bad idea. Yes, the materials, durability, and weight do also vary, but since most users will use these electric car extension cords as a stationary solution, it does not matter much.
Product #1. BEST CHOICE. Lectron 40ft/12m J1772 Extension Cable Compatible with All J1772 EV Chargers
The Lectron J1772 extension cable should be your choice if you don’t feel like researching too many options for your extension cable needs. It is the most reasonably priced cable with a few features that even more expensive models don’t offer.
The plug, cable, and connections are more on the heavy-duty side. This might be the most important feature since the cable will be laying on the ground for most cases.
The silver plating in inlet provides great conductivity. With longer cables, you can expect a slight voltage drop. Similar to how water pressure in long pipes decreases due to friction. It’s the same thing with electrical cables. Silver plating lowers the resistance and lowers the voltage drop. With long cables, every bit of conductivity helps.
With an IP66 rating against water and dirt, it is dust-tight and resistant to water jets.
Product #2. MUSTART 40 Amp 20 Ft J1772 Extension Cord for EV Charger Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (Updated Version)
This extension cord should be preferred if used in locations where it is exposed to the elements or needs to be carried around. Out of the top three cables we reviewed, it was the only one with a portable bag.
It has a slightly higher water resistance level. By just looking at the IP standard, it states that the IP67 level products are dust-tight and can be submerged into 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. This should not be taken too seriously, since the standard covers clean, freshwater with no movement. In real life, water is rarely pure and moving water can still leak in.
Out of the three, it scores highest in the design category, but the cable itself does not feel that durable. At the same time, when not subjected to heavy wear, this extension cord should work wonderfully.
Product #3: LEFANEV 40A 20 Feet EV Charger Extension Cord for J1772 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
With a length of 20ft, it is also shorter and, therefore, a lighter cable. Colored connectors or cables serve an important function since the extension cable is usually used in places where you would not expect to find a charging cable lying around. At the same time, you’ll appreciate the clean look.
It is the lightest of the three. If a portable bag were to be included, it would be the most convenient cable extension out there. If you do choose to carry it around a lot, then a “figure 8 parachute fold” method does the job without any straps and bags.
This EV cable extender should be preferred when low weight and clean look is preferred. Other than that, the features are very similar to every other product in the market.
This cable covers all J1772 standards. At the same time, no extra steps have been made by the manufacturer to make it more user-friendly. The cable itself feels like it would not like an occasional car driving over it which can occur with extension cables.
NEMA is the best for a quick start
When you are debating between NEMA and J1772, then it helps to consider that you can’t go wrong with either, so choosing a more budget-friendly option will still work great. Even if you end up not charging your vehicle with it often, chances are a NEMA extension cord will come in handy at home. It can be used in a variety of applications from ovens and generators to RVs.
It is priced lower and gets your EV battery charged. NEMA wall connector is simpler to install and some buildings already have it installed. If you have the connector already installed, it will be a logical solution for charging your car if you wish to avoid extra hassle.
You may appreciate the lightweight style, which makes it relatively easy to carry around or store.
|Camco 55542 30-Feet 50 AMP||
READ OUR REVIEW
|Ceptics GN-CD-16A-50 Ft 50-Amp Auto EV Extension Cord||
READ OUR REVIEW
|Miady 30ft 50Amp Heavy Duty RV/EV Extension Cord||
READ OUR REVIEW
Comparison of the Nema 14-50 extension cables
|Length options||25ft||10ft, 25ft, 50ft||30ft|
|Materials||Heavy-duty heat resistant PVC, copper||PVC, copper||PVC, Copper|
|Hot wire size||#6 gauge||#8 gauge||#6 gauge|
|Organizer or strap||Yes||No||Yes|
|Warranty||Contact seller||Limited lifetime warranty||Contact seller|
|Weight||N/A||35.6 pounds||21 pounds|
|Max power rating||50 Amps||50 Amps||50 Amps|
Product #1. BEST CHOICE. Camco 55542 25-Feet 50 AMP Standard Male / 50 AMP Locking Electrical Adapter
A reasonably priced, simplest, and most practical NEMA 14-50 extension cable. Although it was not the most expensive cable we reviewed, it felt well-built in the hand, as though careful craftsmanship has been put into making this product.
One possible reason why it looks and feels to be better quality may be because out of the three companies reviewed, the Camco company has the longest experience in manufacturing cables like this, so they have had time to work out all sorts of kinks.
Most cables like these will be occasionally stored in the trunk of an electric vehicle or the garage, so the flexibility comes in handy when unwinding it or coiling it. The handle straps make it easy to carry around and store.
Product #2. Ceptics GN-CD-16A-50 Ft 50-Amp Auto EV Extension Cord (Recommended for Tesla Users Model 3/S/X/Y) | Nema L14-50-UL Listed-50A, 125/250V
Simple, yet sturdy. This product should be preferred for stationary application since the weather-resistant coating feels stiffer and there are no straps for carrying it around.
The cable is heavy duty and most would probably feel quite safe occasionally driving over the cable. The manufacturer produces mostly travel adapters and has started producing cables like this more recently. At the same time, they do offer a limited lifetime warranty but keep in mind that shipping the item back to the manufacturer in China could potentially cost you more than buying a new cable.
UL-listed — this is important. With the popularity of electric vehicles increasing, some startups and companies push their products to market in hopes of profiting from the trend. This could lead to rushed designs and poorly tested products. “UL-listed” means that the product has met the UL safety standards and that this has been verified by a third party.
Product #3. Miady 30ft 50Amp Heavy Duty RV/EV Extension Cord, Easy Unplug Design with Cord Organizer, 6/3+8/1 Gauge, ETL Listed
This extension cable should be chosen if the product is often stored, coiled, or carried around because the lightweight and carry strap makes it very convenient for frequent use. It is designed for RVs and less for electric vehicles. Usually, cables for electric vehicles are used more often than the ones for RVs. This shows in the design.
Compliments to the plug and socket engineers! The materials feel good and the handle is comfortable. The company sells the plug and socket separately quite successfully, so it seems like they have this part of the product well-thought-through.
Lightweight combined with a carry strap makes this extension cable one of the most comfortable cables to carry, coil, and store.
ETL Listed – provides more confidence in the quality and reliability of the product although the materials do not seem any better. The plastics used even feel a bit more on the cheap side.
What is the difference between UL and ETL listing?
No difference except the body that issues the listing.
What do “6/3 + 8/1”-gauge wires mean?
The gauge number indicates the thickness of the cord in terms of American Wire Gauge (AWG). Common extension cords are available in 16 gauge to 10 gauge, with the higher number indicating a thinner wire and lower gauge number indicating a thicker cable.
- “6/3” marking means that there are 3 conductors with gauge #6. These are for the neutral wire and two hot wires.
- “8/1” marking means that there is one wire with gauge #8. This is for the ground and should not carry any current.
With length the resistance of the cord increases. Choosing a thicker cable enables reducing the voltage drop and the risk of overheating. Even if the cables are good, the connector could potentially overheat if the contact between the metal surfaces is not ideal. Using high-grade contractor materials like silver-plated copper helps to reduce that risk a great deal.
Is it safe to use these cables in the rain and snow?
Some people don’t feel safe even when washing an electric car or letting it sit in the snow or rain with a charging cable attached. Engineers in automotive companies have thought about these dangers and built-in safety features to tackle them. Every EV charger extension cord is protected with short circuit protection and residual current protection.
A short circuit occurs when a current travels along an unintended path, often where essentially no (or a very low) electrical impedance is encountered. In simple terms, the device detects unusual peaks of current and shuts the device off when such an event occurs. Usually, it means that the two hot wires somehow come into contact, and this will lead to rapid overheating if not protected with a short-circuit breaker. Events like these usually happen when the cables are damaged by a metal object.
A residual current protection device measures the current flowing through each of the wires. In normal circumstances, they are equal. If one of the wires gets damaged and starts to bleed electricity, the device cuts the power. We recommend the J1772 extension cord as a safer option.
Does cord length affect charging speed?
Yes, but not substantially. Just like a long garden hose – every foot adds a bit to the friction and lowers the water pressure at the end of the hose. Similarly, In electrical engineering terms the resistance increases with length, this lowers the voltage (electrical pressure) and less comes out the other end.
For example, 25 feet of #8-gauge or #6-gauge wire will cause a voltage drop of about 1 percent if the supplied voltage is 120 volts and the wire carries no more than 50 amps.
What EV charging cable extensions are suitable for Tesla?
A NEMA 14-50 extension cord will be suitable for use with the Mobile Connector (portable charger). Extension cables are not yet available for the Tesla Wall Connector (stationary charger). There is an option to use the J1772 extension cord, which you can read about below.
Will the J1772 extender cable fit as a Tesla extension cord?
You can use a stationary or portable charger for non-tesla vehicles at home. Each Tesla comes with an adapter for this purpose. So a non-Tesla charger + J1772 extension cord + adapter will be able to charge your Tesla.
Which extension cord should you use: a 10-gauge or a 12-gauge?
The gauge of 12GA is larger, but the difference between the two gauges is minor. 12 AWG extension cords will suffice for most devices. Lawnmowers, heavy equipment, and other power-consuming appliances require a lower gauge, such as a 10AWG. The gauge tells you how thick the cord is. Keep in mind that the lower the gauge, the thicker the wire.
What is the maximum length of an extension cord that may be used?
Extension cords should not be more than 100 feet long. Moreover, for the NEMA 14-50, you will often only find 50-foot lengths on the market. J1772 cables are usually even shorter, at 40 feet. The maximum length of an extension cord may be exceeded by adding one extension cord into another. If the work is more than 100 feet long, a temporary power distribution box is necessary for NEMA.
Can I use an extension cord with the Level 1 charger?
Technically, yes, and you will need a 5-15 extension cord with a maximum load to do so. As with other chargers, EVSE manufacturers do not recommend an extension cord. However, user practice says that it is possible if safety rules are followed.
How do I protect EV extension cord from theft?
Blocking the cable with an electric car is, unfortunately, easily circumvented by criminals. Using a padlock is the most secure. Put a padlock on the lid of the inlet with the cable through the shackle if you want extra security. There are other ways, such as running the wheel over the cable or pinning it down.
Our Top Pick
Chargers that come with the vehicle are not always long enough to reach your parking spot. If you are a Tesla owner, along with connecting the Mobile Connector to a NEMA 14-50 outlet, a Camco extension cable would be a great choice.
The best solution for that problem is the LECTRON J1772 extension cable over NEMA extension cable because it offers excellent safety features and is more weather resistant. The cons of the J1772 is a the slightly higher price and weight but is considered a more proper and safer solution because it is designed specifically for EV charging. Even when manufacturers follow the same standards, the quality, materials and workmanship vary. The best is to choose a product that is tested by a third party.
The NEMA 14-50 connector will also get the job done and is considered a reasonably safe option. When you need to charge infrequently and the cable needs to be used to power other appliances, then NEMA extension cable should be your first choice. This standard is not designed for EV charging, therefore overheating and tripping the ground fault circuit interceptor can occur.
- 1 Charging your Tesla can be a challenge when the outlet is out of reach of the charging adapter.
- 2 When choosing the best NEMA 14-50 extension cord, what matters to us is
- 3 Common plug types
- 4 NEMA OR J1772. Which extension cord is the best?
- 5 Comparison of NEMA 14-50 vs J1772 standard
- 6 NEMA standard is great but still inferior to J1772
- 7 NEMA is an excellent fit for some cases
- 8 J1772 is a more prevalent extension cord for an EV enthusiast
- 9 J1772 extension cables
- 10 Product #1. BEST CHOICE. Lectron 40ft/12m J1772 Extension Cable Compatible with All J1772 EV Chargers
- 11 Product #2. MUSTART 40 Amp 20 Ft J1772 Extension Cord for EV Charger Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (Updated Version)
- 12 Product #3: LEFANEV 40A 20 Feet EV Charger Extension Cord for J1772 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
- 13 NEMA is the best for a quick start
- 14 Product #1. BEST CHOICE. Camco 55542 25-Feet 50 AMP Standard Male / 50 AMP Locking Electrical Adapter
- 15 Product #2. Ceptics GN-CD-16A-50 Ft 50-Amp Auto EV Extension Cord (Recommended for Tesla Users Model 3/S/X/Y) | Nema L14-50-UL Listed-50A, 125/250V
- 16 Product #3. Miady 30ft 50Amp Heavy Duty RV/EV Extension Cord, Easy Unplug Design with Cord Organizer, 6/3+8/1 Gauge, ETL Listed
- 17 What is the difference between UL and ETL listing?
- 18 What do “6/3 + 8/1”-gauge wires mean?
- 19 Is it safe to use these cables in the rain and snow?
- 20 Does cord length affect charging speed?
- 21 FAQ
- 22 Our Top Pick