How to Install Commercial EV Charging Stations for Your Business


Commercial EV charging stations bring numerous benefits to business owners. From enhanced property values to new revenue opportunities, your company has much to gain by offering a place for customers and employees to recharge.

Even if you’re convinced of the benefits, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of planning and executing the installation. The process doesn’t have to be overly complicated, though. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of how to install commercial EV charging stations, covering everything from equipment options to ways to streamline the project.

Why Businesses Should Install Commercial EV Charging Stations  

Commercial EV charging offers a range of potential benefits for businesses and property owners. Installing chargers on site can bring you closer to your sustainability goals, increase property values, and improve employee and customer retention. You can save substantially with today’s incentives and credits, not to mention add a new potential revenue source to your business in the form of charging fees. The sooner you start, the more you stand to gain.

These benefits are available to almost any business that installs charging equipment for electric vehicles, but some operations are particularly well positioned to take advantage. These include:  

  • Workplaces
  • Multi-unit dwellings
  • Retailers
  • Hotels and other hospitality operations

Essentially, any business or property with a significant number of employees, tenants, or customers who regularly park for at least a half-hour can take advantage of commercial EV charging installation benefits.

Factors to Consider When Installing Commercial EV Charging Stations

Of course, EV charging must be right for your business to pay off. So, how do you know if it’s worth the investment? Here are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to implement an EV charging solution on your property.

Alignment With Business Goals

Consumers are clearly putting a higher premium on sustainability. Sales of products with sustainability claims are up compared to products without these claims, and 70% of Gen Zers and Millennials say they actively try to reduce their impact on the environment. These trends are shaping objectives for many organizations.

If you aim to increase employee retention and boost customer satisfaction in this environment, you must make visible, impactful sustainability moves. Installing EV chargers could be a way to say loudly and clearly that you take environmental initiatives seriously.  

EV Charging Demand

Overall, EV charging demand has skyrocketed in the past few years. According to the International Energy Agency, sales in 2023 were six times higher than in 2018 — and they’re already off to a strong start in 2024.

As you weigh a possible commercial EV charging installation, it’s a good idea to gauge employee and customer demand against these trends. If your staff and clientele are at or ahead of these adoption levels, it may be past time to move forward. Plus, if you have a lot of workers or customers parked for 30 minutes or more, that’s another sign that EV chargers are a good idea.

Existing Electrical Infrastructure

Existing electrical capacity and infrastructure will significantly impact the scope of your project. You’ll want to know if you need additional power capacity, how much new tunneling will be needed, and how to plan charger location to minimize these costs. An electrician or commercial EV charging installation service can help you assess your electrical situation.  

EV Charging Levels

There are a few different types of EV charging supply equipment, with significantly different hardware and energy costs. For commercial applications, you’ll need to choose between Level 2 and Level 3 chargers:

  • Level 2: These chargers deliver roughly 40 miles of charge per hour, making them ideal for workplaces or businesses where tenants and customers park for extended periods. Level 2 charging stations require 208–240 volts of power.
  • Level 3: Also known as DC Fast Chargers (DCFC), these can provide roughly 200 miles of charge in just an hour, making them ideal for retail operations or other areas where employees or customers make brief stops. DCFCs require up to 1,000 volts per charger and cost more than Level 2 equipment.

EV Charging Costs

EV charging infrastructure is a significant investment, and you should weigh the project cost against your potential long-term gains. Aside from commercial electric vehicle charging stations and electrical upgrades, you must consider other expenses associated with installation and regulatory compliance, along with the ongoing cost of operating the equipment. To learn more, read our post about the costs of EV charging stations.

Keep in mind that there are numerous federal and state-level incentives available to reduce your upfront costs. For instance, the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit offers businesses up to $100,000 for some commercial charging installations. Plus, charging equipment can generate revenue to offset your spending. Learn more about these and other incentives at our Incentives & Policy hub.  

Commercial EV Charging Installation Options

You have two options when installing EV charging equipment at your business. On one hand, you can research and purchase your chargers and hire an electrician to complete the installation. This may be more cost-effective when you only deploy a few chargers and don’t need to plan an extensive installation.

For larger projects, it’s better to partner with an EV charging solutions provider. An experienced EV charger installation company can handle charger procurement and installation to simplify the entire process. The best companies can even provide EV charging load management and charger maintenance to reduce operational burdens and ongoing management costs.

EV Charging Installation Steps

In most commercial applications, partnering with a commercial EV charging provider will be the best choice for your project. Here are the steps involved once you’ve decided to move forward.

1. Get Internal Buy-in

As with any new investment, you’ll first want to secure buy-in from key internal stakeholders. Make the case for EV chargers in terms of sustainability initiatives and as a way to boost your net operating income (NOI) for years to come. Get everyone on the same page about the long-term value of the project.

2. Partner With a Solutions Provider

An EV charging solutions provider is your most important ally throughout the rest of the process. With an experienced provider, you can easily navigate questions about equipment choice, electrical upgrades, and installation timeline. A complete solution like PowerFlex will even relieve the headaches of managing and maintaining your equipment going forward.

3. Site Validation and Valuation

Now you’re getting into the nuts and bolts of your commercial EV charging installation. During this phase, your EV charging installation partner will assess the site for electrical upgrade feasibility, plan for equipment, review incentives and relevant regulations, and help you project the total cost and value of the project and plan for financing. Depending on size and scope, this process can take anywhere from two to six weeks.

4. Site Development

Once you’ve established your plans, you can begin preparing for construction. During site development, your provider will create and refine site plans and submit incentive and financing applications on your behalf. They’ll also need to work with utility companies and your local government to secure approval and any necessary permits. Timelines can vary, but this phase typically takes one to two months.

5. Engineering, Procurement, Construction

In this phase, which takes anywhere from two weeks to six months, your plans finally come to fruition. Your provider will hire contractors and work directly with the onsite construction team. Your chosen equipment will arrive, and the utility will come to connect everything. Any additional inspections and permitting will take place, and you’ll obtain your official commercial operation date (COD).

6. O&M and Asset Management

If your charging solutions partner provides ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M) and charging asset management, they’ll continue working with you after installation is complete. This may include monitoring and optimizing charging, managing warranties and ongoing incentives, providing customer support, and dispatching a service team when needed.  

Contact PowerFlex for Your Commercial EV Charging Station Installation Needs

Choosing to install EV chargers marks a major milestone for your business. It’s no small investment, nor is the project free of hurdles and headaches. When you make the move, you need a partner that serves as more than just an EV charger installation company.

PowerFlex offers a complete, end-to-end solution for your commercial EV charging project, handling planning, installation, and ongoing management. You can install more chargers without expensive utility upgrades, resulting in up to 60% savings on implementation costs.

And once you’re up and running, PowerFlex X™ with Adaptive Load Management® lets you intelligently manage charging demand to avoid peak demand charges.

Whether you need to energize your fleet or attract more customers and employees with sustainable solutions, PoweFlex can help you get the job done. Reach out today, and one of our experts will help you get started with your EV charging project installation.