Setting Up You Charging Stations

How To Set Up Commercial EV Charging Stations?

First, determine your target audience's needs. Choose the appropriate charger type (Level 1, 2, or 3). Examine your site's electrical capacity. Ensure you have the required permits. Then, select an optimal location, professionally install the equipment, and test for functionality.

how to set up commercial EV Chargers

In recent years, electric vehicles (EVs) have transitioned from being an eco-conscious choice to an economic necessity for many businesses. As the demand for EVs rises, so does the need for commercial EV charging stations.

If you’re considering setting up a commercial EV charging station, this guide is for you. And if you’re setting up commercial chargers in the Chicagoland area, consider reaching out to us for help. Let’s take a look at the nine steps involved in the process.

1. Understand Your Needs

A commercial EV charging station is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The first step in setting one up is identifying the specific requirements for your location. For instance, you should consider your target audience as well as the estimation for the volume of charging stations you’ll need.

To determine your target audience, ask yourself “is my primary audience employees, customers, or both?” If it’s employees, consider their working hours and if they would benefit from a fast charge or a slower, overnight one. If customers, estimate their average stay duration to determine the charging speed you’d require.

When attempting to determine the volume of charging stations you’ll need, consider conducting surveys or analyzing parking lot data to gauge the number of EVs visiting daily. This can inform the number of charging ports required. However, keep in mind that demand will probably increase with time so it may be a good idea to install more than you need currently.

enel x charging station outside of school

2. Choose the Right Type of Charger

There are three main types or levels of charging stations: level 1, level 2, and level 3 (DC fast chargers). The charger type not only influences charging speed but also installation cost, operational cost, and user experience:

Level 1 Chargers

Ideal for long durations such as an employee’s entire workday. They’re less expensive but might not be as attractive to customers due to their slow charging rate.

Level 2 Chargers

A middle-ground solution, they offer faster charging without the extreme costs of Level 3 chargers. These are popular for commercial installations as they balance speed with cost.

DC Fast Chargers

These are your premium options. Best placed in high-traffic areas or where users desire a quick charge, such as near highways or fast-food outlets. While they offer rapid charging, they also come with higher installation and maintenance costs.

3. Evaluate Your Electrical Infrastructure

Before installing any chargers, it’s crucial to evaluate your current electrical infrastructure. Level 2 and 3 chargers, especially, can draw a lot of power. It’s advisable to work with a professional electrician or a specialized EV installation company, like Chicago EV, to ensure your site can handle the electrical demand.

A thorough assessment of your site’s electrical capabilities ensures safety and optimal operation. This involves understanding your building’s current electrical load, available capacity, and future expansion possibilities. Level 3 chargers, or multiple Level 2 chargers, might necessitate upgrades to your electrical system, potentially increasing initial costs.

4. Pick the Ideal Location

The location that you choose to place your charging stations can influence user experience and the utilization of the chargers. Three things to keep in mind are the visibility of the chargers, the accessibility of the chargers, and the signage used.

  • Visibility: Charging stations should be easily spotted from the main road or entrance. This encourages use and reduces frustration for EV drivers.
  • Accessibility: Ensure stations are accessible even during peak hours or busy days without causing traffic snarls.
  • Signage: Clear, illuminated signs can guide EV drivers while deterring non-EV cars from occupying the spaces.

5. Stay Compliant with Local Codes and Regulations

Local regulations safeguard both users and businesses. Before setting up your commercial EV charging stations, you need to make sure that you’re compliant with local codes and regulations.

Prior to the installation phase, you might need various permits. Ensure all paperwork is filed and approved to prevent legal complications. Also, abide by local safety standards, which might dictate charger type, installation method, or protective measures like bollards.

6. Consider Pricing Strategies

It’s crucial that you consider what pricing strategy is right for your charging stations. Your pricing approach can influence user behavior and station profitability. Two options to consider are dynamic pricing and loyalty programs for repeat customers.

With dynamic pricing, you may adjust rates based on demand. For example, offer discounts during off-peak hours to encourage utilization during these times. Loyalty programs are great because they reward repeat users with discounts or loyalty points, fostering a regular user base.

7. Incorporate Smart Management Systems

Technological advancements such as modern user interfaces and remote access can elevate user experience and operational efficiency. Modern EV chargers come with touchscreens offering information on charging time, cost, and energy consumption. Additionally, remote access allows operators to monitor, troubleshoot, or even reset chargers without being on-site.

8. Promote Your Charging Station

Visibility goes beyond physical location. It’s also beneficial to promote your charging station via mediums such as online platforms and collaborations. We suggest registering your station on Google Maps and EV charging map apps or websites to make it discoverable. Partnering with nearby businesses for joint promotions or discounts could also bring in new customers.

9. Regular Maintenance and Updates

Ensuring consistent operation is key to user trust and repeat business. Two things you should keep in mind are performing routine checks of your charging stations as well as updating the software regularly. Regularly inspect for wear and tear, vandalism, or software glitches. As EVs evolve, so does their charging tech. Regular updates ensure compatibility and optimal charging rates.


Setting up commercial EV charging stations might seem daunting, but with the right plan and expertise, it becomes a streamlined process. At Chicago EV, we not only sell and install EV chargers but also provide unparalleled service ensuring your chargers are always up and running. Join the green revolution and be a part of making Chicago a cleaner, more sustainable city.