Installing a Charging Station

There are different types of charging stations, but Charge Ready NY currently only covers Level 2 stations. Learn about the different types of charging stations and which one is right for your location.

NYSERDA’s best practice guides for public charging stations [PDF] and workplace charging stations [PDF] provide advice for site owners considering installing charging stations. They answer common questions, such as how to choose the right equipment, how to choose an installer, what rules to institute around using the charging stations, and more.

Buying a Charging Station

Most commercial charging stations are sold either directly by the manufacturer, through local distributors, or by charging solution companies that offer charging station and network solution packages. Each qualified charging equipment vendor for Charge Ready NY has provided a list of sellers in New York State, but it may not be exhaustive. You can buy through any of these channels and be eligible for Charge Ready NY rebates.

For public sector entities, many charging stations are available on New York State contracts through the Office of General Services. Participation in Charge Ready NY does not exempt you from your organization’s competitive selection processes; participants must still follow their own procurement rules.

NYSERDA has supported over 900 charging station installations to date. Data from previous projects suggests that a typical charging station costs between $3,000 and $4,750 per charging port. The installation of a charging station can vary widely in cost. In the New York City metro area, a typical installation costs between $2,000 and $10,500 per port, while in the rest of the state a typical installation costs between $2,000 and $6,500 per port.

There are several types of charging stations. The Charge Ready NY rebate covers Level 2.

Charging Station Options

Level 1

Standard Outlet
a three-pronged household outlet
How It Works

Standard AC current at 120V is supplied to the electric car using a portable cord that plugs into a regular three-prong outlet. Level 1 chargers provide 2-5 miles of electric range for each hour of charging.

Customer Use Cases

Ideal for locations where electric car owners can plug in all day or overnight, so the car is ready to go when they need it.

Cost and Installation

Level 1 charging stations only require a standard plug to be placed outside where it is convenient for charging electric cars. The Charge Ready NY rebate cannot be applied to Level 1 charging stations.

Charging Station Options

Level 2

Destination Charging Stations
A destination charging station
How It Works

A higher voltage (208-240V) is supplied as alternating current to the electric car, using a standardized connector that works for all cars (Tesla drivers use an adapter that comes with their car). Level 2 chargers provide about 20 miles of range in an hour. 3-6 hours usually provides a full charge, but topping off for 1-2 hours might be all that a car needs.

Customer Use Cases

Ideal for topping off when your patrons can park for a while, e.g. at workplaces or retail parking lots and garages. Users can find your charging station using a charging station app.

Options To Consider

Networked charging stations, which have a small monthly fee, allow for controlled access, data collection, and charging customers for use.

Cost and Installation

Level 2 charging stations range from $2-4K per port, and installation costs are $3-10k, inclusive of labor, materials and permitting. The Charge Ready NY rebate can be applied to Level 2 charging stations.

Charging Station Options

DCFC

On-The-Go Charging Stations
An on-the-go charging station
How It Works

Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) require 3-phase power and up to 500V to provide 50-400kW of charging power. Two common DC connection standards exist and are available on many all-electric cars, except for Tesla, which uses its own connector. A DCFC can provide more than 100 miles of range in an hour.

Customer Use Cases

Perfect as a stopover during longer road trips when electric car drivers need to charge up on the go, e.g. near a highway exit. This use case is similar to using a conventional gas station.

Options To Consider

How many charging stations will make sense for your site and how much will you charge for its use? Since many DCFC charging station installations require electrical service upgrades, planning ahead for the long term makes sense.

Cost and Installation

DCFC charging stations are about $25K in equipment cost, combined with $75-100K in electrical service upgrades. The Charge Ready NY rebate cannot be applied to DCFC charging stations.

Choosing an Installer

There are no special certifications for electricians to install charging stations, but licensed electricians with experience installing charging stations may be able to help you complete your installation quickly and on budget. Provisioning charging stations (connecting them with their network) can be tricky, and experienced charging station installers may be able to avoid some challenges with this process that less experienced installers sometimes face. Some vendors may have preferred installers, but you are free to select any installer you choose for the Charge Ready NY program. It is usually a good idea to request quotes from multiple installers.

Site Design

Experience shows that choosing the right place within a parking lot to install a charging station is extremely important for keeping costs down, making charging easy for drivers, and keeping patrons and the charging station safe. NYSERDA has compiled a siting and design guide for charging station owners [PDF] that walks site owners through the process of choosing the best location within a parking lot for your charging station.