February 29, 2024

How to Get a Permit for a Commercial EV Charging Station Installation in 2024

7 Min. Read
This article was originally published November 17, 2022 and was updated February 29, 2024

There is an increasing need for charging stations on rental properties and at businesses as the electric vehicle (EV) industry continues to grow. Adding an EV charging station for residents, employees, or customers is a great way to distinguish your business as an industry leader and provide a revenue source for your company.

While installing an EV charging station on your property may be practical and profitable, filing the necessary paperwork and receiving the correct permits before any electrification projects begin is essential.

Making a mistake on a permit can be expensive and lead to issues with building inspections, repairs on improperly completed work, and delays in opening buildings or amenities—all of which will cost you more money and time and can lead to frustrations from your customers, tenants, and employees.

Permits confirm that a property’s electrical system can handle the load of a charging station and verify that work was completed per local code requirements. As a commercial building owner or manager, working with a qualified and licensed electrician who performs safe, high-quality work will also ensure that your equipment continues to function properly and can help build your positive reputation as a sustainability and tech-forward leader in your community.

This article will cover what you need to know about filing for the correct EV charging station installation permits and hiring a qualified electrician for your upcoming commercial EV charging station installation project.

Regulations for Commercial EV Charging Station Installation

Throughout the U.S., governments are incentivizing EV charging station installation and the installation and implementation of other sustainable energy transition technologies. Many protection laws are also in place to prevent tenants from being denied the ability to add these technologies to their rented property which, as a commercial property owner, is crucial to understand.

Along with the special incentives offered at the federal level, many states, cities, and counties implement their own regulations for additional incentives, which are updated often and must be carefully studied and considered prior to beginning your electrification project to ensure your commercial EV charging station installation meets all eligibility requirements for available funding and incentives.

These incentives, which help ensure EV charging access is widespread and accessible accross the country, also help ensure property owners have safe installations by having these eligibility requirements set in place. One such measure requires that a property owner submit project plans to their local jurisdiction for approval before the installation begins.

To inform the public of the considerations that should be made before or during the permit process, the Center for Sustainable Energy outlines some areas of focus for commercial EV charging station installation.

  • Zoning requirements
  • Community or design guidelines
  • Existing use-permits
  • Electrical source/metering
  • Parking and signage requirements
  • Permit and inspection fees

The application process for local building permits varies depending on the location. The best course of action is to contact local offices for installation requirements, which is something your licensed electrician can assist you with, as they should also file for the necessary permits on your behalf. As the general public can typically use a commercial EV charger, stricter oversight is required to ensure public safety.

Depending on the state in question, a charging station must comply with the NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC), which outlines requirements for safe electrical design and inspection of any EV charging station installation.

Various editions of the NEC are adopted in almost all states of the U.S. The specific requirements for EV charging stations can be found in Chapter 6, Article 625 of the 2023 edition — which several states are in the process of adopting as of 2024.

The permit process also differs depending on the type of charger installed. Most Level 2 and Level 3 EV charging stations require an electrical installation permit. Complex commercial EV charging station installations may also require modifications to an existing use permit or site plan addressing specific community or zoning design criteria.

How to Get a Permit for a Commercial EV Charging Station

Installing an EV charger on a commercial property can be similar to installing one on a residential property, depending on the complexity of your property and your EV charging needs. In most cases, the local sustainability or urban planning office can help you understand the requirements for your EV charging station installation permit.

While picking a location for an EV charger, you must use one that is easy to access. A curbside EV charger will typically follow local parking regulations. Follow these five steps to learn how to get a permit for an EV charging station:

  1. Fill Out Permit Application: A typical application will require essential information related to the building location, an overview of the electrical system, and the type of building. This is also something your electrical contractor can complete on your behalf.
  2. Submit Plans for Installation: A property owner must include an electrical diagram and load calculation while submitting the building plans. These documents confirm that the electrical system can safely operate an EV charger and should specify which type of charging station you plan to install, where they will be installed, and how many charging stations you intend to operate at your property.
  3. Hire an Electrician for Installation: Working with a certified electrician is important in ensuring a safe and proper installation. You can find a qualified electrician in a trusted EV installer network.
  4. Schedule Inspection: Your local jurisdiction will send an inspector to ensure your EV charging station meets building codes. If there are any issues, you will need to schedule another inspection after fixing them.
  5. Contact Your Utility Company if Needed: If any changes to the electrical infrastructure are made, you will need to contact the local utility company. You can call your utility department to schedule a service for your EV charger.

How Do You Operate and Maintain a Commercial EV Charging Station?

After installation, an EV charging station owner will still need to operate the system according to their type of permit and any additional permit specifications. It is the owner’s responsibility to maintain the conditions of the EV charger. Maintaining the EV charging station will create a safe user environment and extend the lifespan of your charging equipment.

Owners should schedule routine maintenance to ensure the charging components are in working condition. A fast replacement is required to restore safety if extended usage damages a component, like the charging cable.

In some local areas, features like a retractable charging cable help reduce tripping hazards. The safety of users is the most important part of a commercial EV charger, starting from the installation to the ongoing operation.

What are the Benefits of Commercial EV Charging Station Installation?

There are several benefits associated with EV charging station installation, making the permit process well worth the effort. Businesses that take this crucial step can take advantage of the following:

Additional Revenue

Businesses can reap passive revenue by billing customers or employers who use their stations. Charges can be levied through various billing models, such as per kilowatt-hour of energy used or a subscription-based model.

Increased Footfall

Commercial charging stations attract more customers to your business. Level 2 EV charging stations are particularly effective in places where customers already spend a lot of time, such as retail or entertainment venues.

Employee Engagement

Many businesses may choose to offer employees free-of-cost or reduced-cost EV charging stations as a perk. This improves employee morale, showcases your commitment to innovation and sustainability, and helps attract and retain top talent.

Helps Achieve GSR Goals

Installing EV charging stations demonstrates a business owner’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices, promoting corporate social responsibility, and helping achieve net-zero targets.

Government Incentives

Business owners can also benefit from various government rebates and incentives, which can, in some cases, help recover the entire cost of a EV charging station installation.

Let Qmerit Help with Your EV Charging Station Installation

Qmerit takes the stress out of hiring installers to start growing your property’s infrastructure. With our network of certified electricians, we have a team that spans the U.S. and Canada. Our primary goal is to make electrification accessible, and we’re proud to partner with many trusted brands to deliver the best results on your project.

In fact, Qmerit’s record of success has helped us become North America’s most trusted EV charging station installation network and electrification services provider. We’ve helped install over 269,000 EV charging stations to date, and our dedicated team will support your electrification project from start to finish.

No matter the level of complexity or needs of your property, we can help you manage a smooth EV transition for your business. If you are wondering how to get a permit for a commercial EV charging station installation at your property, our team will also discuss ways to offset costs through various utility incentives and financing.

Contact Qmerit today to learn more about getting started on your next property renovation and EV charger installation!

Author: Tom Bowen Tom Bowen President, Qmerit Solutions and Commercial Electrification