Which is better for your business — Level 2 AC or DC fast charging?

The Business of Charging |

AC and DC fast charging in use

As e-mobility becomes more and more mainstream, businesses have an opportunity to help build out the new fueling network. Depending on your business, EV charging can help you draw in new customers, meet demand from residents or employees, and achieve sustainability goals. 

If the idea of adding charging to your business is new, you may be wondering where to begin — including what type of charging solution to implement. Level 2 AC charging and DC fast charging convert electricity from the grid in different ways, which affects charging speed. The type of charging you choose depends on what type of business you run as well as your users’ behavior.

What types of businesses benefit from Level 2 charging?

Level 2 chargers usually don’t require expensive electrical upgrades because they operate in a more conventional power range than DC fast chargers. When installing multiple stations, however, it may be necessary to upgrade your electrical supply or use software to manage available power between stations.

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Workplace. Level 2 charging is a great benefit for employees who park their cars at work all day anyway. Adding EV charging to your parking facilities also helps you meet corporate sustainability goals.
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Multifamily housing. EV charging attracts residents and increases property values. Regional building codes often require a certain percentage of EV-ready parking spaces in new developments, and Level 2 is a cost-effective way to meet those requirements.
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Public parking facilities. Offering charging can attract EV-driving customers and help diversify revenue.
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Retail. At shopping malls, restaurants, event venues and other places where drivers usually spend more than an hour, Level 2 charging draws in customers and allows them to charge up before heading to the next stop. Connecting your loyalty program to your charging solution can increase customer traffic even further.
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Light-duty fleets. Level 2 charging is perfect for daytime fleet operators. Drivers simply plug in at night while vehicles are parked, and they’ll be fully charged the next day.

What types of business benefit from DC fast charging?

Hardware, site buildout, installation and operation all cost more for a DC fast charging solution. Greater electrical supply is also needed. Depending on your business, however, the ability to charge more vehicles per day can help recoup the initial costs quickly.

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Fuel and convenience and quick-stop retail. Businesses along thoroughfares and highways benefit from DC fast charging solutions that allow customers to refuel and get back on the road quickly. 
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Municipalities. Electric buses and heavy-duty electric work vehicles serving cities and towns have high-capacity batteries that require high-power DC fast charging. To keep vehicles charged up around the clock, fast chargers can be installed at locations along the fleet route.
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Heavy-duty fleets. Rather than rotate vehicles out for charging, use DC fast to keep an entire fleet — such as forklifts and yard tractors — running around the clock.

Many businesses have a use case for both DC fast and AC charging. For example, a retail location might offer DC fast charging for customers but offer AC charging for overnight fleets and staff.

Level 2 vs. DC fast charging at a glance

L2 vs DC fast table

Level 2 or DC fast, ChargePoint has got you covered

As the largest EV charging network for businesses, fleets and drivers, ChargePoint offers a comprehensive solution of software, hardware and professional services to help you run a best-in-class EV charging program.

  • Software. Gain complete control and rich insights with advanced EV charging management software.
  • Hardware. Select from a portfolio of networked AC and DC charging stations, designed using cutting-edge hardware technology to be safe and reliable while offering drivers a user-friendly, premium charging experience.
  • Services. Access a suite of best-in-class services, including flexible financing, site selection consulting, dedicated help with implementation and industry-leading support.

ChargePoint solutions are purpose-built for commercial, fleet and residential settings, so you can use one charging and e-mobility platform across your entire operation. Our team of charging experts can help you build your charging strategy as your business grows.

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