A Guide on EV Charging Stations in Colorado

As of July 2019, there were a total of 3,764 public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Colorado. With the EV market expanding several consumers are making the switch to electric but one major consideration is installing EV charging stations. This guide aims to share all the information consumers will need to know before investing in an EV charging station for their home or business.

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What Are Electric Vehicles (EVs)? 

Before we can begin to talk about EV chargers, let’s first get clear on what an electric vehicle even is. 

Electric vehicles (EVs) are vehicles powered by electricity from batteries or fuel cells. They include hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), all-electric vehicles (AEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

While there are many different types of EVs, they all have one thing in common: they emit far fewer greenhouse gases and other pollutants than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. EVs are also more energy efficient, which means they use less energy to travel the same distance as gasoline-powered vehicles. 

Growing Popularity in Electric 

We are in the midst of the biggest automotive revolution since Henry Ford’s first production line started in 1913. 

According to an article by BBC, “General Motors says it will make only electric vehicles by 2035, Ford says all vehicles sold in Europe will be electric by 2030 and VW says 70% of its sales will be electric by 2030.”

So, we can expect electric vehicles to not only grow but become the majority of cars on the road one day. 

How Do Electric Vehicles Work?

Electric vehicles are powered by batteries or fuel cells that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. The electrical energy is used to drive an electric motor, which powers the vehicle. For a visual explanation, check out this Youtube video

EVs can be plugged into the grid to recharge their batteries, and they can also generate electricity from braking and coasting while being driven, a term called “regenerative braking”. Regenerative braking captures the energy that would otherwise be lost as heat and converts it into electrical energy, which is then stored in the vehicle’s batteries.

One common myth is that electric vehicles don’t have enough range for daily use. However, that is not true! A typical day's travel for the vast majority of households (roughly 85%) is less than 100 miles. Nearly all new EV models can travel more than 100 miles on a single charge, with the majority of EV models having a battery life of over 200 miles. Furthermore, automakers have stated that they will introduce even more long-range models in the upcoming years (Source: Environmental Protection Agency).  

What Are The Different Ways to Charge an Electric Vehicle?

Now that we understand what an electric vehicle is, let’s talk about where they get their power from.

The most common charging station power sources are a hardwired connection to the electric grid or solar panels.

Electric Grid

The most common charging station source is the electric grid.

The electric grid is the network of power lines and plants that generate electricity for homes and businesses.

When a charging station is connected to the grid, it draws electricity from the power lines and converts it into the direct current (DC) needed to charge an EV battery.

Solar Panels

The second most common power source for charging stations is on-site solar panels.

Solar panels are a renewable energy source that generate electricity from sunlight.

When solar panels are used to power a charging station, the electricity generated is stored in batteries and then converted into DC when a driver needs to charge their vehicle.

The Three Levels of Electric Car Charging Stations

We are all accustomed to the process of refueling your car with gas or diesel. So much so, that it’s something you could probably do in your sleep, although we wouldn’t recommend it. 

Charging an electric car, however, is a much different experience than refueling with gas or diesel. While pumping your car with fuel can take approximately 10-15 minutes, charging an electric car can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over 30 hours. This is because there are different charger levels available each with different charge times. 

The three levels of EV charging stations are level 1, level 2, and DC fast charging. 

Level 1 Chargers  

Level 1 charging stations are the slowest and most basic type of EV charger. They use a standard 120-volt outlet and can charge an electric vehicle in about eight hours. 

Due to their smaller batteries, which are currently less than 25 kWh, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) do well with level 1 charging. However, because EV Chargers are much larger than conventional batteries, a level 1 doesn’t work well for daily charging unless you only plan to drive your car short distances. 

Level 1 chargers are best for overnight charging at home and work best with PHEV vehicles. 

Level 2 Chargers  

If you have a level 2 charger, you can charge your car up to four times faster than a level 1 charger. A level 2 charger uses a 240-volt outlet, like those used for clothes dryers and stoves. Level 2 chargers can fully charge an electric vehicle in as little as four hours. 

For daily EV charging, level 2 charging is the most popular. You can have a level 2 charging station installed at home, at work, and in public areas like malls, train stations, and other establishments. 

Depending on the power output of the level 2 charger and the maximum charge rate of the vehicle, level 2 charging can restore 12 to 80 miles of range per hour.

Level 2 chargers are best for Electric Vehicle (EV) owners and Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) owners looking for a faster charging time of up to 12 to 80 miles per hour. 

Level 3 Chargers  

The third level of EV charging stations is the DC fast charger. DC fast chargers use direct high-voltage current (DC) power to charge an electric vehicle’s battery. DC fast chargers can charge an electric car in less than 30 minutes. 

Level 3 charging uses direct current (DC), whereas level 1 and level 2 charging use alternating current (AC). Because of this, the voltage is significantly higher than level 1 & 2 charging, which is why level 3 chargers are not commonly found in homes. The high-voltage supply necessary for level 3 charging isn’t standard in most residential homes. 

Level 3 chargers, or DC fast chargers, are best for public locations like shopping malls and multifamily businesses such as hotels and apartment complexes. 

Who Can Benefit From Installing an EV Charging Station?

If you're an environmentally-conscious individual who wants to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint, then installing an EV charging station is a great way to make a difference. Not only will you be able to charge your electric vehicle, but you'll also be able to offer charging services to other EV owners in your community.

Installing an EV charging station can also be a great business move. If you own a business that gets a lot of traffic, such as a hotel or restaurant, having an EV charger available for customers can set you apart from the competition and show that you're committed to being environmentally responsible.

Benefits For Business Owners

If you own a business, there are several reasons why installing an EV charging station can be a wise investment. First of all, it can help you attract and retain customers who own electric vehicles.

One major retailer discovered that customers spent roughly $1 for every minute they were in the store. The retailer tripled customer spending and customer time in-store by implementing EV charging.

Additionally, offering EV charging services can help you market your business as being environmentally responsible. This is becoming increasingly important to consumers, so if you can position your business as being eco-friendly, it could give you a competitive edge and build trust with the community.

EV charging stations can also help you attract new tenants or customers. Many people are looking for sustainable and environmentally friendly businesses or properties to live in or patronize. In fact, 30% of Tesla drivers choose where they live based on EV charging availability and with the large expected growth in EV vehicle sales on the horizon, investing early is a wise business decision.


Not only will it make charging your EV more convenient, but it can also save you money in the long run. Here are just a few benefits of having an at-home EV charging station:

  1. You'll never have to worry about finding a public charger again
  2. Charging at home is often cheaper than charging at a public station
  3. You can control when and how much your EV charges, which can help prolong its battery life
  4. An at-home charger is a great way to show your commitment to going green
  5. Many utility companies in Colorado offer incentives for customers who install EV chargers, so you could save even more money in the long run

For more information on how to leverage EV charging stations to increase your bottom line, download our free resource, Increasing Your Bottom Line with EV Charging Stations.

How Much Do EV Charging Stations Cost in Colorado?

The cost of electric car charging stations includes installation and the cost of electricity. Pricing out the total cost of the charging stations can be hard to estimate without the help of a professional electrician, but in the next section, we’ve outlined the most critical factors.

Installation Cost

The cost of installing an EV charging station in Colorado can vary based on a number of factors, including the type of charger, the size and capacity of the charger, the electrical service available at the installation site, and the labor costs associated with the installation.

Type of Charger. There are three main types of EV chargers: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 1 chargers are the slowest and least expensive, while Level 3 chargers are the fastest and most expensive.

Size and Capacity. The size of the charger is based on the amperage rating of the electrical circuit it will be installed on. The capacity of the charger is based on the voltage and amperage of the charger, and the type of battery being charged. 

Electrical Service. The electrical service available at the installation site will determine the maximum amperage rating of the circuit breaker that can be installed.

Labor Costs. The labor costs associated with the installation of an EV charger can vary depending on the type of charger, the size and capacity of the charger, the electrical service available at the installation site, and the experience of the installer. Installing a Level 1 charger is typically less expensive than installing a Level 2 or Level 3 charger.

Because of the various factors, the only way to accurately calculate the cost of installation is by contacting an electric professional and getting a customized quote.

Charging Cost

The cost of electricity for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations can vary depending on several factors, including the type of charger, the location of the charger, and the time of day or week when the charger is used.

To help offset the cost of electricity, businesses can take advantage of EV charging station rebates and incentives offered by state and local governments.

Colorado and National EV Charging Savings

Saving money on the hardware and installation is just the beginning. EV Charging on your property qualifies you for lucrative tax incentives like rebates, write-offs, credits, and more.

Charge Ahead Colorado Program

The Charge Ahead Colorado Program provides financial support for charging stations to fund 80% of the cost of a charging station – up to $9,000 for a Level 2 Dual Port Station. There may also be additional incentives available from your local utility. Since its inception in 2013, the Charge Ahead Colorado program has made awards for more than 1,000 EV charging stations across the state.

Eligible applicants include local businesses, governments, school districts, state agencies, apartment/condo complexes, and non-profits.

Charge Ahead Colorado can cover:

  • Charging station and related equipment (Level I charging stations are not an eligible project)
  • Construction materials
  • Permitting
  • Construction labor costs associated with the equipment purchase and installation of Level II or DCFC charging units
  • Signage
  • Networking/subscription feed and activation fees

What Are the Grant Amounts?

RAQC and CEO will fund 80% of the cost of a charging station up to the following set maximums:

  • Level 2, Fleet Only Charging Stations: $6,000
  • Level 2, Dual Port Station (up to 25kW): $9,000
  • Level 3, Multiple Connection Standard Station (minimum 50kW+): $35,000
  • Level 3, Ultra-fast Multiple Connection Standard Station (minimum 100kW+): $50,000 (limited availability at the discretion of the awarding agency)

Learn more about the Charge Ahead Colorado program.

EVSE Federal Tax Credit

You may also be eligible for a nationwide tax credit for the purchase of new EV charging stations. The credit covers a portion (30%) of the cost of hardware and installation, up to $30,000 for commercial projects.

Where does the tax credit apply?

  • Applies to public and private stations
  • Applied to L2 (Level 2 Charger) and DCFC (Direct Current Fast Charge)
  • The customer must own and have paid for the station or the make ready
  • Does not apply to network costs

So, how much do electric car charging stations cost?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cost of electric car charging stations can vary greatly depending on many factors and the potential to get a high rebate.

However, there is one thing we can say for sure, with Colorado being the 12th largest state for EV vehicles (and increasing), businesses will need to develop an EV plan sooner rather than later to stay ahead of the curve. 

Get Started With EV Charging Station Installation

Once you’ve done the research and have decided to invest in an EV Charger, the first thing you’ll want to do is find a local electric company.

Finding a licensed electric company that has the required permits to install an EV charging station is recommended to ensure you are getting the best service available.  

Once you’ve found a qualified electrician, together you will work to pick a location to install your EV charger. For homeowners, this is often set up in your garage or carport. 

Depending on the type of charger, upgrades may need to be performed on a home’s electrical system. For example, a Level II charger requires 240 volts and The National Electrical Code requires the electrical circuit to be rated for 25% greater amperage than the charger’s output. 

So, this means if your home only has a 100-amp electrical panel, the electrician will need a service upgrade to at least 200 amps.  

Additionally, customers must buy electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), also referred to as a charging dock, for their electric vehicles. Several of the top EVSE producers are Siemens, ChargePoint, Bosch, Clipper Creek, Pulsar, and Amazon Basics. There is even a SolarEdge inverter with an integrated EV charger. 

Once you and your electrician have figured out the type of charger that best fits your needs, determined the location where the charger will go, and acquired all the necessary equipment and potential upgrades, you are ready to prepare your space for your installation. 

Here are some tips to make things easier for your installer: 

  • Ensure there is easy access to the electricity meter 
  • Make sure there is space to run a dedicated cable from the central electricity supply to the location of the charge point 
  • Clear the space where the cable will be run as much as possible
  • For smart chargers, have the wi-fi password available and check the signal strength from the router to the car charging point ahead of time 

What to Expect During Installation 

The installation process is typically quick and easy and requires little involvement from the electric car owner. On average, it takes two hours to install one Level II EV Charger.

Typically the installer will arrive and fix the EV charging unit to a solid wall or other reliable structure. In the case that there isn’t an available wall, heavy-duty poles can be installed to bear the weight of the charger while keeping it safely off the ground. 

Once the charger is assembled, the installer will connect the cable from the distribution board to the charging point. The cable will oftentimes be clipped to the walls and routed through the walls when required to keep everything tidy. 

Finally, the installer will implement circuit protection to adhere to safety and code requirements.  

And that’s it! 

Now you have the luxury of charging your vehicle from the comfort of your home or your business is now the new hot spot for EV vehicle owners to go to for their car. 

We hope this guide answered your questions about EV charging stations and the benefits of switching to electric. If you think we missed something, let us know, we are always happy to answer any additional questions you may have. 

About Mac Electric and Lighting

Mac Electric and Lighting is a local family-owned electrical & energy contractor specializing in commercial LED lighting retrofits and EV charging solutions.

Our Value Engineering approach to every project saves our clients time and hassle from ideation to project completion. You’ll have a lasting solution that complies with local regulations, looks attractive, and ensures that you get every rebate you’re eligible for.

  • Future-proof your building at almost no cost to you.
  • Take advantage of huge rebates before they’re gone.
  • Put an end to high maintenance & repair fees.


Contact us today to inquire about a Free EV Charging Station Quote for your property!