The experiments SEPICA onboard ACE and STOF onboard SOHO provide information on suprathermal heavy ion ionic charge states in solar energetic particle (SEP) events over the extended energy range of $\sim$ 0.01 to 0.55 MeV/nuc (for Fe). For events correlated with interplanetary shocks the ionic charge states in this energy range are mostly compatible with solar wind (SW) charge states or differ from SW charge states, e.g. for Fe, by only 1 to 2 charge units. In SEP events of short duration, and enrichment in heavy ions and 3He (usually called impulsive events), we find significantly higher ionic charge states of $\sim$10 -11 (Mg), $\sim$11-12 (Si) and $\sim$14-20 (Fe), with a remarkable increase of the mean ionic charge in this energy range by several charge states ($\sim$2-5 for Fe). This large increase of the mean ionic charge with energy at energies $\le$ 1MeV/nuc can be best explained by additional ionization of the ions by charge stripping in a sufficiently dense environment, during or after acceleration. A comparison of the measured mean ionic charge of Mg, Si, and Fe with model calculations, including the effect of energy dependent impact ionization by protons and electrons shows, that the acceleration occurs in a dense environment, low in the corona, at distances less than 2 solar radii.