Can Hotels Transform Electric Vehicle Road Trips?

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Can Hotels Transform Electric Vehicle Road Trips?

Electric vehicle (EV) ranges are on the rise, making nationwide travel increasingly feasible. Yet, the thought of embarking on long journeys or traversing the country often sparks concern among EV owners. Many rely on home charging solutions or alternatives like workplace charging, but there’s lingering anxiety about the availability of charging stations during long-distance travels, particularly through less-equipped states. As electric vehicles gradually edge out gasoline-powered cars, the demand for more extensive charging networks becomes more pressing, especially as air travel grows more cumbersome and costly. cites a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report indicating a surge in electric vehicle sales, from 1.1 million globally in 2017 to an anticipated 11 million by 2025, and soaring to 30 million by 2030, driven by declining manufacturing costs. This boom in EV ownership underscores the critical need for accessible charging points. While gas stations are a common sight across the U.S., EV charging stations are not as widespread. However, state initiatives and corporate leadership are beginning to bridge this gap, with the hospitality industry emerging as a key player in accommodating the charging needs of the road-traveling public.

Why the Hospitality Sector Embraces EV Charging

At its core, the hospitality industry aims to delight and meet the diverse needs of its patrons. Offering rest, nourishment, and a pause for travelers, it’s a fitting progression for hotels to serve as charging havens for electric vehicles (EVs). Installing EV chargers not only assures guests of constant access to charging but also positions your hotel as a preferred choice for environmentally conscious travelers. The presence of charging facilities can encourage guests to book a stay, dine, and shop at the hotel, enhancing their overall experience. This move towards accommodating EVs not only elevates a hotel’s appeal but also underscores its commitment to sustainability, potentially leading to glowing reviews on platforms like Trip Advisor.

The Rise of Destination Charging

The concept of “destination charging” is becoming increasingly popular, as noted by EV Adoption. This trend involves EV drivers using charging stations at hotels or resorts when they arrive or after completing their day’s activities. With the opportunity to charge their vehicles overnight for about 8-12 hours, Level 2 charging proves to be not only sufficient but ideal for these travelers. Geraldine Guichardo, a Research Manager at JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group, highlighted in that forward-thinking hoteliers recognize the growing opportunity in catering to the needs of EV drivers. This perspective marks a significant shift from just a few years ago, reflecting the rapid growth of the EV market and the strategic advantage for hotels in accommodating these guests.

Success Stories in Hotel EV Charging

Is your hotel an ideal candidate for EV charging stations? Several leading hotel chains have already embraced this trend, with Marriot at the forefront, offering charging facilities for over ten years. Denise Naguib, Marriott’s VP of Sustainability & Supplier Diversity, shares that the chain boasts 1,700 charging stations across more than 600 locations. The number of units per hotel varies, reflecting the specific demand of each location, and interestingly, the initiative to install these stations often starts at the individual hotel level. This is due to varying customer needs across different markets, with some areas having a higher concentration of EV owners in search of charging options.

Similarly, Hilton initiated partnerships with Tesla and General Electric three years ago, diversifying its charging station offerings to cater to different electric vehicles. When Destination Hotels had the opportunity to partner with Tesla, Lamie Sabatier, CEO of Two Roads Hospitality (the parent company of Destination Hotels), saw it as an obvious choice. This strategic decision not only catered to a more tech-savvy and affluent guest demographic but also positioned these hotels as leaders in sustainable hospitality solutions.

Investing in the Future with EV Chargers

Opting to equip your hotel with EV chargers can serve dual purposes: enhancing guest amenities and generating additional revenue. Companies like Blink offer a variety of business models to suit different operational needs. They facilitate the installation of chargers and integrate your hotel into their exclusive network. This setup grants you the flexibility to designate operational hours, manage access to the charging stations, set pricing for usage, and even control the stations remotely. Being part of a network simplifies maintenance, monitors usage, and gathers essential data to optimize utilization and profit strategy. Additionally, it consolidates various costs and ensures your hotel’s visibility on EV charging maps.

Adopting EV charging stations not only underscores your commitment to sustainability but also appeals to a broader customer base, promising to attract environmentally conscious guests. Offering this service can turn first-time visitors into loyal patrons who appreciate the convenience and environmental consideration.

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