As the world transitions from gas- and diesel-burning vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs), it’s going to be important for businesses to start offering their customers EV charging solutions.
And while all businesses should eventually offer EV charging to customers, certain businesses will want to start providing EV charging sooner rather than later. These are businesses where customers regularly stay for hours at a time.
Places like malls, museums, casinos, galleries, theaters, arenas, stadiums, event centers, and big box stores should, at this point, already have at least some EV charging stations on location.
Another group of businesses that fits into this category is hotels, motels, and other businesses that offer short-term accommodation, including higher-end Airbnbs.
Why EV Charging is Good for Hotels
As with the other aforementioned types of businesses that should be offering EV charging already, hotels and other short-term accommodation rentals are places where people (and their vehicles) are going to be stationary for hours at a time.
Even more so than a mall, people will likely be staying in their short-term rentals for many consecutive hours at a time. Assuming they are using it for an overnight stay, that means most people will be leaving their vehicles in the parking lot of their hotel for eight or more hours.
This provides plenty of opportunity for guests to charge their vehicles.
Aside from positioning your business as a forward-thinking enterprise that is taking steps to help the world transition to a cleaner, greener future, there are some bottom-line benefits, as well.
Higher-income guests utilize EVs
It’s true that the price of EVs is slowly dropping and will continue to drop over the coming decades as they become more common and the technology to build and use them becomes cheaper.
However, in North America and several other parts of the world, EVs are still in the domain of higher-income individuals for the most part, although more people are starting to buy EVs as they begin to enter the used vehicle market.
That means, if someone owns an EV, it’s a fairly safe assumption that they have a higher level of disposable income, or work in a higher-paying job.
Luxury hotels and high-end Airbnbs that target higher-income guests would be smart to start providing EV charging stations to entice this particular type of clientele. Someone who already owns an EV is likely going to want to stay at a hotel that offers charging options for them.
Even if guests aren’t bringing their EVs with them, they are more likely to rent an EV than a traditional vehicle when staying there, especially as electrified travel becomes more popular.
Having EV charging options may still sway higher-income people who don’t require charging at all just because they may prefer to stay in places they deem to be a higher level of accommodation and having EV charging on-site certainly helps convey that to guests.
People plan road trips based on charging locations
That’s all good for higher-end places in cities and tourist areas, but what about the humble motels on the side of the highway that offer travelers a place to spend a night or two while on the road?
The good news for these places is that people with EVs have to look for accommodation with charging when planning out a road trip. Unlike travelers who still rely on gas- or diesel-fueled vehicles, EV drivers don’t have a plethora of fueling points dotted all over the country (yet).
EV drivers may be essentially forced to stop somewhere because it’s the only spot they are able to refuel their vehicle within a given radius. (Or, it could be the only spot to refuel that also offers accommodation.)
If you are one of the only motels in your little town and you are the only motel that provides EV charging stations, you are almost guaranteed to pick up virtually all EV traffic that is passing through your town, especially if you are on a major thoroughfare or located near a major tourist location that has limited or no EV charging, like a state or national park.
The same goes for Airbnbs that are seeking to attract road trippers. If you can offer some kind of EV charging option (even if it’s just a home charger or a place to plug in a home charger they bring with them), it will help you stand out more from places that offer no such service.
Potential LEED points
If your business is actively trying to gain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, then installing EV charging stations is an excellent way to gain more points toward that certification.
Please read our blog post on the subject to learn more about how installing EV charging infrastructure helps with LEED certification.
The general rise in EVs
Lastly, EVs are quickly going to become the norm when it comes to personal transportation, so hotels, motels, Airbnbs, and other short-term accommodation rentals should get on board while the transition is still in its early stages or they risk getting left behind.
Unlike individuals, slow-adapting businesses are much more at risk of getting left behind by their peers who are quicker to act on new, long-term trends.
The word has been out for years that EVs are the future and if your business is waiting for that future to arrive, you might just find that your customers have gone to one of your competitors that was busy preparing for it to arrive.
What kind of chargers should hotels, motels, etc. install?
Luxury hotels that can afford it may want to install a Level 3 Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC). DCFCs are capable of charging an EV in under an hour and higher-income guests are more likely to use it so they can charge quickly.
Every hotel will need to install some Level 2 chargers. These chargers are capable of charging an EV over the course of a few hours, making them ideal for places where drivers will be spending hours at a time.
Eventually, a hotel is going to need a charger to accommodate every guest that drives there. To get started, it can install a bank of Level 2 chargers and use load management for charging overnight. (Load management allows for multiple vehicles to charge using the same electrical circuit.) How many Level 2 chargers will be required will depend on the size of the parking lot and the layout of the available electricity.
Hotels and other accommodation businesses located in colder climates sometimes already have regular 120 Volt plugins installed in their parking spots to accommodate block heaters in the winter. These places can invite guests to bring their Level 1 home chargers to use during their stay, as these chargers run by being plugged into a regular 120 Volt outlet. Alternatively, the business can have some Level 1 chargers on hand to rent.
No matter how a short-term accommodation rental business does, it should start providing some kind of EV charging solution for guests. From five-star resorts to little motels on lonely highways, EV drivers will need places to recharge their vehicle batteries overnight as they recharge their bodies with sleep.