The electric vehicle market is expanding rapidly in the United States and worldwide. American car dealers sold over 6.3 million EVs in 2021, a 102% increase over 2020. S&P Global predicts new EV sales will hit 26.8 million units by 2030.
It is clear that EVs are the future of the automotive industry, and exponential growth has spawned a new industry inextricably tied to the trend, EV chargers. Now that EVs can cover more miles on a single charge, range anxiety is no longer a consideration, but the availability of charging locations is. In addition, the need for rapid fueling stations is creating new opportunities for a segment of the economy that took heavy losses during the pandemic: hospitality venues (including hotels and restaurants).
To understand why hotels are a natural fit for EV chargers, it’s important to understand the charging process and how it is only remotely similar to fueling a gas-powered vehicle.
Types and Performance of EV Chargers
While 90% of EV owners routinely charge their vehicle at home each night, there is a growing demand for EV charger availability away from the house. With extended ranges, skyrocketing gas prices, and expensive airline tickets, EV owners are enticed into taking the EV instead of the gas-burner when going on a road trip.
EV chargers are divided into three groups:
Level 1 chargers deliver 120 V, which is similar to the outlet in your home. Generally speaking, a level 1 charger can provide 5 miles of range per hour of charging time. That’s fine for commuters but can limit their range on the road.
Level 2 chargers at commercial fueling stations deliver 30 to 48 amps and 20 to 30 miles of range per hour.
Level 3 device delivers 100+ amps and 3-20 miles of range per minute. Unfortunately, there are relatively few Level 3 chargers in the nation’s infrastructure because of the need for unique engineering and equipment.
It’s essential to add that charging times are dependent on battery size, initial charge status, and the weather.
Why Hotels are Adding EV Chargers Now
EV chargers in hotels are not a new concept. Marriot and Westin have had chargers on their properties for years. Marriot has over 1300 chargers scattered across its properties, and EV chargers have become part of the brand for their Elements division for eight years.
Hotels are the perfect venue for charging stations, offering a guest experience much like their charging routine at home. When guests plugin after a day of travel, their car is charged overnight while they sleep, and is ready to go when they are. With the dramatic growth in EV sales and the corresponding increase in charger demand, the same mode of transportation that brings the guest to the hotel is changing. Visionary hoteliers are getting ahead of the game by accommodating EV requirements.
There is a variety of motivating factors to add EV chargers on a property, but without question, driving occupancy rates up is number one. Being the first or dominant provider of a new customer requirement boosts occupancy rate and reputation and has a favorable influence on other revenue sources like restaurants and gift shops. In addition, adding chargers can generate beneficial organic marketing with listings on Expedia, Hotel.com, travel apps, navigation systems, and Google.
What Types of EV Chargers are the Best Fit for Hotels?
Each location’s type(s) of charger will vary based on hotel locations, operations and objectives. Most hotels will opt for Level 2 chargers that can deliver a full charge up to five times faster than a Level 1 charger. Given the average “dwell” time of a guest, Level 2 chargers are an ideal combination of speed and cost for destination hotels and hotels in urban or metropolitan markets. Level 3 chargers, sometimes called super-chargers, can provide an 80% or greater charge in 40 minutes. This type of charger is attractive to on-the-road travelers stopping to eat or rest and are magnets for EV owners because of its scarcity. In addition, level 3 chargers are ideal solutions for hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues located along superhighways. The challenge of installing a Level 3 is providing the 408 V connection, which may pose engineering challenges.
Regardless of the type(s) selected, the real challenge for hotel operators is finding a solid, green-oriented manufacturer offering technically superior universal chargers and a low to no effort management system. Hotel managers are professional hospitality and food and beverage experts, not electrical engineers.
Plano, TX-based Universal Green Group, is changing the face of EV infrastructure across the United States with its collection of high-tech universal EV chargers, turnkey business models, and exceptional customer support. Already serving leaders in the hotel industry, Universal Green Group has the talent, resources, and capacity to expand as rapidly as the surge in EV demands. Hotels looking to establish an important new amenity quickly and profitably should consider consulting with Universal Green Group to install EV chargers.
For more information on EV charging in the hospitality business, please visit www.universalevcharging.com.