EV Infrastructure: How the Hospitality Industry Can Become Part of the Solution
Hotel guests increasingly expect the properties they frequent to use sustainable practices, including reducing waste, conserving energy and offering organic amenities; according to The University of Central Florida. A relatively simple – and very visible – way for the hospitality industry to become even more sustainable is to embrace the rapid growth in electric vehicles (EVs) by contributing to the U.S. EV infrastructure.
The term “EV infrastructure” refers to all the products and services that support EVs, from parts and assembly plants to charging stations and, ultimately, recycling.
Hospitality businesses can play a significant role in supporting the U.S. EV infrastructure build-out by transitioning their own fleet vehicles to EVs and by installing EV charging stations on their premises. These practical and visible enhancements to the industry’s sustainability efforts can contribute positive brand attributes that will delight consumers, reduce costs and even add a new revenue stream.
Transitioning Fleet Vehicles to EVs
Fleet vehicle costs can be considerable for some hospitality businesses. Phasing out petroleum-dependent vehicles and switching to EVs as lease renewal dates arise or purchasing new EVs as the existing fleet fully depreciates makes any cost differences easier to manage.
One thing to note is that the market for both new and used EVs is hotter than ever; cost increases and wait times are even longer than those in the gas-powered vehicle market. Gas prices, supply chain issues and inflation will continue to affect prices negatively, but the total cost of ownership can mitigate initial purchase costs. The most important cost-saving measure is undoubtedly the use of electricity compared with the need to purchase gas regularly.
In addition to the total cost of ownership calculation, hospitality businesses should include an assessment of increased sales due to consumer attitudes about sustainability and their willingness to pay more to patronize businesses that embrace green practices.
EV Infrastructure Contribution: Building Charging Stations
The hospitality business will be able to charge its own fleet of vehicles on-site, but the EV chargers will also attract high-value guests and other travelers. Since it can take anywhere from thirty minutes to charge an EV with a DC Fast Charger and four to six hours to charge with a Level 2 charger, guests will appreciate the opportunity to relax for a while or stay overnight while their vehicles are charging.
While hospitality businesses can meet the needs of the EV traveler, they can also contribute to their reputation and stand out as a high-value brand through sustainable practices.
EV Infrastructure Needs
As the number of electric vehicles on the road increases, so will the need for places to charge them. There are only around 108,000 charging ports in the U.S. as of 2021, but that number will need to increase to at least 500,000 by 2035 to meet Government Accountability Office EV growth projections.
According to Electrek, “Global automakers are projected to spend more than $515 billion by 2030 to develop and build electric vehicles.”
Promoting Sustainability in a Hotel Brand
Given consumer attitudes toward hospitality sustainability, the growth of the EV marketplace and the need for EV chargers, there are several ways hotel brands can promote their embrace of EVs and EV charging:
First, the installation of electric vehicle chargers on hospitality grounds will put a hotel business on the map – literally – within the U.S. EV infrastructure. Several EV charger map applications for multiple devices, including iOS and Android, allow users to search for chargers. Hospitality businesses will also gain the opportunity through these map applications to inform drivers of available on-site amenities to experience while their vehicles charge.
Second, a line of EV chargers will be an attractive addition to hotel parking, letting guests and passersby know that the business is committed to sustainable practices.
Third, EV fleet vehicles are effectively mobile billboards advertising the brand’s embrace of EVs. Additional signage on the vehicles can let other drivers know that EV charging is available on site.
The hospitality industry can be a leader when it comes to making this transition by adopting EV technologies and accommodating the growth of the EV infrastructure.
For more information on the growth of the EV infrastructure and how to play a part in it, visit www.universalevcharging.com to learn more.