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Outlook and Opportunity for EV Charging at Hotel and Resort Properties

The widespread adoption of EVs will open the door to significant opportunities for hotels and resorts.
2/6/2023
Hypercharge electric vehicle chargers

Travel and tourism are back in full swing following the COVID-19 slowdown, and with this resurgence, there is growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) charging in the hospitality industry.

The Wall Street Journal recently cited research from the automotive research groups LMC Automotive and EV-Volumes.com, which reported that 7.8 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide in 2022, a 68% increase from 2021, giving EVs roughly 10% of the global market share for the first time in history. The widespread adoption of EVs will impact nearly all industries, including the hospitality industry, ultimately opening the door to significant opportunities for hotels and resorts.

The modern traveler is becoming increasingly aware of their carbon footprint, taking flights more thoughtfully and choosing sustainable travel options. Something as simple as adding EV charging to a hotel’s list of amenities can make or break the decision to stay for some guests. Leading rental car companies are in the process of phasing out combustion engines in their fleets, and Technavio estimated that the electric car rental market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.6% between 2022 and 2027.

Hotel general managers recognize the growing customer demand for reliable high-speed EV charging, and that it is on track to becoming as important and essential as WiFi, but there is still a lot of room for growth. Properties on the West Coast and those that feature commercial retail clients have been at the forefront of adding EV charging, but increasingly, hotels across North America are also adding it to their offering, including Hyatt, Sheraton, Ramada, Rodd Resorts, and more. Hotels can still distinguish themselves from competitors by offering EV charging as part of their featured amenities along with a pool, continental breakfast, and fitness center. For guests on road trips in an EV, reliable and abundant charging is essential.

The next question then becomes: which type of charger is best? Leading hotels most often choose fully-managed Level 2 charging stations, which are the most customer friendly and reliable, and can charge an EV in four to eight hours, or a plug-in hybrid in under two hours, suitable for an overnight charge. These can usually be added fairly easily, because they can typically utilize the existing electrical infrastructure, maximizing existing electrical services. To get started, it is often advisable for a property to start with a small number of EV chargers and leverage the data analytics provided by the solution provider to monitor utilization and determine when additional chargers are needed.

One premium offering that some hotels and resorts are beginning to incorporate is to offer EV charging as a part of a valet service. This also has the added benefit of further reducing the number of charging ports required because the valet can rotate vehicles on and off, while also saving the guests time, as they will not need to try and find the facilities once they arrive.

EV charging can be made available to hotel guests as well as non-hotel guests at the discretion of the property, increasing the potential revenue stream from the charging facilities by opening it to the public. Public charging facilities can also serve as destination charging, promoting increased tourism and economic activity for the property’s neighborhood, attracting consumers that drive EVs to the area, and establishing the property’s brand in their consciousness as a climate leader. Many properties are also taking this opportunity to create a meaningful customer touchpoint with branded apps and company branding on the physical charging stations themselves. Hotel loyalty programs too can incentivize guests to choose sustainable transportation by making it possible for members to earn points on charging.

Governments are highly supportive of the installation of EV charging at hotels and resorts. The U.S. has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, and Canada is working to achieve its commitment to have 100% of all new passenger vehicles sold be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

We are at an inflection point in history, where consumers expect sustainability to be at the forefront of the brands that they engage with. And with EVs growing in popularity, EV charging on-site is rapidly becoming as essential to guests as Wi-Fi. Those brands that demonstrate leadership in this category will have a leg up in the minds of consumers as EVs ultimately dominate the auto market.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David is CEO and President of Hypercharge Networks, a leading provider of smart, electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions. He is a seasoned executive with 25+ years experience building and scaling technology businesses across several industries. Most recently as a founder of Finning Digital and the Head of Global Digital Services at the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer, Finning International, David was accountable for launching and scaling a multinational eCommerce business and developing an award-winning SaaS platform, branded CUBIQ Performance Solutions. He serves as an advisor and independent director to public companies and holds an ICD.D.

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