The future of EVs in hospitality
Despite some growing pains and early stage questions about feasibility, it’s clear electric vehicles (EVs) are here to stay. Almost every major car manufacturer has pledged to transition to fully electric product lines. GM and many others have set their sights on 2035 to go fully electric, while more-ambitious manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz plan to be carbon neutral by 2025.
Regardless of any manufacturers’ plans, there soon will be many people, and therefore many hotel guests, driving EVs. Professionals in the hospitality industry who want to continue to ensure the best home-away-from-home experience will need to account for the evolving needs of EV-driving guests.
But the potential impact of EVs and EV chargers on the hospitality industry goes well beyond fulfilling guest demand for EV charging. Hospitality has a paradigm-shifting opportunity to benefit from and help lead the massification of EVs.
THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OF EV
The hotels quick to install EV chargers will have an obvious advantage in appealing to EV drivers seeking lodging. EV screens display maps of nearby charger locations, and if a hotel offers an EV driver the chance to charge up overnight, that’s where they’re going to stay. But it’s not just EV owners. Rental car companies are also committing to transitioning their fleets to EVs. Adequately addressing this increasing demand means not just retrofitting existing hotels, and possibly removing parking spaces, but designing future hotels to best take advantage of EV chargers.
However, merely having chargers on-site will quickly become table stakes for hotels. To be genuinely competitive will require offering the most frictionless experience, which means fully integrating your EV amenities into the guest journey. Just as guests currently reserve a parking space at the time of booking, they should just as easily be able to secure a charging station that will be seamlessly integrated into their experience, with charges automatically billed to their room.
Ensuring guest satisfaction also requires due diligence when it comes to partnering with EV charger providers. Not all charging stations offer the same frictionless experience or compatibility across EV manufacturers. Guests won’t want a lengthy account signup process or worries about the charger they reserved not functioning or not being compatible with their particular EV. If charging isn’t reliable and pain-free, they will stay somewhere else.
FURTHER REVENUE POSSIBILITIES
Hospitality is uniquely suited to position itself as an integral part of the infrastructure necessary to power an electrified future. Hotels can be the new Chevrons and BPs – meaning it won’t only be EV-driving guests charging at hotels and generating revenue, but all EV drivers. As demand for charging stations increases, cities will need to find places to put them. Hotels are a natural fit.
As EV adoption spreads, drivers’ habits will evolve. Just like we take the opportunity to charge our cell phones throughout the day instead of waiting until they die, EV drivers will top off their charge while doing other things like working, exercising, eating, etc. Instead of gas station customers rushing to grab a snack while they fill up, EV drivers can come into a hotel to have lunch, or enjoy a massage or other hotel services while they charge. Not only will the hotel generate revenue from the charge itself, but it will also see additional revenue streams catering to non-guest customers.
In this way, hotels have the unique opportunity to be the linchpins of EV massification, not only benefitting from EV adoption but helping to enable a greener future.