Sales of electric cars in the United States increased by 70 percent in 2016. This was a year-over-year increase. The choice for consumers is greater than ever. By the end of 2016, automakers offered about 30 electric vehicles to choose from. These included the Tesla Model S and Chevy Volt. Ford plans to produce 13 E.V.s by 2020. Mercedes says it will make ten by 2025. Volkswagen is working on 30 models.

E.V. batteries will also become cheaper and last longer, which may help E.V.s to enter the mainstream market in the future. Argonne National Lab predicts that E.V.s could make up 58 percent or more of the U.S. light vehicle market by 2030 if battery-powered mileage continues to increase.

In response to the growing number of E.V. drivers, hotels are looking at ways they can accommodate their guests who require recharging stations. Marriott International, for example, offers E.V. charging stations at 275 properties worldwide, from Budapest to Okinawa, Tampa, and everywhere in between. Hilton is also installing charging stations at many of its U.S.-based properties. Starwood Hotels & Resorts started installing E.V. chargers in their Elements brand hotels in 2009.

Geraldine Guichardo is the Research Manager for JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group. She says, “Forward-thinking hotel leaders realize there is a great opportunity to cater to E.V. drivers.” “A few short years ago, this wasn’t true. The E.V. market has grown so quickly that it makes sense for some businesses to plan to accommodate customers who drive them.

Plugging into the EV Market has many benefits.

In the next few years, installing E.V. chargers could be more of a ‘how’ than a ‘why’ for hotel groups. Four good reasons to make the switch:

1. Charging stations can also boost corporate reputation

Sustainability goals are increasingly important for attracting and retaining guests. Deloitte’s research shows that 95 percent say hotels should invest in “green initiatives.” Guichardo says that when guests see clearly marked car-charging stations on the first or the second floor of a garage, it is a visible sign of a hotel’s green commitment. This can be a big draw for guests with conventional cars.

2. Electric car drivers can be valuable guests

Affluent customers can afford to pay for first-class services and accommodations. They are also more likely than others to own an electric vehicle like a Tesla. Think about the fact that around three-quarters of Tesla drivers earn more than $100,000 per year. They would appreciate a hotel which allows them to travel with their car of choice. These potentially wealthier guests will also spend more on extras like spa services, room service, food, and drinks.

3. Chain hotels can benefit from supporting E.V. guests

Boutique hotels often cater to specific niches, such as luxury travelers and eco-conscious tourists. Guichardo says that by focusing on the same niches, larger hotel chains with branded names can reclaim some of this audience from boutique hotels.

4. Installing solar panels is becoming cheaper and easier

The infrastructure required to support E.V.s is also becoming more affordable every year. One reason for this is that several states in the U.S. offer tax incentives to install charging stations. Some automakers also provide programs to make the addition of charging stations free or at a very low cost to hotels. Tesla’s Destination Charging Program, for instance, partners with hotels with charging hardware to provide free or discounted wall plugs for Tesla users.

All of this adds up to a solid motivation for hotels to provide the necessary support infrastructure as E.V.s are a regular feature on U.S. highways in the coming decade. The time for hotels to adapt has come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *