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Since When Have EV Chargers Become a Necessity for Hotels?

I rented a pure electronic vehicle (PEV) or battery electric vehicle (BEV) for a road trip to Palm Springs in January. That was the first time I took a trip with an EV, and I discovered that a PEV was only good for short or daily commutes. I will need a hybrid EV or a gas-powered car for longer road trips.    

 

My not-as-pleasant EV experience in Palm Springs 

 

Before this road trip, I assumed that EV chargers would be “everywhere” in California because California is the pioneer in banning the sales of new gas-powered vehicles. As a result, I did not “bother” to check how many EV chargers the area or my hotel has, even though I knew Palm Springs has many independently owned boutique hotels that do not need to follow any brand standards --- Today, having EV chargers onsite is still not yet an industry standard, although they are more commonly seen in chain hotels or restaurants.

 

I regretted renting an EV as soon as I arrived at the hotel because it had no EV charging stations. I downloaded a new app that allowed me to charge the EV downtown while eating at a restaurant, but all I found nearby were Level-1 charging stations. It usually takes about 20 hours to charge an EV for a range of about 200 km (or 125 miles). After dinner, I found another place with EV chargers. Still, they were Level-1 chargers only. I downloaded another app and killed my time for another hour that night just to make sure I could go to the next Level-2 or Level-3 charging stations the next day for a faster charging experience. Again, I downloaded one additional app the next day and waited one hour to get the EV charged to 80%. 

 

Here is the bottom line: EV charging stations are not easy to find and are run by different companies. People must download multiple apps for different charging stations. It also takes much longer to charge an EV than to fill up a gas-powered car with gasoline, even using Level-2 or Level-3 charging poles. 

 

Why should hotels install EV chargers? 

 

As of Q1 of 2024, California has sold 1.872 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) since 2010; 34% of new ZEV sales were in California. Accordingly, hotels in the states with a high EV density should install EV chargers, such as those in California, Texas, and Florida. States like California also mandate large residential and commercial properties to install a minimum number/percentage of EV chargers in their parking lots. For retail or commercial properties in general (including hotels and restaurants), having EV charging stations onsite can be beneficial, including:  

 

  1. Meeting the growing customer demands as more people are driving EVs now. 
  2. Giving customers using EVs a better overall experience.
  3. Promoting a positive brand image regarding CSR (corporate social responsibility).
  4. Receiving rebates or tax incentives. For example, businesses in California can receive a rebate of $3,500 per connector or 75% of the project costs. 
  5. Businesses adopting a pay-to-charge model for EVs can earn extra income per usage (e.g., 15 – 30% of the charging fee). 

 

Is it necessary to mandate all hotels to install EV chargers? 

 

EV chargers have quietly become a necessity for hotels in the markets with high EV density. I can also see how this could be added to some legislators’ agenda for good intentions. Still, will it be as sufficient and effective to let the market and data drive individual business decisions? Sometimes, it is unclear if government involvement in business does more good or harms the market. What do you think?  

 

Note: The picture was downloaded from HospitalityNet.org

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