I had a business appointment in Bremen a few weeks ago, considering the energy turnaround. I intended to drive back in the early evening but decided to stay overnight since the meeting ran late. While scrolling Booking.com for a hotel, I surprisingly discovered that an “Electric vehicle charging station” is one of the filters nowadays. It’s not yet a widespread search criterion, but it’s a start and a necessary one because the battery of my electric SUV was dead.
Bremen lists 69 hotels, according to Booking, of which 24 offer chargers. I selected a trendy boutique hotel in the city centre, and I wasn’t the only one. All charging stations were occupied.
So I went looking for the owners of the loading EVs, and one of them turned out to be staying in the room across from mine. We had a friendly chat, and he didn’t mind swapping plugs around 1.00 a.m., my assurance of a flawless trip home. To that we drank, he a whiskey, I a glass of white wine, friends forever.
“At least trendsetting hotels must have charging stations”, he said after discovering I was in the business. “Chargers are still something special. They offer hotels an opportunity to distinguish themselves. In a few years, poles will be a common thing. If you don’t have them, you’ve missed the boat.”
It’s a sweet thing when a stranger tells your brand story.
However, getting noticed is not the only advantage of hotel charging stations.
There’s a whole range of benefits. Let’s take a look, shall we?
1. Attracting and retaining Guests With the rise of electric vehicles, having charging stations at your hotel can attract guests who prefer eco-friendly travel options. These people are more likely to choose a hotel that offers EV charging facilities over one that does not, and they are also more likely to return to the hotel in the future. Charging cars while you sleep or relax at the hotel is unprecedented convenience.
2. Increase Revenue Electric vehicle owners often plan their routes based on the availability of charging stations. Charging facilities can attract more guests and increase revenue from room bookings, food and beverage sales, and other amenities. If you opt for our Charging as a Serviceconcept, you share in the revenue without investing yourself. Charging stations encourage guests to stay longer and spend more on hotel services. Hotels with a charging plaza (4 poles with 2 charging connections each) are interesting meeting, workshop or symposium locations.
Revenue: Can you recoup the purchase of charging stations within three years?
3. Enhance Brand Image and Awareness Installing charging stations at your hotel demonstrates your commitment to sustainability and eco-friendliness. This can enhance your brand image and reputation and help you stand out from your competitors. Offering charging stations grow the overall customer experience, especially for EV drivers who may otherwise have to search for charging options elsewhere. Providing this service can also help to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
4. Support Local Infrastructure By installing charging stations, hotels can help support local infrastructure for electric vehicles. This might support building relationships with local businesses, government agencies, and other stakeholders, benefiting the hotel in the long run.
5. Lowering Carbon Footprint Many hotels are switching to renewable energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint and save on energy costs. But did you know that 30% of a hotel’s CO2 footprint is caused by guests coming with their fuel cars? By supporting electric driving, hotels attract more environmentally conscious visitors and lower their footprint in the long run.
6. Fair pricing It turns out that 22kWh or 60 kWh chargers are much more attractive for customers than superchargers along the highway. For some Tesla drivers, the costs are a decisive argument to stay overnight in hotels with “regular chargers, giving hospitality a new dimension.
7. Adapting to future trends Even though hiccups will show up, the shift towards electric vehicles is expected to continue. Hotels with a charging infrastructure will be better positioned to adapt to future trends and stay ahead of the competition.
At 1.00 a.m. I plugged my electric car into the charging station and had a good rest. My fellow EV owner had left the hotel early. The waiter poured me some ecological tea at breakfast, and I asked why the hotel had decided to install EV charging stations. “Both convenience and image”, he answered. “Not only for guests but also for some employees driving electric. They charge at a slightly lower rate, which makes them more committed. It’s great when a manager takes his staff into account.”
That morning I drove quietly to Amsterdam. The battery was well-filled, so I didn’t have to squander time charging anywhere along the way. While steering, I could overthink the story I am writing now.
And you know what? Installing charging stations can help hotels demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, which enhances their brand reputation and attract customers who value these principles.
Investment: Why invest in charging stations and not in your core business?
Perhaps, hotels should market their charging service a bit more. Possibly, Booking.com could make EV charging an essential search criterion. There could be electrifying signs on top of hotel roofs. And now I’m at it; it would be cool if charging stations on parking lots were more visible so that what is special now will become a commodity soon.
The future of mobility has yet to crystallize. But the omens are good. More cars will become electric. And they will be increasingly affordable. I do understand why a few hotels already have cost-free charging infrastructures built. They will always stay one step ahead of their competitors. Pretty smart!