Charge Your Car, Supercharge Your Business: The Untapped Potential of EV Charging at Hotels
While the EV adoption rate is on a steady rise, a critical piece of the puzzle is still in progress: the EV charging infrastructure. This EV infrastructure is crucial not just for cityscapes but also for destinations like hotels, resorts, and tourist spots where people spend considerable time. However, the question that often arises is whether these charging services should be free or paid. Offering free AC charging to hotel guests is not just a perk but a strategic decision that can offer long-term gains. It is an investment into the hotel’s future, into a greener and more sustainable world, and into a steadily growing demographic of eco-conscious travellers.
Customer Attraction and Retention
Free amenities have always been a strong marketing point for any service-oriented business. Hotels already offer free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, and other facilities. By offering free EV charging, they would be adding another feather to their cap. This strategy aligns well with the 2019 Destination Visitor Survey (DVS) which highlights the growing importance of eco-friendly initiatives in attracting tourists.
Enhancing Customer Experience
For EV owners, the availability of free charging is a significant convenience that can tip the balance when choosing a hotel. Eco-conscious travellers will appreciate hotels that offer sustainable services, further enhancing the hotel’s reputation and customer loyalty
Paid or Free?
Many businesses hesitate to offer free EV charging due to the perceived high costs of electricity. However, a detailed cost-benefit analysis indicates that the overall expense is minimal. According to the Australian Energy Regulator, the average cost of electricity ranges from 25 to 35 cents per kWh. Considering an average EV consumes around 20 kWh for a 100-km drive, the cost for a full charge rarely exceeds $7.
Setting up a paid charging service is not straightforward. There are administrative costs involved, including the installation of billing systems, software management, customer support, and transaction fees. According to a study by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the setup and maintenance of paid charging services can run into thousands of dollars per year, potentially surpassing the revenue generated from selling electricity.
Having free service could lead to misuse: One of the main concerns is that people who are not customers of the hotel may take advantage of the free charging. This could limit the availability of the service for actual patrons. Offering free charging could encourage some users to occupy the charging spots for extended periods, even after their vehicles are fully charged, thus causing inconvenience to others who need the service. These issues can be dealt with smart charging applications such as the EVOS driver app to set up smart charging schedules.
Offering free AC charging for electric vehicles is a win-win situation for hotels and destinations. Not only does it serve to attract a modern, eco-conscious customer base, but the cost-benefit analysis also supports the free model. Businesses can offset the minimal electricity costs through increased occupancy rates and secondary income sources, making it a smart, forward-thinking strategy in today’s evolving travel landscape. while offering free AC charging can bring several benefits to hotels and destinations, these downsides need to be carefully weighed and managed.