Talking Point: Hotels need to take up the charge

Fitting an EV charger could add value for guests

Fitting an EV charger could add value for guests

With the continued growth of electric vehicles being purchased, Martin Jones, National Sales Manager, Services & Solutions at Rexel (UK), believes this is a time of significant opportunity for hotel operators. In this Talking Point he outlines why providing an electric vehicle charging solution could be a tangible point of differentiation for hotels looking to boost their sustainability credentials.

Momentum behind the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EV) is gathering pace, with electric car registrations in the UK increasing from 500 a month to over 3,000 per month in just three years, accounting for 1.3% of the new car market and delivering an estimated value to the economy of £51 billion.

Despite this rapid growth, many operations within the hotel industry are still choosing not to invest in EV charging infrastructure. The perceived upfront expense, a lack of understanding of the benefits it offers, along with an unfounded fear of a potentially long and disruptive installation, often combine to push EV charging into the "too hard to do" or "maybe later" piles.

However, these barriers are more myth than reality. Investment in EV charging actually presents a real opportunity for hotel operators, which, if they act now, can provide a point of differentiation in the eyes of guests, who are now actively seeking more sustainable options.

Attracting customers

With more and more of the population considering carbon neutral or eco-friendly locations for holidays and business trips, many hoteliers are already investing in new ways they can increase sustainability. For many this includes initiatives to reduce energy expenditure, save on water consumption, and installing low energy lighting options.

Yet, with more and more visitors selecting hotel destinations based on their green credentials, by being able to market themselves as "electric vehicle friendly", a hotel automatically becomes more attractive to the increasing number of drivers already using an electric car. In addition, the flexibility available within today's charging points means that hotel operators can set or change the charging price to suit their own requirements, allowing them to secure a return on investment and even generate a profit, all within a period of time of their choosing.

Retrofit options

Retrofitting or implementing a charging point strategy within a location is also very straightforward. For example, Rexel Services & Solutions offers a complete turnkey solution for businesses looking to incorporate EV charging facilities. Working closely with business owners to identify the most appropriate technology and product, managing onsite contractors and arranging installation to ensure a smooth and efficient service. Partnerships with hotel operators provide a projected total cost of ownership and return on investment, by offering advice on charging pricing models and even financing options to support the project if desired.

Extended control

The EV solutions market has evolved to provide businesses such as hotels with even more control over the maintenance and end user fee structure of their charging points. By simply using the phone in their pocket, the EV Charge Online allows businesses to set different price points for customers and staff by providing pre-authorised charging codes which simply need to be entered into a mobile phone. The platform also records all charging activity to enable operators to closely monitor return on investment and profitability.

Ahead of the curve

In addition to meeting current demands, it is important that hotel operators look to stay ahead of the game and future-proof themselves against forthcoming legislation. For example, new planning laws are set to come into force dictating that all new commercial developments must now make provision for electric vehicles and it is only a matter of time before these are applied to existing premises. By acting now, a hotel can take a planned and strategic approach to stay ahead of the curve, ensure that they comply with any future guidelines, and save on potential knee-jerk retrofitting projects down the line.

Quite simply, smart charging point planning will ensure a location is compatible with electric vehicle user needs; that it is "future-proofed" to capitalise on growth as more electric vehicles take to the roads, and is able to meet growing sustainability demands from customers, providing a tangible selling point that can help your location stand out from the crowd.

For more details about Rexel's electric vehicle charging solutions and finance options, please visit www.rexel.co.uk   

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