The UK is slowly moving away from fossil-fuel vehicles and is now adopting a cleaner approach to driving. The transition comes with fresh and exciting opportunities for businesses, such as filling the gaps in the current charging infrastructure.
Hotels, boutique accommodations, and B&Bs are in a unique position to offer charging stations to the growing EV-riding public. More importantly, the situation opens the hospitality and accommodation industry to numerous benefits.
Here is why hotels should invest in electric vehicle chargepoints:
Drive Foot Traffic and Increase Room Occupancy
One of the reasons why hoteliers should consider installing charging stations in their hotels is that it’s a great way to attract guests. As more people leave their internal combustion engine cars for EVs, a ready charging outlet can be your edge over the competition.
While the number of electric car owners is increasing, EV driving isn’t the norm. At the same time, not all hotels are already capable of EV charging. If you offer this service, you can be a top choice among vacationing and travelling EV owners.
Moreover, in a matter of years, electric vehicles will have become more prevalent on our roads. The government’s Net Zero Strategy will make sure of that. Under the strategy, the selling of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be prohibited by 2030.
As such, chargers for EVs will become a primary amenity for guests. But hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets need not wait for that to happen. A segment of the riding citizenry needs their electric cars charged while they spend a night or more away from home. Someone has to meet this demand.
You don’t want these guests to book their stay at another place because you can’t provide them with an electric vehicle charger. Think of it this way, if you’re a travelling businessman, you’d want to stay connected and go online whenever necessary. You don’t want to stay in a hotel that doesn’t have Wi-Fi.
The same goes for someone who has an electric car. EV owners and drivers would prioritise staying in a hotel that offers electric vehicle charging because it’s an amenity they need.
Help Save The Planet
Perhaps the main and most important rationale for installing a charging station is to help in saving the environment. There are numerous ways to contribute to deterring climate change. But having chargepoint devices in your business can be a game changer.
According to Automotive News Europe, 12 per cent of global carbon footprint can be attributed to car travel. That’s the reason the transport sector aims to go fully electric. Imagine how much we can decrease our carbon footprint if everyone switched to plug-in vehicles.
Aside from that, you’d expand the country’s charging capabilities and strengthen the current charging network. This is vital to further promote foregoing petrol and diesel transportation. As one article reveals, “one of the biggest barriers stopping more drivers from investing in a battery-powered car is a lack of public chargers.”
In other words, you’d be promoting the switch to electric mobility if you equip your hotel with EV chargers. On top of filling the gap in our current electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In both instances, you’d be doing your share in protecting the environment.
What can we say? Helping minimise carbon footprint right in your backyard is a step in the right direction.
Generate Additional Income
The beauty of investing in charging stations is that businesses can have additional means to generate revenues. On top of boosting room occupancy and attracting more guests, hotels can make money from charging stations themselves.
Accommodation establishments can offer their EV chargers for free to guests. However, they also have the option to offer these chargers on a limited basis or with discounted rates. They can also monetise it for public use.
You heard that right! You can apply electricity tariffs to chargepoint users. You can offset chargepoint installation expenditures and earn when you do so.
Non-guests who drive by the establishment and require an EV recharge can be possible customers too. Even though they’re not renting a room, they can stop by the hotel’s bar while charging. So you get sales on top of the fee they pay for using your EV charging facility. Increase foot traffic in your hotel with EV charging visitors.
If your establishment is located near shops or situated within business centres, this revenue-generating opportunity can be further maximised. You can set aside a number of your EV chargepoints for non-guests and earn from there.
There is also the potential of turning your EV chargers into ad spaces. There may be companies willing to use EV charger displays to advertise their product or service. The possibilities are endless!
Creating A Positive Business Image
In an online article published by the University of London, “consumers are more likely to trust brands that are environmentally or socially conscious.” The same article says that “climate change and protecting the environment was listed as the biggest personal concern among Gen Z adults worldwide.”
Moreover, in 2021, media company Forbes reported on their website that employees “would be more likely to work for a company with robust environmental policies.”
· For The Customers – Investing in a charging station for your hotel or B&B is a plus for the business. Clients are more inclined to choose you over a competitor when they see that you care for the environment. It matters to your target market that you care for the issues that they care about.
Installing chargepoints sends a message that you are a responsive organization aware of important environmental issues.
As mentioned earlier, the government aims to minimise the country’s carbon emissions through its Net Zero Strategy. It is also part of the UK’s commitment to stop its contribution to climate change. And being a socially aware and eco-friendly establishment improves your property’s credentials.
· For Employees – Installing charging infrastructure for your hotel staff and fleet could help your company’s PR. But here is also the added possibility of attracting more employees to come work for you.
Forbes Magazine reports that employees themselves believe a more sustainable employer is more likely to care for its personnel. “Young people today are actively choosing to work for employers with sustainability at the forefront of how they operate, with many even willing to take a pay cut to do so.”
Aside from caring for the environment, EV-driving hotel staff will have one less thing to worry about. They can plug in anytime during work hours and be assured that their electric car is powered up.
You can read up on how getting a charging station for your business can benefit your employees here.
Futureproofing the Business
In the beginning, we talked about offering something the competition doesn’t have. Providing charging equipment for your EV riding customers will help make your property a top destination of choice.
However, you are not just ensuring guest traffic with your electric car chargepoints. You’re also making sure that your business is ready for and relevant in the future.
In a few years, we’ll be seeing fewer internal combustion engines and more electric vehicles. By then, we will be needing more chargepoint stations like we do petrol stations now.
The driving landscape is changing and evolving. Most especially, the transition to a fully electric transport system is coming sooner than we know it.
Regardless of how soon or later this electrification happens, we wouldn’t want to be left behind in the upcoming shift. It’s best if our business is already prepared even before EVs completely take over our roads. Why wait and play catch up when we can adopt the technology as early as now?
Furthermore, we may not realise it, but futureproofing our business also means learning the ropes as soon as we can. Installing chargepoint stations sooner than later would help us get acquainted with the technology better.
As we learn more, we can stay on top of the game and be aware of trends and innovations. We must choose to be ahead instead of delaying the installation of charging equipment and getting overwhelmed with information we had early access to.
Putting Your Business on the Radar
Believe it or not, having charging infrastructure in your hotel is another way of promoting yourself. You may not realize it, but chargepoints in your business can work as an advertisement to potential guests and customers.
In other words, by investing in a charging hub you can also increase your company’s visibility in the process.
Zap-Map, and other similar apps and sites show EV charging networks and are extremely useful to drivers looking for a place to top up. Your hotel or B&B may show up on these apps because of your EV charging station, literally putting you on the map!
Travellers with EVs can include your property in one of their destinations the next time they go on a trip. Whether they intend to stay there for the night, or they will just drop by for a quick recharge, what’s important is they’ll know about you.
Almost everything can now be found online. If you’re hotel or B&B isn’t on there, you’d be losing a lot of traction and eventual guests if people can’t find you. Allow search engines and EV maps to mention your property when people need it with your EV charging station.
Government Support and Funding
Before we proceed any further, let’s look at one important detail.
The reality is that electric car technology is not cheap. And this is one reason why some are hesitant to forego driving conventionally-fueled vehicles.
On their UK website, multinational services company, Ernst and Young, said “Upfront costs and lack of charging infrastructure seen as most significant barriers for first time EV buyers in the UK.”
That is why, the government, through the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) offered grants to the public to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.
These grants used to subsidise the cost of purchasing plug-in cars and EV chargers. When the Plug-In Car Grant ended in June, grants now cover chargepoint purchase and installation and charging infrastructure.
Owners of hotels and other eligible accommodation businesses should take advantage of the different OZEV grants. With this funding assistance, hoteliers don’t have to shoulder the entire cost of installing charging stations.
Look into the following grants and see how you can have EV charging equipment installed at your property:
Workplace Charging Scheme
This grant provides businesses with vouchers to cover a portion of the expenditures for charging stations. Each voucher subsidises the cost of up to 75% (capped at £350 for each socket) of the purchase and installation of a chargepoint.
Regardless of the size of the company, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is available for all businesses.As long as charities, small accommodation businesses, SMEs, and commercially let properties meet eligibility conditions, they can receive grants.
The grant can be redeemed by government-accredited chargepoint installers on behalf of the business through the online portal.
EV Infrastructure Grant
The EV Infrastructure Grant subsidises the costs of installing charging infrastructure as well as chargepoint installation in small and medium-sized businesses.
This grant’s aim is to equip such businesses for the projected expansion of EV use in the future making their locations ready for chargepoint installation. In short, it’s mainly funding for chargepoint provision.
Both the WCS and EV Infrastructure Grant can be used for the same location although it can’t be applied to the same electric vehicle charger.
Under this funding scheme, the SME is required to provide at least five parking spaces for the infrastructure with one of those having a working charger. Businesses can enjoy up to £500 subsidy for each parking space. For each chargepoint purchase and installation, the company can receive a grant of up t £350.
An interim manual service will be functional until it’s replaced by a digital service that’s expected to go live this autumn.
These grants have gone a long way since their introduction about a decade ago. It has undergone different changes to cater to the needs of the public. More importantly, the transformations and versions of the grants reflect which segment of the driving citizenry needs assistance.
In short, grant details change to respond to important sectors at a specific time in order to successfully aid in electrifying transport in the UK.
Some of these changes include the logistical challenges of charging your EV. Hence, the funding focused on building chargepoint infrastructure. Other versions were created to focus on other aspects of the technology. While others still centred on areas that were once unfunded.
Time To Plug In
We understand that this shift to electric driving can be intimidating to some extent. The technology is new and we are just easing in, navigating through tons of information.
That‘s why we are here for you!
If you are interested in providing your staff and guests with government-approved electric vehicle chargers, getting ahead of the competition or making yourself visible to potential clients, we can help you! Hit us up with a few details here.
What are you waiting for? Time to plug into a new way of driving. Time to get Pumpt!