How to Charge an EV in Hotels

Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity as more environmentally friendly alternatives to gas-powered cars. However, one major concern for EV drivers is finding places to charge their vehicles when traveling. Hotels are beginning to install EV charging stations to accommodate these guests, but it can still be confusing to know how to use them properly. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to charge your EV at hotels:

Find Out if the Hotel Has EV Charging Stations

The first step is to call the hotel before booking and ask if they have EV charging stations on site. Many hotels will advertise this amenity online or when you call to make a reservation. However, it’s always good to double check, especially if you will be depending on charging your EV at the hotel. Make sure to ask:

  1. How many charging stations they have
  2. What type they are (Level 1, Level 2, DC fast charging)
  3. If the stations are complimentary for guests to use or if there is a fee
  4. If you need to reserve a charging station in advance

It’s also useful to check apps like PlugShare, ChargePoint, EVmatch, or NREL’s Alternative Fuels Data Center to see if the hotel is listed as having charging stations before you book.

Park and Plug In Your EV

Choose the Right Room

If the hotel has EV charging stations, next you’ll want to request a room that is close to a charging station. This will make it convenient to charge your vehicle during your stay. When booking your room, ask for a room near or next to an EV charging station. Some hotels will highlight these rooms or label them as “EV charging friendly” on their website or when reserving.

Understand the Charging Station Set-Up

The set-up of EV charging stations can vary between hotels. Some key things to ask when you arrive are:

  1. Is the charging station for guest use only or public? If public, you may need to reserve a time slot.
  2. Is there a fee to use the charger? If so, find out the rates.
  3. Do you need a special access card or app to activate the charge point? Make sure you get set up with this.
  4. What type of charging station is it? This will impact charging speeds.

Hotels generally have Level 2 charging stations which provide about 10-20 miles of range per hour of charging. A few hotels might have DC fast chargers which can charge an EV battery up to 80% in 30-90 minutes. Know your vehicle’s charging capabilities to understand how long you may need to charge at the hotel.

Understand the Charging Station Set-Up

Park and Plug In Your EV

When you’re ready to charge, park your vehicle in the designated EV charging spot. Pull your charging cable from the cargo area of your EV. Many stations have standardized J1772 plugs, but some may require an adapter. Press the connector firmly into the charging port on your vehicle until it clicks.

Before walking away, be sure to follow the station’s instructions for activating the charge. There may be an RFID card reader, an app to open, or buttons on the station to press to start the flow of electricity.

Monitor Charging Status

Keep an eye on the charging status either through your vehicle’s dashboard display or through the charging company’s app. Depending on the charging speed and battery level, it make take several hours to fully recharge your EV battery. For overnight stays, you can usually set it to fully charge by the morning.

Remove Charger and Check Out

When your EV is done charging, make sure to stop the session on the app or station. Carefully remove the connector from your vehicle’s charging port. Replace the charging cable neatly on the station. If there are any issues with the billing for the charging session, take care of that at the front desk when you check out.

Tips for a Seamless Experience

  1. Bring your own charging adapter and cables in case the station doesn’t have the right plugs.
  2. Pack an extension cord so you can park farther away if needed.
  3. Alert the hotel in advance that you’ll need to use their EV charging station.
  4. Ask about discount codes for charging apps utilized by the hotel.
  5. Reserve charging times in advance if the stations are in high demand.
  6. Be prepared that charging may take several hours – bring entertainment!
  7. Avoid unplugging others – only use your reserved station.

Finding hotels with EV charging makes road trips in your electric car much more feasible. Following these tips will help ensure you have a smooth experience charging your sustainable vehicle on the go. More and more hotels are investing in EV charging to meet the needs of their environmentally-minded guests.

Locating Public Charging Stations on the Road

One challenge of driving an electric vehicle is finding places to charge on the go. While charging at hotels is convenient for overnight stays, what about when you need a top-up during a day of driving? Public EV charging stations around cities and along highways can provide the solution. Here are some tips for locating and utilizing public charging infrastructure:

Use Charging Station Maps
There are a variety of apps and online maps that can show you public EV charging locations. Helpful options include:

  1. PlugShare – The most comprehensive crowd-sourced map of EV chargers. You can filter by station type, network, availability, etc.
  2. ChargePoint – Shows ChargePoint stations which are common across North America. Has a mobile app.
  3. EVgo – Maps DC fast charging locations which are strategically located for travel corridors.
  4. NREL Station Locator -Allows searching charging locations funded by various government incentive programs.

Look for Charging Signage

When driving, keep an eye out for signs indicating available EV charging. Most stations have prominent signs directing EV drivers to charging facility locations, similar to signs for gas stations. Major highways will often have signs indicating upcoming charging options at rest areas or exits.

Utilize Built-In Navigation

Many electric vehicles have charging station locators built into their navigation systems. You can search local stations along your route or add a charging stop to your journey. This is very handy for finding chargers on a long trip.

Plan Ahead

To reduce range anxiety, it helps to map out charging stops along your route in advance. Account for driving distance between stations as well as charging times. Apps like PlugShare, A Better Routeplanner, and EV Weather allow you to plan trips incorporating public charging stops.

Vendor Spotlight: RelayPro Hotel panic buttons are a new requirement for hotels, but they don’t have to be a new expense. RelayPro was recently approved by Marriott, IHG and Choice hotels and has been installed in nearly 2,000 properties.  RelayPro is BOTH a 4G/Wi-Fi walkie talkie and a cutting-edge panic button with VOICE communication.

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