Electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity as more environmentally conscious consumers seek greener transportation options. But one major hurdle to mass EV adoption is range anxiety – the fear that an EV’s battery will run out of charge before reaching a destination. Public charging stations help alleviate this concern when installed in convenient locations. Forward-thinking hotels are responding to rising EV demand by installing Level 2 chargers on their properties. But what exactly is a hotel Level 2 charger?
A Level 2 charger is a fast EV charging station that uses a 240-volt electrical outlet to recharge a depleted battery in a few hours. This differs from the standard 120-volt Level 1 chargers that usually come with the car but can take over a day to fully recharge an EV battery. Level 2 chargers provide the extra juice needed to top off a battery overnight or during a long visit.
For hotels, installing Level 2 chargers creates an amenity that appeals to environmentally conscious guests who drive electric cars. EV drivers can recharge their cars conveniently while lodged at the hotel rather than having to search for a public charging station elsewhere. Given that range anxiety remains a top concern, offering charging facilities can attract this growing demographic of drivers to choose your hotel over competitors without EV charging.
How Fast Do Hotel Level 2 Chargers Recharge an EV?
The major benefit of a hotel installing a Level 2 charger is the faster charging speed. Level 2 chargers pump out between 3 kW to 20 kW of power, depending on the unit. This enables them to add about 20-30 miles of driving range per hour of charging time. For comparison, a 110-volt Level 1 charger only provides 2-5 miles of range per hour.
With a Level 2 charger, a typical EV with a range of 200 miles could be recharged to full in about 6-8 hours overnight. This makes Level 2 an ideal overnight charging solution. Guests can conveniently fuel up their EVs while they sleep and continue their journey the next day.
For Tesla vehicles, a specialized Tesla Wall Connector installed by hotels can provide even faster Level 2 charging, adding up to 44 miles of range per hour. This would fully recharge compatible Tesla models in just 4-5 hours.
What Are the Costs to Install Hotel Level 2 Chargers?
Installing Level 2 chargers does require an upfront investment from hotels. The cost includes:
- Level 2 charger unit ($300-$1000)
- Professional electrical installation ($500-$1500)
- Any permitting fees
- Ongoing electric costs
The total upfront cost per charging port can range from $1000 to over $2000 depending on unit and installation specifics. Hotels have several options to help improve ROI:
- Pass charging costs to EV guests through charging fees
- Offer charging as a free amenity to attract EV guests
- Leverage state/federal tax credits and incentives to offset costs
- Install smart chargers to collect usage data and control access
Ongoing costs also include electricity, network fees, and maintenance. But hotels can manage these expenses through charging fees, optimizing charge times to off-peak electric rates, and setting access restrictions. Overall, Level 2 chargers remain one of the most affordable and convenient charging solutions for hotels looking to meet EV guest demand.
Where Should Hotels Install Level 2 Chargers?
Hotels have flexibility when installing Level 2 chargers on their properties. Common placements include:
- Front lobby or valet area offers high visibility and convenience for checking in guests.
- Adjacent to conference and event facilities can serve business travelers and event attendees.
- Near restaurant and lounge locations allows patrons to conveniently fuel up while dining or relaxing.
- In self-park garages provides charging access for overnight guests and visitors. Installing in covered parking also protects chargers from weather elements.
- Exterior lots and overflow parking areas equip hotels with capacity for more chargers to meet future demand.
Hotels may want to start with a couple of visible lobby chargers to appeal to EV guests then expand capacity around the property in phases as needed. Optimal placement depends on the hotel layout and target guest segments.
Level 2 Charging Station Features for Hotels
When selecting Level 2 chargers, hotels should look for units that offer features tailored to their needs:
- Multi-standard charging compatibility to serve all major EV models, including Tesla with an adapter.
- Smart networked capabilities for collecting usage data, controlling access, setting charging rates, integrating payment processing, and monitoring station status.
- Durable, weatherproof construction to withstand outside installation.
- Custom branding options to match hotel aesthetics.
- ADA-compliant design for accessibility.
- Reservable charging via a mobile app to save a spot for guests.
- Futureproof units that allow for easy upgrades like cable management or higher capacity.
Reputable charging station manufacturers like ChargePoint, EVBox, and Tesla offer Level 2 charging products suitable for hotels. Retail chargers may lack smart controls and customization hotels need. Hotel EV charging providers can recommend the right equipment and handles permitting, installation, and setup.
Is a Hotel Level 2 Charger Worth the Investment?
Installing Level 2 EV chargers requires an upfront investment from hotels but provides long-term benefits that can justify the costs:
- Attracts eco-conscious travelers who prefer lodging with EV charging access. This growing demographic tends to have high incomes and spend more on travel.
- Generates revenue through charging fees that deliver an ROI over time. Fees can be set dynamically based on occupancy rates.
- Enhances a modern tech-forward image that aligns with luxury hotel brands. EV charging shows commitment to sustainability.
- Satisfies and retains guests who own EVs by providing a convenient service during their stay. This builds loyalty.
- Qualifies for federal and state tax credits, rebates, and grants that offset installation costs. Local utility incentives may also apply.
- Supports corporate sustainability initiatives that aim to reduce carbon footprints. This helps meet ESG goals which are becoming mandatory.
With global EV sales rapidly rising, hotels that fail to install chargers risk losing bookings to competitors that offer charging facilities demanded by EV drivers. Though upfront costs are required, Level 2 chargers soon pay for themselves and become a source of profit. The smart hotels charging ahead with EV chargers now will reap the benefits down the road.
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