Setting up chargers at hotels

Setting up chargers at hotels

I'm going to be staying at a hotel in Burbank this November, so I tried to find one that had any type of EV charging. I didn't find a single one. One hotel happens to have a couple of chargepoint chargers across the street in a grocery store parking lot, so that's where I'll go.

But this scene is being repeated across the country isn't it? 99% of the hotels out there don't realize that having a $2,000 car charger (cost including installation) would pay for itself within a year from increased EV car owner bookings.

Is there any reason people aren't starting up businesses to outfit hotels with EV chargers? It is a simple local business. Act as a "general contractor" to a local electrician. Find an electrician willing to work with you - these aren't time sensitive installations, so you can offer an electrician jobs that he can do as time permits around other jobs. The single installer/owner would simply cold call various hotels in their area, arrange a site visit and give them a fixed quote for an install. A simple J1772 30A charger would be fine for small hotels, a few of them for bigger ones (this is for overnight charging, so 30A is fine). You would have to learn enough about simple electrical installations and costs (the electrician would do the actual install).

So ... why isn't some budding entrepreneur doing this?

negarholger | October 15, 2013

Shop - it is up to us creating the demand. Call the hotel and ask if they have EV charging. If no then ask which hotel in their area can they recommend that has EV charging... will get them thinking.

shop | October 15, 2013

Well, I did ask all the reservation agents I called about EV charging, but I doubt the info will make it up to a decision maker.

aviationfw | October 16, 2013

We have a number of hotels in Orlando with free EV charging. I popped in for a 2 hour dinner and free charge at the shearaton beside Downtown Disney a few weeks ago. The charge was free the dinner was $101 but there where 4 of us, so not such a bad deal.

aviationfw | October 16, 2013

They had 4 or 6 30amp j1772 charge point units nicely laid out in an area to the side of the front door.

bob_smits | October 16, 2013

Thanks for the suggestion.
We are selling EV chargers in the Netherlands and I will pass this idea to the sales rep to contact hotels :-)

welockett | October 16, 2013

I think it would be better if hotels just installed several 14-50 outlets. Cheaper for them and more than adequate to charge the car overnight.

shop | October 16, 2013

Yes, plugs are cheaper, but I wonder how many EVs can actually use them? Excluding Tesla's, of course, do all Volt, Leaf, plug in Prius, etc. owners carry around a portable EVSE?

jat | October 16, 2013

Blink has been doing this (but see where it got them) - I have been to numerous hotels that had Blink chargers (frequently I was the first to have ever used them, which can't exactly encourage them to add more). Others, I have had no difficulty charging at 120V overnight (certainly less than ideal, but it helps). But I agree that hotels are the one place that really should have L2 chargers (malls, restaurants, and especially Wallgreens stores are a waste) - we just need to wait until more cars can travel far enough to use them.

@shop - the smaller-battery EVs can't generally make it to some place that you would stay in a hotel for anyway, so it doesn't really matter. It is possible to get a portable EVSE that supports 240V, and over time I expect those to come standard with the cars as they cost practically nothing extra. I had my LEAF's EVSE upgraded at, and it was basically a firmware upgrade and cutting the cord so you could put different plugs on it - the hardware already had the capability for 240V charging.

Brit.l.T | October 17, 2013

I had a little bit of a chuckle at the calling idea. I don't remember the last time I used a phone to call a hotel because people on the other end don't care about their job, will screw up my reservation, and like other poster said don't actually pass along messages. The way to go about this is social media.

Anytime you stay at a hotel rate it on trip advisor or Expedia and mention how you would love to take your family here but no EV plugs. Tweet to hotel chains asking them if they have one or would ever get one. FB pages to hotels work well too. Because once its there its there and more likely then not the manager will actually see it. As more and more people start to do this the idea will catch on.

There is a resort here that is about 40 miles from the main city who I'm doing this to right now. 40 miles is perfect because all the volt chargers need a fill up.

shop | October 18, 2013

@jat, good point about needing range to even stay at a hotel. If Teslas are going to be the dominant car staying at hotels, it seems that hotels can get by by just installing a NEMA 14-30 or 14-50 plug or two. Charge the guests $20/night for electricity. Cheap, simple, and quick.

I wonder if the reason hotels haven't been jumping on the bandwagon to install EV charging capability is that the Model S is really the first car that would likely use hotel chargers.

@Brit - I agree, managers actually listen to TripAdvisor postings...

CalDreamin | October 18, 2013

Brit, you are right, social media is the way to go.