Hilton was the biggest newsmaker this past week with its announcement that it has expanded an agreement with Tesla that will result in up to 20,000 Tesla Universal Wall Connectors being installed at 2,000 hotels in the U.S., Canada and Mexico beginning in early 2024.
Hilton says it is the largest planned EV charging network of any hospitality company. Kudos to Hilton for taking this bold step to significantly expand North America’s EV charging network. It will certainly pay off in many room nights, meals, coffee breaks and it significantly builds Hilton’s green brand reputation.
The White House estimates there are about 3 million vehicles in the U.S. that are electric—approximately one percent of the total. The number of electric cars in the U.S. tripled last year and the volume of electric vehicles sold is expected to continue to surge. In Canada there are about 150,000 electric vehicles on the road. In Mexico: about 80,000. Hilton is wise to target this growing segment aggressively.
Hilton says there will be at least six chargers at each of the selected hotels. Hilton’s vast geographic footprint of hotels alongside roadways and in key urban destinations across North America makes it uniquely suited to provide charging access at scale for travelers on long-haul trips.
Demand Reflected in Hilton Website Activity
Travelers are increasingly looking for EV chargers when they travel as evidenced by the continued growth of searches at Hilton.com for hotels with charging capability. In 2023, the website’s EV charging search attribute had the fastest volume of growth to-date, jumping from fourth to second highest in converting searches to stays.
This announcement follows the recent launch of Tesla’s Universal Wall Connector, a product designed to seamlessly charge any North American vehicle model, expanding Tesla’s efforts to make charging available to all EVs.
“Through this expanded agreement with Tesla, we are significantly changing the landscape of universal EV chargers in North America in an incredibly short amount of time,” says Matt Schuyler, Chief Brand Officer, Hilton.
Fits with Tesla Charging’s Growth Strategy
“A key priority for Tesla Charging is installing low-cost, convenient AC charging anywhere electric vehicles are parked for more than an hour or two,” added Rebecca Tinucci, Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure, Tesla. “To ensure electric vehicle adoption at scale, our joint industry goal must be to vastly improve upon the traditional gasoline vehicle ownership experience, not just meet it. Installing infrastructure at popular destinations, like Hilton hotels, enables EV owners to charge where they park, meaning no unnecessary refueling stops along their journey.”
It was almost a year ago that the Biden-Harris Administration announced it had approved Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plans for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico ahead of schedule under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, established and funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. With this approval, all states now have access to NEVI formula funding, totaling more than $1.5 billion to help build EV chargers covering approximately 75,000 miles of highway across the U.S. The NEVI formula funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will make $5 billion available over five years.
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