Ford Motor Co. made a lot of noise in recent weeks with its F-15 Lightning announcement. The introduction of this electric vehicle (EV) is significant. Ford’s F-Series truck has been America’s best-selling truck for 44 years. The first lightning will roll off the assembly line next year at a new high-tech factory using sustainable manufacturing practices. Ford is starting with zero-emissions versions of its most popular and best-loved franchises—Mustang, Transit and F-150—with much more to come in the years ahead.
Ford is one of just many companies accelerating their production of electric vehicles. I have yet to buy one because I work at home and barely put miles on my car, but I hope to when it makes sense for our family.
A lot of families and businesspersons are using EVs when they travel for fun or business and are looking for places to charge their vehicles. Is your property properly prepared? According to the 2018 Lodging Survey, the most recent one available and produced by AH&LA and STR, just 13 percent of respondents reported having charging stations. Of course, that number is probably higher now, but I suspect our industry is mostly not prepared for EV drivers.
EVBox Group Studies
This past week I posted an article about EVBox Group, a provider of charging stations, and the two studies they conducted—one in the United States and the other in six European countries—to get a better understanding of the current market for electric driving. The studies targeted the general population, potential drivers of EV vehicles, and current EV drivers.
The U.S. study included 2,002 residents including 100 EV drivers. While neither of the studies targeted hoteliers, the results of the study should be of interest to hoteliers who are increasingly welcoming EV drivers—especially drivers stopping by to grab a bite to eat while charging up. (Twenty-three percent of survey respondents would like to see more chargers at restaurants.)
If your property does not have EV charging stations, another finding from the study should be of interest. Uncertainty about charging stations is the main barrier to opt (again) for an EV, both among current EV drivers and the general population.
The study found that roughly half of the general population is not confident about finding charging possibilities along the road whenever needed if they were to drive an EV. By far the most common location for charging EVs is at home. Four in 10 EV drivers sometimes experience problems with charging outside of their homes.
More EV Charging Stations Needed
Just over half of the EV drivers who go to work have charging stations there. But for many, there are not always enough charging stations available. Potential EV drivers say that more chargers (both regular and fast) would increase their willingness to buy an EV.
More than half of EV drivers already use fast charging. They use this at various locations, such as service stops/fuel stations, at the workplace, or at home. EV drivers would like to see more chargers (both regular and fast) at various places especially at service stops and fuel stations along the highway.
By 2025, it is expected that there will be more than 18 million electric cars on the road in the United States. Because electric vehicles are more efficient in converting energy to power cars and trucks, electricity across the board is cleaner and cheaper as a fuel for vehicles, even when that electricity comes from the dirtiest grid.
If they are not already, electric vehicle charging stations are becoming an expected amenity at hotels. When EV drivers consider or approach your hotel, will they stop or pass you by?
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.
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