Car charger installation in your hotel. Do you need it and how do you implement it? Find out in this guide!
The Irish government is planning to have 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by the end of this decade. Although this goal may seem rather ambitious, there is no question that EVs are the future of transportation. Looking at these numbers, it becomes clear that there is an increasing opportunity for hotel managers to transform into destination hotels for EV charging. More and more EV drivers will actively seek out hotels offering overnight charging facilities. That said, it’s quite easy to imagine how many customers you might gain (or else lose) as a hotel if you offer electrical charging facilities versus if you don’t. After having already explained the many benefits of installing electric charging infrastructure in your hotel, let’s go a step further.
How do you go about installing electric chargers in your hotel? In this 7 step guide we talk you through the process of hotel car charger installation.
Know the type of car charger you need!
One of the difficulties with car charger installation is related to finding the right charging infrastructure that serves your hotel’s needs. A common belief is to assume that more powerful charging points are more efficient. Spoiler alert: the bigger the better does not apply for car charger installation!
EV chargers come in different sizes and formats from 3.6kW to 50kW and greater. While a higher power output, such as offered by DC charging technology, has the advantage of a high speed of recharge, they also require much larger power supplies. In many cases this means having to upgrade your building’s electrical system. Considering that the majority of your hotel guests would be staying overnight – meaning most of the charging would occur overnight – fast charging types will neither be necessary for you, nor do they offer any economic advantages.
Choosing a single-phase AC charger is thus, in most cases the better choice. After all you want your customers to stay overnight and would be shooting yourself in the foot by offering them an option to get away quickly.
Top tip for car charger installation: Aim for overnight charging where possible! Slower chargers place less stress on available power supplies. Fast charging is great when you need a quick turnaround, however the equipment is more expensive and requires more energy.
|Charge type||Power||Voltage||Current rating||Charging time for 100km driving range|
|Single-phase AC||3.6KW||230V||16 amps||6-8 hrs|
|Single-phase AC||7.2KW||230V||32 amps||3-4 hrs|
|Three-phase AC||11KW||400V||16 amps||2-3 hrs|
|Three-phase AC||22KW||400V||32 amps||1-2 hrs|
|DC||50KW||~400V (DC)||~125 amps||20-30 mins|
Plan your charging infrastructure and set up a charge point management system
Before you start buying a random amount of EV chargers, take a step back and assess your requirements.How many customers are staying in your hotel per night, and what percentage of them is likely to drive an EV? And thus, how many chargers will you need to implement on your hotel grounds? Where on your property should the charging points be built? We summarised the main aspects you should consider when planning your charging infrastructure below:
Location: The first things to consider here are accessibility and comfort of your guests. However, it doesn’t end here. Be aware that cable runs can increase your cost of your car charger installation. The longer the cable, the larger it will need to be, hence also more expensive. That is why in general it is suggested to keep the length of the electric line as short as possible.
Power requirements: Ask yourself how many vehicles will need charging and for how long? What are the expected energy needs of the vehicles?
Electrical connection point: Once you know roughly how much energy you will be needing for your charging infrastructure, you will have to think about how to connect your energy requirements to your energy supply. That involves finding out whether your current supply will offer a sufficient energy capacity or if it will require an update.
Compatibility with charging point management system: Once you have selected the number and type of charging points needed, make sure it’s compatible with connection to a charge point management system. This is an important point. Why?
One of the number one mistakes made by hotels is to install car charging facilities that have no option to incorporate a billing or monitoring back office system (also called charge point management system). Because here is the thing: offering your customers the ability to charge their cars and build a charging infrastructure is one thing, identifying methods for monitoring the energy usage for each vehicle is another. Charge point management systems are used to collect data from charge points and report charger use and changes in status.
Related to the above point of monitoring the energy usage of each vehicle, you will have to decide if you are going to offer your service for free or if you want to charge your customers for it. After all, car charger installation is related to high costs, not to mention the additional energy usage that will be needed for charging cars. If you decide for a paid service, you will have to set up a proper counting system. To make it easy for yourself, you could add the cost of charging your car to your room bill, as a service charge. You might also consider setting up a flexible payment system that can charge different rates for different users. For example, guests may pay a fee similar to that on offer at public chargers, staff may be able to charge at cost, and very important guests may be able to charge for free.
Inform yourself about government support for car charger installation
The Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) offers a number of EV grants helping to make it more affordable than ever to switch to an EV. They cover the installation of private EV charging solutions as well as public charging solutions. Although there is as of the moment no grant available for businesses and hotels, it is currently discussed to bring in such grants for the future. To bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about the available grants.
The Irish government does however offer tax incentives on EV charging points under the Accelerated Capital Allowance Program. As a hotel you’ll be able to write off the cost of buying and installing charging stations, thereby reducing your tax bill.
Keep your customers happy and offer support
Although charging your customers cars should be a simple enough procedure once you have set up your charging infrastructure, you never know what problems you may encounter. What you don’t want is for your own hotel receptionists to have to deal with it. (They have enough customer requests to deal with on a daily basis as it is). That means, when setting up your charging infrastructure, make sure that whatever supplier you choose comes with the necessary 24 hour support. After all, you want your hotel to keep delivering exceptional customer service.
Help your guests plan their route
Setting up your own charging stations at the hotel is a great first step. However, if you want to offer an even better user experience, help your clients figure out the route to your hotel too. For instance, show them different charging stations enroute to your hotel depending on where they are travelling from. There is a wide variety of charging stations with different power levels spread out across the public charging network in Ireland. If your customers require top-ups on their journeys, check out charging point operators to plan their route. The easier you make it for your clients to plan their journey with their electric vehicles, the more likely you are to attract this new clientele to your hotel.
Future-proof your charging infrastructure
Going back to our statistic from the beginning, it is obvious that the number of EVs on Irish roads will increase massively over the next couple of years. With that in mind, it makes sense to plan ahead. While there is no point in building more charging points then you need in advance, it is still helpful to plan the infrastructure that will feed your future charging points ahead of time. For instance you might want to consider laying large enough cables to allow for future expansion. If you save costs in these little but important areas today, it will spare you headaches and in the future. The SEAI recommends considering following car charger installation aspects to make sure you’re EV charging infrastructure is future-proof:
- Design electrical incomers with electric vehicle charging in mind.
- Identify spaces for immediate and future EV charging
- Install cable cuts along the electrical route for future charging points
- Lay large enough cables that allow for future expansion
Car charger installation for hotels with TSG Charge
We hope this guide has clarified the most important steps you need to take in order to build your own hotel charging infrastructure successfully. Are you ready to take your hotel to the next level? TSG Ireland can help you answer all of your questions around the benefits of hotel EV charging and provide you with an EV charger solution designed to benefit your guests and provide valuable infrastructure to your hotel.
If you want to make sure you get the best charging solution for your customers, then contact us here at TSG charge.