As electric vehicles (EVs) gain more popularity, there is an increasing trend of drivers opting for longer road trips. In January 2023, the United States witnessed a significant surge in the electrification of cars, with 7.1 percent of new light vehicles registered being all-electric, marking a remarkable 74 percent increase compared to the previous year. This growth highlights the importance of considering charging infrastructure for road trips. Unlike traditional vehicles that rely on fuel stations, EV drivers need access to charging facilities along their routes as well as time to recharge. The availability of EV charging infrastructure often determines where drivers choose to make rest stops or which hotel they choose for overnight halts when their vehicles can charge. In this blog post, we will delve into the resources and considerations EV drivers utilize when choosing hotels during their road trips.
EV drivers worry about Range
While on a road trip, EV drivers have specific concerns related to range anxiety, charging infrastructure availability, navigation, and route planning, charging time, and payment and access at charging stations. Addressing these concerns is crucial to provide a seamless and convenient travel experience for EV drivers. Drivers are likely to choose rest stops and hotels that address their concerns in the best manner possible, provide that they have the right resources to help inform their choice.
Resources EV drivers use to choose hotels during road trips
To address their concerns while on a road trip, EV drivers rely on various resources to choose stops such as hotels that cater to their specific needs. These resources include:
Online Booking Platforms: Online booking platforms like Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb are valuable resources for EV drivers planning road trips. They offer detailed search filters to find accommodations with EV charging stations or those that are located near charging infrastructure, allowing EV drivers to easily book hotels that cater to their charging needs. User reviews and ratings on these platforms further enable informed decisions based on other travelers' experiences, ensuring that EV drivers choose hotels that not only provide adequate and reliable charging options but also meet their preferences for location, amenities, and quality of accommodation.
Hotel Websites: EV drivers can also check hotel websites directly for information about their charging infrastructure, by exploring their amenities or sustainability sections. Many hotels now advertise their EV charging stations or partnerships with nearby charging facilities on their websites.
EV Enthusiast Forums and Communities: Online forums and communities dedicated to EV enthusiasts, such as Tesla Motors Club or EV-specific subreddits, provide valuable insights and recommendations from experienced EV drivers. These platforms often discuss EV-friendly hotels and accommodations that have reliable charging infrastructure.
EV Charging Networks: EV charging networks offer online platforms or mobile apps that allow users to locate charging stations. These platforms often provide information on nearby hotels with charging stations, making it convenient for EV drivers to plan their stays. Some examples of such services include;
- Plugshare: PlugShare is a website and app that provides a database of charging stations worldwide, including EV-friendly hotels. The app is free to use and allows users to search for hotels with charging stations by location and filter results by amenities such as EV charging. EV drivers can also access user reviews and ratings of charging stations and obtain detailed information on connector types and charging speeds to make informed decisions.
- Tesla Destination Charging: Tesla Destination Charging is a program that partners with hotels to provide Tesla-compatible charging stations. EV drivers can use the Tesla Destination Charging website to find hotels that offer charging stations and plan their route accordingly. The website includes a map that shows the locations of charging stations and hotels.
- Electrify America: Electrify America helps EV drivers choose hotels during road trips through their collaboration program called "Electrify America Preferred." This program partners with select hotels to install and operate charging stations, allowing EV drivers to conveniently access reliable charging infrastructure during their stays. By choosing hotels participating in the Electrify America Preferred program, drivers can enjoy the convenience of charging their vehicles while traveling.
- Chargehub: Chargehub provides a map of charging stations worldwide. EV drivers can use the app to find hotels with charging stations and plan their route accordingly. Users can filter results by location, amenities, and charging speed.
- TripTik Travel Planner: For AAA members, the TripTik Travel Planner is a useful resource for planning road trips and finding hotels with charging infrastructure along the way.
There are also other EV-specific mobile apps and navigation systems like A Better Route Planner (ABRP) or EVgo that provide information on charging stations and can suggest nearby hotels or accommodations with charging facilities along a chosen route. When choosing a hotel with charging infrastructure, it is important for the EV drivers to consider compatibility with their EV and the charging station type. Charging speed and location within the parking lot are also important factors.
This report from Wejo highlights an important trend in the EV industry, where the average distance driven per journey by EVs is rapidly approaching that of traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. This development further supports the viability and attractiveness of EVs for long road trips and reinforces the importance of resources that help EV drivers choose hotels with charging infrastructure, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience. In turn, it means that hotels can gain an important competitive advantage by installing reliable, high-capacity EV charging infrastructure and then making sure that drivers are aware of the facility that they can offer.