Chris Saynor on EV chargers – a future necessity for accommodation providers

ev chargers and the hospitality industry

Vicky and Chris Saynor designed and created Bethnal & Bec Luxury Staycations, a true homegrown family business.

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www.bethnalandbec.com

Our eldest daughter has just turned 16 and thanks to covid we celebrated by cancelling her birthday party and going for PCR tests instead – but that’s another story. In 12 months time we will be booking driving lessons for her and we are seriously considering persuading her to only learn for an automatic license. Being someone who did not learn to drive until they were in their 30’s, I can still remember the crunching of gears, and the “bunny hopping” of my clutch control. I think I would have loved learning to drive an automatic and being able to forgo all the extra stress that a manual car gives the learner driver. But what’s this got to do with EV chargers?

Well, all electric cars are automatic, and while our daughter’s first car may not be electric, it is highly likely her 2nd or 3rd cars will be.

This is a scenario that’s going to be in many people’s minds, and not just 17 year olds. Many of your guest’s next car, or the one after next will be electric.

For the accommodation owner, providing an EV charger in the near future will be a no brainer. By 2025 it is predicted that half of all new cars sold in the UK will be electric, by 2030 it will be 100%. The 2020 figure was already as high as 15%. So even though only 1% of current vehicles in the UK are electric, the numbers are growing. Speak to an electric car owner and the vast majority of cases, they will only book accommodation that provides an EV charger.

“No EV charger, no booking.” – It’s as simple as that; and while currently you may only be missing out on a tiny number of bookings, this will not be the case in the coming years.

Plus it boosts your environmental credentials, which are also becoming an important consideration for potential guests.

We are converting our last stable into our third self catering property and had always planned to install an EV charger, but we were still “pleasantly” surprised to see that one of the conditions of our planning permission was compulsory EV chargers.

So if you are planning developments to expand your business, then be prepared that an EV charger may be compulsory.

That all sounds good I hear you say, but what are the practicalities, and more importantly how much isit going to cost me?

  1. There are £350 installation grants available, but be aware that you need to have an Electric Car, or be a business registered at Companies House. Installation could also cost more than £350 depending on the location of your EV charger
  2. EV chargers are easy to order and can be picked up or delivered within 24 hours
  3. Prices range from £400 -£2,000, plus installation
  4. There are 3 speeds/power of charger affecting how fast you can charge. The fastest is 22kw but only a few cars can actually take this power, and you must have a three phase power supply that very few domestic properties have
  5. You can pay more for your EV charger to include the ability to take payment, but this will cost an extra £1,000 on average.
  6. A lot of EV chargers work via an app that will unlock the charger for specific users. This stops anyone stealing your electricity and also allows you to see when guests have used it.