A growing number of UK hotels have been going solar recently, and now they are going to have a new way to put that solar electricity to use. According to FleetNews, the UK's largest electric vehicle charging network operator—which was recently acquired by oil giant BP—is teaming up with the AA (UK's equivalent of AAA) to install electric vehicle charging at 4,000 AA-inspected hotels and B&Bs across the country.
It's a pretty logical move. And follows in the footsteps of Tesla's efforts to complement superchargers with a distributed network of "destination chargers" at restaurants and hotels.
In the same way as big box stores and other retail locations make sense as charging locations, having charging capacity at hotels allows travelers to charge up while they were doing something they were going to do anyway—namely, sleep. If I can begin my day with a full charge every day on a multi-day road trip, it's going to greatly diminish the need for rapid charging along the way.
David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster, believes the scheme—which will see rapid charging stations installed at hotels near major highways and slower Level 2 charging station installed elsewhere—may be a sign of what's to come for the hospitality industry:
“We believe that within the next five years, all hotels will offer EV charging, just like they provide Wi-Fi today. Our offer for AA hotels is a great opportunity for hotel owners and operators to get a competitive advantage with a facility that could attract hundreds of thousands of customers in the coming years.”
I, for one, have found that even an older, shorter range electric car becomes considerably more practical as charging networks get built out. Given the increasing availability of medium and longer range electric cars, the evolution of faster charging standards, and now the growing number of charging stations at convenient locations, I fully expect to see range anxiety shrinking as a concern for many would-be electric vehicle drivers.