The Top 5 Mistakes Made By Hotels When Choosing and Installing a Charge Point
Travel websites like booking.com showing ev charging as a facility and dedicated websites such as Charge Hotels who only show hotels with ev chargers - even google has launched it's first EV charger map so it is more important than ever to get your hotel on the map with ev charging facilities.
See below for the top 5 mistakes made by hotels when installing ev charging stations.
2. Installing Chargers With No Customer Support
Hotel receptionists have 1001 problems to deal with on a daily basis – the last thing they need is a question from an EV driver related to a piece of electrical equipment in the car park. The most common questions are very simple for somebody who has a lot of experience with EV charging and can be resolved remotely. These questions are not simple for a hotel receptionist creating unnecessary pressure on resources!
Bottom Line: Make sure that a charger fitted at your hotel comes with the necessary 24-Hour support so that your hotel can continue to deliver the same level of customer service.
1. Choosing The Wrong Charger
The number one mistake made by a business such as a hotel, when installing electric car charging facilities is to install equipment that has no option to incorporate a billing or monitoring back office system. Quite often, in these cases the equipment must be replaced with newer, higher spec equipment at a cost to the site owner.
The EV market is exploding and as a result there are dozens if not hundreds of different models of chargers on the market. It can be quite daunting to choose from such a wide range but there are a few basic points to bear in mind which should help you to make the right decision.
A) OCPP – What? Another acronym! I thought this was supposed to be simple! OK fair enough, the last thing we need in this day and age is to have to try and learn another acronym but all you need to know is that if you want your chargers to be ‘smart’, to be able to manage payments or to have remote diagnostics performed and all of the other benefits which a back office can provide - you must make sure that the chargers are ‘OCPP compliant’ (by the way OCPP stands for Open Charge Point Protocol for those of you still reading!)
B) Plug standards – “Do you have a Nokia charger? No the new one! Sorry I only have the old Sony Ericsson.. Will that fit my Motorola? “ We all remember when mobile phones first came out and the plethora of different types of charging cables that went with them – it was a nightmare! The EU have agreed standard Plug Sockets so that we won’t have the same problem when charging our cars. From 2020, any car sold in the EU, that can be plugged in, must have what is called a ‘Type 2’ socket for AC charging and what is called a ‘CCS’ socket for DC charging. If you want to learn more about the different types of plug sockets click here but for now all that you need to know is that you don’t have to worry about having to accommodate for a million different types of sockets. A point to note is that some cars will have the old type 1 socket on them but they can avail of the new European standard using an adaptor cable which they tend to have already or can be bought from ePower directly.
Bottom line: Although it may be tempting to go for the cheapest option, it is important to make sure you choose the right charger with the right specifications that will suit your needs for years to come.
3. Overestimating The Required Power Supply
3.7kW? 7kW? 22kW? 350kW?!? There is a lot of discussion about the speed of a charger, (i.e. the amount of power it can deliver) with most believing the bigger and more powerful EV Chargers the better. A quick back of the envelope calculation by a facilities manager being asked to install 6 x 22kW charging points can result in some quite scary numbers in terms of power requirements – how much cable do we need? Do I need to get the ESB involved? Should I be installing a nuclear power plant?! While this may be the case from a simplistic perspective, there are a lot of different factors involved when determining the correct solution and quite often the numbers become a lot more realistic and manageable when you bring in dwell times and load balancing into the equation.
Bottom Line: ePower can help your business decide what is the best solution to fit its own use case, capabilities and available budget.
4. Installing A Single Charge Point
The only worse thing for your EV driving customer than having no electric car charging points at your hotel is having one charging point at your hotel! I know it sounds a bit counterintuitive but consider this: An EV driving customer is driving to your hotel looking forward to a relaxing evening at your lovely restaurant and maybe a quick drink in the hotel bar. She is safe in the knowledge that your hotel is leading the charge for EV drivers and does indeed have EV charging facilities – she knows this because checked on trip advisor before arriving. Unfortunately she’s not the only EV driver to have booked on this basis and when she arrives she finds that the ChargePoint is occupied! Now what can she do? Find out who owns the car and organise to meet them at midnight to swap cars over? Drive to a local public charger? At the end of the day, if you are indeed going to offer EV charging facilities, make sure you do it well! ePower can help advise the most efficient and cost effective solution for your hotel to ensure that your hotel is at the forefront of the EV revolution.
5. Failing To Future Proof
The growth that the EV market is showing in Ireland and that has already shown in the UK suggest that the charge points put in this year will just need to be added to next year! It is important when planning an installation to try and keep in mind the future needs of a site.
Bottom Line: If you have to dig up the car park or have to put in some ducting for cables let’s try and make sure you don’t have to do it again in another 18-24 months!