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Smart EV Charging – A Valuable Amenity with Considerable Grants for Early Adopters

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A massive transportation transition is growing across Canada, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). The hotel industry has a unique advantage in this transition as EV people move across the country for business or leisure and seek places to “fuel” up those cars at Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) charging locations. It’s a chance to attract guests & daytime visitors, generate revenues and provide a service that encourages clean, sustainable transportation as well as maybe improving the hotels eco-rating along the way.

Funding

To help with this transition the federal government created the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP) from Natural Resources Canada that is available via various delivery partners to help cover up to 50% of the cost of installing “Networked / Smart” EVSEs for commercial clients. As most hotels would be looking to install Level 2 chargers the grant is set at $5000 per level 2 connector installed at a site. These grants can cover pretty much any cost related to the EVSE installation. New rounds of funding are coming soon, but don’t last long so now is the time!

Getting Started the Smart & Sustainable Way

  • Contact a reputable firm to do a building power load assessment and better yet an energy audit at the same time. Even if you’re just looking to install a couple of EVSEs to get started it’s important to know how much power is available for EVSEs. Up to 50% of the assessment can be covered up through the grant!
  • Bring in a company with experience installing quality, grant eligible EVSEs to provide quotations for turnkey solutions including grant management, commissioning of the networked chargers, power load management / energy management hardware and software where required, electrical permits to ensure installations are to code, EVSEs have reputable payment management systems, are listed on apps to attract guests, technical support for users is included etc.
  • Once you have a vendor chosen have them apply for the grants before they disappear. In many cases you have a year from grant pre-approval to execute the project and supply chain issues can arise.

We work with a lot of hotel operators who’ve told us that EV charging has become a standard amenity that guests are looking for.

We also collaborate with many forward-looking operators who think wholistically about energy management and guest experience and are looking for smart building software integrations that can achieve efficiences. The best plan starts with cost-efficient, connected and non-proprietary equipment, along with scale-able infrastructure that will open future revenue opportunities as EV charging demand contines to grow.

—Mike Mulqueen, Director of Commercial Partnerships, SWTCH Energy Inc.

Revenue Opportunities / Payment Models / Features

  • Various models exist to install EVSEs at hotels. A fully paid model would see the hotel paying the complete cost of infrastructure and own all charging equipment and also fully receive the up to 50% grant. In this scenario the hotel sets the charging price, revenues are collected via a third party (FLO, Chargepoint, SWTCH, ChargeLab, Blink etc) and deposited on a regular basis in the hotel’s bank account.

    Charging as a Service model might require no up front capital from the hotel but in this case the EVSEs belong to the third party. They continue to be responsible for the maintenance and support of the chargers as in the paid model but collect all revenues and set more of the rules around the cost of charging to the end user.

    Reservation Systems with networked EVSEs can allow guests to reserve their spot charging ahead of arrival based on real-time availability.

    Loitering Penalties can be used in both scenarios to prevent guests from keeping their vehicles connected to EVSEs when they are fully charged. When their EV is fully charged, they will continue to pay until they move their vehicle and allow other guests to use the charging equipment.

    Branding is possible with most EV charging equipment so it can reflect hotel colours or spirit and Advertising opportunities are increasingly available via EVSEs on integrated displays to generate additional revenues.

EV Charging is a new service we are just exploring, and I believe in no time it will be an essential service that our guests will expect to be available. Additionally, we must ensure that we play our part in reaching a carbon neutral future for generations to come.

—Mohamed Zeid, Corporate Director, Engineering & Projects, Silver Hotel Group

Whether a hotel is looking to simply provide a free charge for guests (which can be setup with RFID cards to avoid payment) or to generate revenues or to have a third party bring EVSEs to the table and own the equipment, it’s becoming an increasing pain point for hotels not to be providing EV charging options for guests.

As EV charging is relatively new there are plenty of considerations to be taken carefully in planning, project implementation and post installation maintenance and support. As hotels and their staff are generally very busy with other work trying to create the best guest experience possible it’s highly recommended to opt for a turnkey / hands off approach to installing EVSEs at hotels. Having them professionally installed and managed enhances both revenue generation and guest experience.

Vendor Spotlight – Lightenco

Lightenco has been a long time Green Key Global Vendor offering fully turnkey smart LED lighting and lighting controls solutions as well as EVSE packages including both installations and building power studies to determine a roadmap for onboarding EV charging. They are one of Canada and North America’s Fastest Growing Companies and are dedicated to sustainability with electric vehicles in its fleet and renewable energy powering its head office. Lightenco has worked across Canada with hospitality groups like Marriott Canada, InnVest, Silver Hotel Group, Holloway Lodging, Silver Birch, Palm Holdings and more.

Get Started

For more information on EVSE solutions including building power studies and completely turnkey solutions for installations from grant application to commissioning of charging stations with various payment models contact:

Steve Hubbard, Director of Sales & Business Development, steve.hubbard@lightenco.com, 855-444-8365 x104