The pandemic had a significant impact on the hotel industry. While people now travel again for business and pleasure, evidence suggests many occupancy rates are now returning to pre-pandemic levels. Indeed, the data shows occupancy is broadly in line with 2019 levels. The average daily rate (ADR) has also risen by 23% and is up to 40% for some golf and spa hotels.

The Financial Challenge For The Hotel Industry

On top of all this, there is still a constant challenge for hotels to see how they can keep attracting people back and maintain revenue per available room (RevPAR). Dynamic pricing to sell hotel rooms helps keep occupancy rates up. However, many hotels will sell a room at a loss to keep their occupancy rate up.

Any hotel’s biggest profit margin is usually from the food and drink sales, not from the room itself. Therefore, hoteliers may be keen to prioritise greater occupancy and lower room rates with the intention that additional revenues and greater profitability will come from the sale of food and beverages consumed on-site.

Many electric vehicle (EV) drivers face the prospect that many hotels may have a limited amount of charging bays available and cannot be guaranteed access to charging when they arrive at the hotel. Many EV drivers will not only select hotels based on charging provision offered to them when booking but, based on the experience of limited availability, will also ensure that they make alternative arrangements in the event that charging isn’t readily available when they arrive.

This presents a real revenue risk to hotels. If drivers have limited access, there is a very real possibility that they will leave the site and seek charging elsewhere. EV drivers won’t sit in a car waiting and instead will seek rest and refreshment whilst charging takes place. The reality is EV drivers will look for a location where they can enjoy an evening meal whilst charging their car. If this is away from the hotel, this is a vitally missed revenue opportunity.

An electric vehicle charging station might have initially looked like a good revenue opportunity for the hotel. Failing to provide charging that meets the demands of hotel guests can have a significant negative impact on the core revenue stream if drivers leave the hotel complex to fulfill their food & beverage requirements. Drivers can use CarWow and find the nearest retail park to charge their car and dine out.

Use The Driver Convenience Factor To Your Advantage

The driver convenience factor is crucial if a hotel wants to provide the right solution. A hotel could have a limited number of charging points which could provide a very attractive additional revenue stream, however, hoteliers should always consider offering choices to their guests with a range of charging options centered around the dwell time of each user group.

Making sure you provide a choice of charging may not offer hoteliers the same high-value revenue stream for the different charging types, but providing charging that is convenient for drivers and less intrusive leads to a greater customer experience, allowing guests to slowly charge their electric cars whilst staying overnight (and much cheaper), and those who are with you for a shorter time during the day, to charge much quicker whilst accepting the premium that comes with faster charging.

Increase Electric Vehicle Charging Options For Drivers

There are many reasons why you would want to offer overnight charging, not least because you can typically install between four and seven fast chargers for every ultra-rapid charger whilst using the same amount of power. Logically, if you have four rapid chargers, you could have more than twenty fast chargers. However, the most appropriate solution hoteliers should consider would be a combination of fast, rapid, and ultra-rapid chargers depending on the amenities offered. This presents drivers with more choice, greater availability, matching the dwell time, and provides the convenience that drivers are seeking.

Electric vehicle drivers want the same seamless experience as their ICE vehicle counterparts, to arrive at the hotel, park, and leave the vehicle until they return the following morning. Providing them with greater access to fast charging on arrival affords them the option to park, plug-in and leave their vehicle until the morning.

Hoteliers should also consider working with charge point operators (CPOs) who can integrate with room reservation technology platforms. This will allow the driver to reserve a parking bay at the same time as they make a reservation, both the room and the bay can be allocated on arrival. This immediately removes any charging anxiety EV drivers face and provides the confidence that charging is provided in advance.

Forward-thinking hotels that start to deliver this service to their guests are far more likely to retain customers, protecting their occupancy levels, and may even see an increase in new customers. The opposite may also be true. Failing to provide the right solution that offers convenience to EV drivers could detract guests from returning, and see existing guests choose to eat and drink elsewhere leading to a downturn in the Total Revenue per Available Room (TRevPAR).

The Right Solution For The Right Location

It all comes back to the art of the design. At SMS, we offer end-to-end energy infrastructure capabilities. It’s all about designing the right solution for the right location. We work with some of the UK’s most recognisable hotel chains and brands in the food and beverage industry and operate a national network of over 3,000 chargepoints.

We recognise that not every hotel site is the same. There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach. It is important to consider different cohorts of sites and the varying use cases of each. Whilst it may seem sensible to provide a replicable turn-key solution, that could prove challenging, with many sites having different needs. There are so many areas to think about that it is easy to overlook them.

Whilst not an exhaustive list here are just some of the areas you will need to consider:


  • What leisure facilities do you offer?
  • What types of daytime events and activities do you provide and what are the different dwell times for each of those?
  • How much overnight accommodation do you have?
  • How many parking spaces do you have, and how full does it get at peak times?

You then need to match all the different activities at your hotel with the right type of charging solution. Reputable Charge Point Operators (CPOs) will also take care of the power requirements for charging giving you the peace of mind that you are offering the best solution for EV drivers who visit your hotel.

Using Big Data To Create Cost-Effective Results

We have recently used this modern, proactive concept to help many customers who were seeking ways to receive the monetised benefits of EV charging whilst making sure it matched their needs. We help many in the hospitality sector understand the many options they have in order to make an informed cost-effective decision.

We take big data to generate insights and use those insights to identify opportunities. We have a highly skilled engineering workforce who deliver those opportunities into positive outcomes.

A Guided Process To Optimise Electric Charging Services

In a business partnership, it is essential to work closely together to better understand customer behaviour. We support clients throughout the end-to-end process making sure they have full visibility at every stage.

A Big Data Perspective Leading To Valuable Insights

As a hotelier, you can provide critical data, which leads to valuable insights. These insights help create the best solution for your hotel and guests.


  • Power is crucial. Working with a partner like SMS who has significant experience in this area can be the difference between success and failure
  • The type and speed of charging needed to satisfy guests’ needs.
  • Data, such as typical dwell times, occupancy levels, seasonality, peak demand, and local demographics are also important factors to consider.
  • Understanding different charging behaviours, including when and for how long.
  • Knowing travelling distances for the different guest cohorts will also help determine the right type of charging solution needed.

Designing The Best EV Charging Infrastructure For The Future

It is likely to be expected that future EV charging behaviour will be more of a “grazing” activity, which can be in contrast to how many currently fuel internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. There will still be dedicated sites to charge a vehicle, in the same way that we currently have dedicated petrol fuel stations, however, destinations (such as retail, leisure, and hotel locations) are likely to play a more prominent role in charging electric vehicles.

The transition to electric vehicles will strengthen through the availability of charging stations that accurately reflect the location where a vehicle remains stationary, whether that is at home, work, or at a driver’s destination.

It’s about designing a charging infrastructure that matches the situation. Hoteliers can create better relationships with EV drivers at the hotel. Not only will drivers charge their cars without stress, but they can relax and spend more time and money at the hotel.

Contact us to find out how to create the best EV charging experience for your guests and boost your profits starting now.