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For Tesla, the buildout of wall connectors is another way to increase mass adoption by offering more convenient charging locations. The company’s Universal Wall Connector can charge any North American vehicle model, not just Tesla vehicles. For Hilton, it’s about meeting demand from leisure and business travelers.
“We’re seeing a rapid and steep increase in the number of requests for EV charging. We’re trying to meet our guests’ needs with this new agreement with Tesla,” Matt Schuyler, Hilton’s chief brand officer, told CNBC.
The announcement coincides with the beginning of business travel season, as more executives will be attending conferences such as the APEC Summit, Communacopia and Dreamforce, offering an opportunity for hotel operators to drive revenue. Over the summer, U.S. hotel rates fell as more Americans headed overseas to enjoy time in Europe. This fall, Wall Street analysts will want to see if hotel brands can get business travel bookings in the U.S. back to pre-pandemic levels.
Schuyler says the availability of EV charging stations is playing a significant role in driving hotel bookings.
“The number-one search attribute for our hotels is shuttle access for airports. That’s No. 1. No. 2 is EV charging. And that’s a dramatic change that wasn’t even on the radar just a few years ago,” said Schuyler.
Hilton will work with its owners to identify properties alongside roadways and in other key urban locations that would make most sense for Tesla to install its charging stations. The additions will make Hilton’s charging network the largest of any hospitality player, says the company.
Deepwater Asset Management’s managing partner Gene Munster predicts electric car adoption in the U.S. will steadily increase in the coming years, from 2% in 2020 to 22% by 2025.