No, 3-pin sockets aren’t enough for your hotel

Don't miss out on customers looking for destination charging

Ohme Home Pro review

Hotels that install 3-pin sockets for electric car charging risk losing customers to hotels with better facilities.

I can’t convey how frustrating it is when hotels say they have EV charging facilities that turn out to be 3-pin sockets.

It’s like promising steak and serving a slab of corned beef.

At 8-miles of range per hour, 3-pin sockets top up most electric car batteries by less than a third when plugged in for eight hours.

To charge a 50kWh battery from 10-100% with a 3-pin socket takes 22 hours flat, a ridiculous length of time.

Now, if you’re thinking beggars can’t be choosers, and your patrons should be grateful for the free electricity you provide regardless of how slow it is, ask yourself this: do you want to lose them to other hotels?

There will of course be customers who appreciate having anything to plug into to recoup some range before heading out to a faster charger.

But charging is all about convenience, and convenience with charging is all about speed. Since your hotel is a base for exploring, you need to make exploring as seamless as possible.

And that means helping people charge quickly.

EV chargers for hotels

Personally, I always choose hotels with charging facilities that deliver a complete charge overnight, so 7kW. A 7kW charger gives me the 80% charge I want whilst I sleep and a 25-mile boost in an hour.

I’m not alone either – every electric car owner I know chooses hotels with charging facilities, and they only pick the ones with good facilities. This generally means they have:

  • A booking system for charging bays at the desk (first come first served takes management out of your hands, but it is lazy and does not promote fairness)
  • 7kW charge speeds minimum (7kW chargers add up to 25-miles of range per hour and can run on any single-phase power supply)

Some hotels supply electricity for free to customers, while others apply a small room charge. It is better to reduce friction by offering electricity for free.

Hotel 3-pin ev chargers
The Zappi v2 is a good option if your hotel has solar panels

Most hotels don’t have a payment system in place at the charger because this adds complexity to the customer experience. Instead, they give patrons RFID cards to activate the charger. This ensures non-patrons can’t activate and use the charger.

Easee One charging Polestar 2
The Easee One is a great charger

An excellent untethered charger for hotels is the Easee One, which has RFID and lets you run three charging stations off one fuse.

However, when two or more units are charging on one fuse, power is balanced between the units, reducing the charge speed for each customer. It’s better to have each unit on its own fuse so all patrons get the maximum charge speed.

The downside to EV chargers is they cost a lot more than 3-pin sockets, which can cost as little as £100 per socket. However, EV chargers are future-proof and collect usage data, giving you a full picture of energy consumption.

Summing up

3-pin sockets are not fast enough to satisfy your EV-owning patrons.

There is a substantial customer base that books hotels based on charging facilities at the destination.

As new ICE vehicles are fazed out and banned from sale from 2030, hotel charging facilities will become a key customer differentiator. The best hotels will have bookable charging facilities that promote a fair experience for all.

If you are considering 3-pin sockets for your hotel, don’t bother – get smart chargers instead, and save up if you have to do it.

You can pick up some great chargers for under £899 including installation. Read our EV charger reviews for more ideas.

James Lewis is our resident electrical head. He drives an MG ZS EV (2018, which he loves) and plans to get the new one soon. James is much more excited by the lower end of the EV market and is looking forward to the Ora Cat.