When planning a road trip in an electric vehicle (EV), one of the easiest and most efficient ways to charge up along the way is to do so overnight while at your hotel. But finding hotels on your route that actually have charging capabilities isn’t always easy. Hilton is looking to change that by joining forces with Tesla to install 20,000 new charging stations at its properties throughout North America to give EV drivers a little more confidence—and a little less range anxiety—when they hit the road.
The charging stations, known as Tesla Universal Wall Connectors, are able to charge Tesla and non-Tesla EVs alike. Starting in 2024, the plan is to install a series of six chargers at each of some 2,000 Hilton properties in the United States, Canada, and Mexico—more than doubling the number of Hilton-owned hotels that have charging stations.
That’s no small lift, considering that as of March 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center estimated that there are around 51,000 public EV charging stations across the entire United States, the majority of which are in California—which has a little more than 14,000 public charging stations.
This massive investment in hotel-based charging stations comes as Hilton reports an uptick in travelers that are looking for EV chargers “as evidenced by the continued growth of searches at Hilton.com for hotels with charging capability,” the hotel group noted. And what’s more, those searches are converting into actual stays, Hilton reports.
As part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the United States has a goal of building a national network of 500,000 EV chargers in cities and along the country’s highways with EVs expected to make up at least 50 percent of new car sales by 2030, according to the administration’s plan. In February 2023, the White House announced that Tesla would begin opening up a portion of its charging network to non-Tesla EVs and make at least 7,500 chargers available for all EVs by the end of 2024. Any and all EV drivers can access these open-to-all charging stations via the Tesla app or website.
Adding to that commitment is this new pact with Hilton
“Installing infrastructure at popular destinations like Hilton hotels enables EV owners to charge where they park, meaning no unnecessary refueling stops along their journey,” Rebecca Tinucci, Tesla’s senior director of charging infrastructure, said in a statement.
Currently, there are already EV charging stations at more than 1,850 Hilton locations worldwide, with 80 percent of the properties that already have EV chargers located in North America, Hilton tells AFAR. The company’s all-suite brands, including Embassy Suites by Hilton and Home2Suites by Hilton, have made EV charging stations a requirement for all newly built U.S. hotels.
As for exactly which Hilton properties will get the new charging stations, Hilton tells AFAR that it is working with Tesla to “find mutually agreeable sites for the installations, which [are] expected to span across the entire portfolio of brands.”
Travelers plotting out an EV road trip can search for the Hilton hotels that have charging stations at Hilton.com.