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Holiday Cottage Owners: Charging as a Service

We all know that electric vehicles are on the rise. We've heard about that umpteen times on the news. But how is that relevant to you as a hospitality venue owner? We've written a guide for holiday cottage owners on why and how to offer EV charging.
Updated on
April 13, 2023

The EV market and the potential

As many of you may be aware electric vehicle sales in the UK are on the increase, there was a 40% rise in EV sales in 2022, and fully electric vehicles accounted for 16.6% of all new vehicle registration.

What this means for you

This means that more and more of your guests will be travelling to your properties in an EV and will need to charge it before the journey home. In fact, after speaking to our existing clients, they have seen a dramatic increase in bookings after installing an EV charging point, giving them access to a new ever-growing base of clientele. Based on our data, there are few typical guest profiles and their charging habits:

1. The Business Traveller

This is someone who meets clients on the road, and is looking to stay over for the night. They are someone who wants to rest for the night after a long day on the road and plug in their EV for an overnight charge as opposed to waiting for a couple of hours at a public charging point then driving back to their accommodation.

According to our user feedback, 9 out of 10 business travellers prioritise accommodation with onsite EV charging facilities as they simply treasure their time. Mind you, this is especially crucial if the venue is in a remote location with no public charging infrastructure!

2. The Serial Staycationer

Usually a family staying over the weekend looking for a quiet escape from the bustle of city life, they would be travelling great distances and need a charge when they finally arrive.

In most cases, if they're destination does not have charging facility onsite, they would stop over at a service station on the motorway for a quick charge. However, our users have vehemently told us they would much prefer a destination charging facility as they would not only check-in quicker but would save them more money!

Most of them have told us that it's becoming as necessary as WiFi. If the venue doesn't have a dedicated charging facility, they simply won't book due to the immense hassle.

3. The Longstay Self-caterer

The self-caterer stays at holiday cottages in remote locations for extended periods of time as a means of a hard reset from the stresses of modern day life. Like all driven professionals, they're more sustainable-oriented and have made the necessary switch to electric.

From driving around to nearby attractions or to the local pub, the longstay self-caterer is not only hungry for a quiet accommodation but one that understands their needs for charging up their EV. You wouldn't expect them to charge their smart phone at a rest stop, so why expect them to charge their car anywhere else other than where they're staying?

EV charging as a service

What is it: a service for guests to use onsite charging facilities at their convenience

1. Free Charging

Surely, you may be thinking, "I can have my guests charge for free all they want. It may even ben an added bonus for them staying," and it may certainly seem tempting to offer EV charging as a free service but with rising electricity costs, that will eventually hurt your bottom line and you could be losing thousands of pounds a year from just a single charging point. This does not include any potential profits you could be making by offering this service.

2. Paid Charging

Our clients who previously have had a plug-and-play charging point or have offered wall-socket charging reported major losses in their revenue due to skyrocketing electricity costs. Drivers would simply turn up and charge as they please, even if they're not staying. With a paid charging service, you not only filter out unwanted drivers from turning up at your destination, but you are also guaranteed payment to, at the very least, cover your electricity costs.

Getting started

So you like the idea of paid charging as a service but you've no idea how to get started. It's really simple. All you will need is a dedicated smart charging point. Charging with a wall-socket does not only pose a huge risk of electrical fire but the charging speed is at least three times slower than a smart charging point. No one likes to trickle-charge their phone as much as their car! We've come up with a few requirements based on our clients' feedback:

1. Accessible parking space

All charging points installed must be, at the very least, accessible by cars. The charging lead that comes with cars or the permanent charging lead on the device is usually 3-5 metres in length, giving you some room to place the charging point.

2. Choose a charging power

Smart charging points come in three different power outputs: 7kW, 11kW, 22kW. The ideal power output for holiday cottages is 7kW. The electrical requirements of 7kW charging points fit with the single-phase supplies of most cottages and would put less strain on the property's supply.

3. Universal output

All cars in the U.K. and Europe are required to have a Type 2 port as a standard. Remember to choose a charging point that has either (1) a Type 2 charging lead attached (commonly referred to as Tethered unit), or (2) a Type 2 socket where drivers use their own lead (commonly referred to as Untethered unit).

4. Integrated payments

A simple plug-and-charge charging point won't do for many reasons. You will need one that has card/online payments integrated into the system. Unless you are always physically present, it would be nigh impossible to collect payments from your guests after they have charged their cars. You will also need one that manages payments based on the exact energy consumed as none of your guests would be happy for being overcharged! This is what we call "Pay as you charge".

5. Driver support

Can you imagine if your guests can't charge their cars at all? What do you do if there's something wrong with the charging point and your guest calls you for help? As a venue owner, you simply do not have the time to deal with guest queries on EV charging. Even more so, if you run a luxury holiday cottage or multiple holiday cottages, where guest experience is of utmost importance, this becomes imperative.

Therefore, you will need to find one that has the right hospitality-focussed support for guests who may need assistance throughout the day.

The Premiere Hospitality Charging Solution

If what we've laid out above seems daunting, we understand your pain! We've seen a major lack in the market and have seen first hand, the ill-suited charging solutions that are available. In fact, many of our clients have come to us to simply swap their existing devices for ours. We've painstakingly gathered data from holiday cottage owners and have created a foolproof solution that simply works.

1. Complimentary 24/7 driver & owner support

Standard with all our charging points comes unlimited and complimentary 24/7 driver support. We keep your guests happy and ensure they can charge their cars with no time spent from yourselves. Our clients have reported almost 100% time saved due to not having to deal with bad customer experience or non-functioning charging points.

2. Self-rectifying hardware

Our charging points are not only discreet in appearance so that it doesn't distract from your luxurious cottage facade, but is self-rectifying should there be any problems. This means that your charging facility will always be online and available for guest to use without needing an engineer visit.

3. 24/7 cloud connected

The worst that can happen to your charging point is that it loses internet connection; say goodbye to any smart features or payments integration you currently have! Our charging points have WiFi or 4G as options and an ethernet port with all units, resulting in an industry-leading uninterrupted connection to our platform in the cloud, running complex operations in the background.

4. Feature requests

All our charging points are OCPP-compliant, giving you the ease of mind of any technological requirements. Not only that, we've developed our platform in-house, giving you the utmost confidence that you're not dealing with any third-parties. We know our products and can cater them to your needs. We are always keen to improve our offering and have always been working with our clients to develop solutions and features that work for them.

5. Zero hassle payments

Yes, we've integrated payments into our platform. That means that our technology captures and meters all energy consumption through the charging points. Guests' payments are pre-authorised at the very start of the session to ensure you, as a business, do not lose any money. Did we also mention that we take care of all payment charges by card merchants?

All you will need to do is simply register the charging points and set your charging price (£ / kWh) and our platform takes care of the rest, giving you the freedom to do more, for less.

6. PAYG - Zero monthly fees

Being a seasonable business, you will be looking to keep your costs down to a minimum especially in bouts of low-bookings. There are plenty of solutions with costly monthly fees as a subscription to use the platform, on top of transaction costs! We find that incredibly untenable for holiday cottage owners. We don't believe in charging you to use our platform on a monthly basis.

We simply take a small % per successful transaction. This gives you the peace of mind knowing that you can run your holiday cottage optimally, without unnecessary costs. With our solution, you can be as profit-making or cost-covering as much as you want. We give you complete control while we take care of the rest!

7. No third-party apps or hardware

What you will find is plenty of providers have paired various hardware and software for you whereas, we have integrated everything all in one package that's developed by ourselves. Any questions about the hardware or platform? We'll take care of you like our own!

Our client base

We work with some of the largest pub companies, iconic destination venues in the country, and independent venues who are the lifeblood of the hospitality industry in the U.K. Some of the leading holiday letting agencies have also partnered with us, so reach out to us to see if you're eligible for any exclusive discounts.

Your next step in levelling up your venue and increasing booking rates is just a step away! Book a call with our specialist below to get started!

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VoltShare are an EV charging technology provider for the hospitality industry that simplifies management, payments collection, and technology integration. We empower small to large-sized venues to futureproof themselves, while ensuring they remain resource-efficient and profitable.

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