If you’re looking for a place to put an EV charger, hotels probably take the cake. They attract millions of travelers who have traveled long distances, they are often surrounded by hundreds of parked cars, and there are cozy places to relax inside while you wait for your journey to fill up.
Plano-based Universal chargers for electric vehicles don’t need to be warned about this idea. It’s a critical part of their business strategy, and now it’s helped the company secure nearly $10 million in government green energy grants.
Universal announced the grants yesterday, saying they would help the hospitality industry and other businesses offer electric vehicle charging services “by covering initial installation costs”.
Universal has worked with hotels on solar panels
Hemal Doshi, CEO of Universal EV Chargers as well as its parent company, Universal Green Group, founded in 2009, says his company initially charged connections to hotels by installing solar panels for them.
“Hospitality businesses like hotels are excellent sites for EV charging stations because they are located where people travel and offer multiple desirable amenities for EV drivers,” Doshi said in a statement. “We’ve worked extensively with hotels over the past decade to install their solar panels, and our understanding of their business models and operational needs has largely informed our strategy.”
Charging systems aren’t just for customers with a key card, Universal says. “The icing on the cake for hotels and other hospitality businesses is that EV drivers spend both time and money waiting for their EV to charge. Hotels may also find new customers in the future once they learn about hotel features,” the company said in a statement.
Win grants with a four-point pitch
[Photo: Universal EV Chargers]
Universal says it won the federal grants in a competitive environment by focusing on its vision, design, pricing structure and investment options.
First, he outlined his vision to help build the country’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure to meet the key objectives of the bipartisan Infrastructure Act. Then, he showed how the design of Universal’s electric vehicle charging units “addresses the challenges faced by early adopters of electric vehicles related to service, maintenance, ease of use, payment methods , charging time and availability”.
Its pricing structure is based on the two units it offers: Level Two Chargers and Level Three DC Fast Chargers, which Universal says “optimizes quality and cost” in a range of areas, including transport, testing and installation.
Finally, the company showed how it has developed a wide range of investment options ranging from simply selling its equipment – after which the hotel or company owns and operates the system and captures all the revenue – to “complete turnkey offers” with little or no expense for qualified owners. In this scenario, Universal bears the upfront costs and offers maintenance and repairs in exchange for revenue sharing with the site owner.
Set up systems “quickly and economically”
“We won these green power grants in competition with some of the largest EV charging providers in the United States because of our approach to solving common issues faced by EV owners,” Doshi said. “With grants and our wide range of financial options, including a no-cost choice for qualified partners, hotels and other businesses will be able to install and operate electric vehicle charging stations quickly and cost-effectively.”
“Approved Supplier Status” in leading hotel brands
It’s one thing to get grants. Now Universal needs to expand its business. The company says it has already obtained “approved vendor status” for hotel brands including IHG, Wyndham, Marriott and Hilton.
Another benefit that could help Universal EV Chargers’ case is that it says it’s the “first North American EV charger supplier” to receive testing lab certifications from Intertek and Underwriter Laboratories for its charger. advanced level two.
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