As the camping season approaches there is a lot of buzz about Electric Vehicles (EVs) and the ability of campgrounds to provide adequate charging services. EVs are relatively new to the automobile world and they are still a bit of a novelty to the RV & Campground industry. Allowing EVs to charge on your property can be a big opportunity for your business.
Not only will you be providing an amenity many campgrounds don’t offer (yet), you will be showing you are a green business and appealing to an increasingly important younger customer. Millennial and Generation X members are an increasingly larger share of RV buyers
The three most common questions we hear from many campground owners are:
1. What equipment is needed to charge an EV?
2. What do I charge the customer?
3. Am I selling electricity? My state doesn’t allow that”.
Well you’re in luck because you’re not selling electricity, you are providing a service (or amenity) depending on how you want to word it. Charging the customer for this can also be relatively easy. Many campground owners have had success by either:
1. Setting up a designated EV charging station and a fee based structure for using that EV charger.
2. Metering your RV site and asking your customer to use the 20 amp receptacle to charge their EV.
IN BOTH OF THESE CASES, large electrical usage can occur. There are a few issues you definitely want to look out for:
1. EVs can plug into 20 amp and charge overnight. They could use a unusual amount of KWs in the process and if you aren’t metering, you as the park operator get to pay for the power.
2. Devices are available on the internet that will allow an EV to plug into the 50-amp receptacle. These are not UL listed and do NOT have any of the safety devices required on EV Charging equipment. If you allow your campers to use these, I recommend getting a signed indemnification. Here again, if you are not metering, you will see large increases in your electric bill without recouping that cost.
3. Finally, the National Electric Code requires EV chargers to be on a single circuit (homerun fed) with NO demand factor applied because the charger can draw over 32 amps. NEC also requires chargers to shut off when battery charged, GFCI circuitry, etc.
If you have a destination RV Park, you can draw in day campers as well as long distance travelers. This can serve to show your property to current non campers, and gain word of mouth marketing as visitor friendly. You can even bundle this with other on-site amenities like restroom, wi-fi and other equipment rentals. Bottom line, get ahead of game and set up a separate EV charger and charge a flat rate to charge a travelers EV. Advertise as an amenity and be the first in your area to provide this additional service.
~Wizard of Watts