I am delighted to see an announcement by Hilton that it plans to install twenty thousand level 2 EV chargers across two thousand of its properties. What Hilton plans to install are Tesla Universal Wall Connectors.
The feature list for this TUWC is ideal for such purposes. The charger automatically selects or deselects an adapter at the time that the user pulls the charging plug out of its storage location. In this way, the charging plug can serve as a J-plug or as a Tesla-style “NACS” plug. This serves all EV models in present use in the United States.
This charger is made so that it can coordinate with up to five other TUWCs, sharing a single line from a circuit breaker. The line can be a sixty-amp line, in which case the charging can take place at up to 11½ kilowatts or about 42 miles per hour. This will make for an efficient and economical installation process at each of the Hilton hotels. Yes you have to wrangle a very difficult six-gauge cable from some faraway location at the hotel to the place where the chargers will get installed. But you only have to wrangle one such cable. Yes you have to look at all of the existing circuits that are drawing upon the electric meter and service drop to the hotel, wondering if there is enough spare power to support new EV chargers. But you only have to find enough spare power for one sixty-amp circult. You don’t have to find 360 amps of spare power for each of six EV chargers.
For a traveler on a cross-country trip, most charging during the day needs to be fast — 11½ kilowatts is not adequate. But when the traveler is spending the night at a hotel, level 2 charging is ideal. The EV can get fully charged while the traveler is asleep.
This is a smart move by Hilton. When I am on the road, I often specifically search for a hotel based upon whether or not the hotel provides EV chargers. Many other drivers of EV do the same. The next thing that I check when I am trying to pick the hotel is “what kind of plug is on the charger?” And with the TUWC, the answer is “no matter which one of the two plugs you want, you get that kind of plug.” The result of this will be a whole generation of car owners who will get in the habit of always looking for a Hilton hotel first, before checking any other hotel chain, when making their travel plans.