Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Ground Transport

IDEAS: London Gatwick Airport Launches Dedicated Electric Vehicle Charging Forecourt

1 month ago

A dedicated forecourt for electric vehicle (EV) charging has opened at London Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom, the first of its kind to be introduced by an international airport. 

Credit: London Gatwick

The Electric Forecourt is powered by Gridserve and has 30 electric vehicle chargers available, with options for both high-power and low-power charging outputs. All of the charging bays are powered by 100% net zero energy.

The site also features a lounge area with high-speed Wi-Fi, a convenience store, and an interactive EV experience area where a dedicated EV guru will be on-site to support with any customer queries.

Credit: London Gatwick

“We are proud to be the first international airport to open a Gridserve Electric Forecourt. The charging station has been placed in a strategic location and will be available to millions of passengers, commuters, staff, residents and businesses that pass through the area each year,” said London Gatwick’s Development Director, Bronwen Jones in a release.

The charging station is located near to London Gatwick’s South Terminal, with chargers available all day, every day. 

Hotels

Marriott to Install More Electric Vehicle Chargers at its Hotels

5 months ago

Marriott International said it was streamlining its ongoing process of installing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles at its properties by signing a deal with the vendor EV Connect as its preferred EV charging provider for its properties in the U.S. and Canada.

Marriott has already installed roughly 2,400 chargers and charging stations for electric vehicles, and this first preferred vendor approach may help speed up adoption.

“With EV Connect, we can offer properties an end-to-end turnkey service, simplifying the planning, installation, and maintenance processes while simultaneously delivering high-quality service our guests expect,” said Andrew Bodziak, senior vice president of global operations at Marriott.

Owners and franchisees can choose among suppliers. Some Marriott hotels have also installed Tesla Superchargers, for instance. Others provide discounts off the use of ChargePoint charging stations.

Marriott’s move, detailed here, comes at a time of growing interest in the space. Hilton earlier this month said it intended to install roughly 20,000 Tesla vehicle chargers at 2,000 hotels in North America through next year.

Online Travel

Turo Saw Rise in Electric Vehicle Demand Over Summer

6 months ago

Turo, the peer-to-peer car rental startup, has seen an uptick in electric vehicle use for summer road trips.

The platform’s “electric” filter saw a 139% increase in use during listing searches, according to Turo’s Chief Data Officer, Albert Mangahas who confirmed Turo guests made summer bookings in 2,700 different cities and towns for travel between June 1 and September 1.

Notable Summer Travel Booking Patterns: 

  • Last year, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Florida saw the most demand for EV bookings.
  •  Popular electric models include the Lucid Air, Rivian R1T and R1S, and Teslas.
  •  Luxury travel is rising, with a 21% uptick in searches for high-end vehicles like the Rolls-Royce Ghost and BMW 7 Series on Turo for summer trips.  
  •  Family travel is surging, marked by a 162% increase in the use of Turo’s “family-friendly” filter and a growing demand for added conveniences like car delivery and optional perks.

There are 165,000 active hosts listed on the platform, with 330,000 active vehicles. Electric vehicles made up 7% of active listings, as of April 2023. Mangahas added that electric vehicles accounted for 14% of the company’s overall gross booking value in 2022.

A Push to Eco-friendly Experiences

Turo said it is partnering with hosts to highlight sustainable travel, starting with an upcoming eclipse event in Austin, Texas. A local host will list ten electric vehicles for $14 on October 14, the eclipse day.

Each vehicle comes with two passes to Turo’s exclusive viewing party at Joshua Creek Ranch in Boerne, TX, right on the Path of Totality. The event will feature a live performance by Lindsay Beaver, Texas-style BBQ, and lawn games, providing a unique and eco-conscious way for travelers to experience the celestial event.

“Car rentals are especially popular during solar events, leading to sold-out inventory and price hikes,” said Mangahas, reflecting on the surge in demand during a 2017 solar event.

Skift previously reported on the potential of electric vehicle adoption for tourism with substantial federal funding to expand EV infrastructure, approved by the Biden Administration. Some $5 billion over five years has been pegged for cities and businesses looking to bolster their tourism economies to develop a charging station network across the U.S.

Improved EV infrastructure bodes well for the trends the company sees as it looks to maintain its carbon neutrality certification.

Mangahas declined to comment further when asked about Turo continuously updating its S-1 filings or the company’s readiness to go public.