Whitbread, the owner of brands including Premier Inn hotels and restaurants Beefeater and Brewers’ Fayre, has struck a deal with energy giant ENGIE, to deliver the UK hospitality sector’s biggest roll-out of high-powered electric charging points.
Whitbread, which has over 800 hotels across the UK and more car park locations than the NCP, aims to install up to a thousand GeniePoint Network rapid charging points, beginning with 600 committed over the next three years as part of its Force for Good sustainability scheme.
To mark the announcement which, once completed, will be a major boost to the nation’s charging infrastructure, the UK’s largest hotel chain, has ‘electrified’ its logo by ‘plugging in’ its famous moon logo and is renaming itself Plugged Inn for the day.
The UK hospitality sector’s largest rollout to date will satisfy increasing consumer and guest demand for electric charging points as the car industry becomes progressively more electric.
Whitbread’s move has been made as part of the company’s wider sustainability commitment to reduce its environmental impact through its Force for Good Sustainability programme. The company recently announced its commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
It will help support the Government’s 10 point green plan, with its emphasis on accelerating the transition to electric vehicles. Major new product launches, such as the Ford E-Transit van illustrate that electric charging is becoming increasingly important to a business as well as private vehicle market – meaning the move will likely be welcomed by business and leisure travellers alike.
ENGIE will install high-power chargers which will enable cars to replenish in around 30 minutes. The facility is therefore likely to be attractive to people ‘on the move’ as well as hotel and restaurant guests.
“Electric vehicles are key to our plans to cut emissions, build back greener and kick start a green industrial revolution across the country,” said Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. “Just as the Government is accelerating efforts to support EV and battery manufacturing in the UK, we must also ensure the public can access high-power charging points at their convenience.”
“Electric vehicles are one of the ways in which the UK strives for a greener future and we’re pleased to help drive this goal forward with what we believe is the UK’s biggest roll-out of rapid charging points to date,” said Simon Leigh, Group Procurement Director at Whitbread. “We know that ‘range anxiety’ is a real concern for many of our guests who own electric cars. Knowing that in many locations they will soon be able to arrive and have access to a high-speed charge point to quickly refuel their car while they relax and refuel themselves will be a great source of comfort.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with Whitbread to deliver this major roll-out of high speed EV infrastructure – bringing together two businesses from different backgrounds, both embracing a net zero future,” said Sam Hockman, Divisional CEO – Futures at ENGIE UK & Ireland. “This important move by Whitbread highlights the key role the hospitality sector can play to support not only the uptake of EVs, but also the UK’s wider commitment to become net zero by 2050.”
The rollout will include installations across the Whitbread network of brands including its Premier Inn hotels and restaurant brands including Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Cookhouse + Pub and Whitbread Inns. The list of locations will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure an excellent UK wide distribution of charge points are available.