Partnership enables rental property managers & owners to offer EV charging as a convenient guest amenity while creating a new revenue stream
SAN CARLOS, Calif. – Enel X, the advanced energy services arm of the Enel Group, and Ok2Charge announce a partnership under which Enel X provides Ok2Charge with co-branded smart electric vehicle charging stations to be installed across vacation rental properties worldwide, enabling guests to charge at the property rather than spending time searching for a charger. As the first solution designed specifically for the vacation rental market, the Ok2Charge smart EV charging platform integrates with major property management systems to provide an industry-first fully automated EV charging solution as a property amenity that can be deployed across a portfolio of managed properties. The agreement delivers a turnkey charging solution for managers and owners of vacation rental properties who want to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing number of EV drivers.
“With demand for EVs continuing to grow, confidence with longer-range battery electric vehicles, and the popularity of vacation destinations within driving distance, EV drivers want to know that they will have easy access to smart charging throughout their journey,” said Giovanni Bertolino, Head of e-Mobility, Enel X North America. “Through our partnership with Ok2Charge, we’re enabling EV drivers to travel on their own terms and providing them with peace of mind that they’ll be able to charge at their destination.”
The vacation rental market continues to expand as major rental companies like Airbnb report record growth. Recently, Airbnb reported that more than 850,000 listings include chargers among their amenities and more than 500,000 unique searches for EV chargers between June and December of that year were counted in 2021. In a recent Enel X survey, over 1500 JuiceBox customer participants shared their electric vehicle and charging preferences for driving-distance travel. Over 52% of respondents use Airbnb for their vacation rental plans, and additional findings include:
- If rental properties could guarantee a Level 2 charge for their guests, 74% of respondents would drive their EV on more road trips.
- 81% of respondents shared that access to Level 2 charging influences their travel plans.
- More than 67% of respondents stated that access to a DC fast charging station on route was very important for road travel that is more than 200 miles.
- 44% of respondents shared they drive their electric vehicle on road trips and 22% of respondents shared they sometimes drive their electric vehicles on road trips.
- More than 76% of participants took up to 4 vacation road trips in the last year.
Ok2Charge selected Enel X due to Enel X’s best-in-class EV charging hardware and open standards software to integrate with Ok2Charge’s software platform. The Ok2Charge platform provides charging based on guest and reservation data to fully automate access and control. User-friendly reports can be exported for each location or portfolio-wide, enabling property managers to monitor usage, energy consumption, and financial performance.
“We are pleased to partner with Enel X to offer smart EV charging as an amenity so our clients will be able to stand out from the competition in the crowded vacation rental market,” said Ward Prickett, COO and co-founder of Ok2Charge. “This not only enables EV drivers to seamlessly charge their vehicles while on vacation, but it also reduces the environmental impact of tourism, a win/win.”
The Ok2Charge platform enables guests to select EV charging as an optional add-on amenity and provides an additional revenue stream for property owners and rental managers with remote visibility into real-time statistics in a centralized location – their property management system. The platform also ensures that only those guests who have selected the amenity will be authorized to charge their vehicles through a flexible payment structure paid through the Ok2Charge app, preventing unwanted use and unexpected energy costs. In certain markets, property owners can optimize energy demand to reduce costs and carbon emissions.
Property management software platforms such as Escapia, Guesty LiveRez, LMPM, Streamline, Track and VRM integrate Ok2Charge as their smart EV charging solution. This integration enables EV charging as an amenity to professional host and management companies that utilize these platforms across major booking OTA channels such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, direct booking websites and more.
“We’re seeing an increase in travelers visiting from distances that can be traveled to by car that spend more time at our properties. Also, more people are driving electric vehicles, so partnering with OK2Charge and adding smart EV chargers to our properties was a no-brainer,” said Bob Hawkins, Vacation Company. “We’ve already experienced positive guest comments regarding the convenience of smart charging at the rental property.”
With this agreement, Enel X and Ok2Charge, through partners which together manage thousands of rental properties across single-family, multi-family, and vacation rentals, are providing a comprehensive smart charging solution that provides drivers with accessible charging and property owners with a property management system to seamlessly integrate EV charging into the rental process and stand out in the competitive vacation rental market.
“We are excited to have provided this cutting-edge service to homeowners and vacation rental guests on the Gulf Coast at our Ocean Edge community last year,” said Glen Kaiser, with Kaiser Vacation Rentals. “We look forward to offering smart solutions and services to more clients and customers in both real estate sales and vacation rentals as the market continues to grow.”