Hilton to lead the way with massive electric vehicle charging network for business travellers

In a groundbreaking move tailored to cater to the evolving needs of business travellers, Hilton has announced a far-reaching collaboration with Tesla.

Fueling innovation: Hilton’s EV charging stations in action

Beginning in early 2024, Hilton will embark on the installation of up to 20,000 Tesla Universal Wall Connectors at 2,000 of its hotels.

This ambitious undertaking will establish Hilton as the leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure within the hospitality industry, serving the growing demand for overnight EV charging solutions during hotel stays.

Each of these selected hotels will be equipped with a minimum of six charging stations, cementing Hilton as the preferred choice for the ever-expanding community of electric vehicle owners.

This significant announcement coincides with the recent introduction of Tesla’s Universal Wall Connector, a versatile charging solution compatible with all North American vehicle models.

The hotel giant claims that Tesla’s commitment to universal charging aligns with Hilton’s mission to provide outstanding hospitality experiences that seamlessly blend with the routines of their guests.

Hilton’s Chief Brand Officer, Matt Schuyler, expressed the company’s dedication to meeting the evolving expectations of guests:

At Hilton, we are committed to meeting the changing needs of our guests who are looking for hotel experiences that complement their daily routines while offering exceptional hospitality. Through this expanded agreement with Tesla, we are significantly changing the landscape of universal EV chargers in North America in an incredibly short amount of time. Across Hilton’s family of award-winning brands, this network of EV chargers will offer our guests even more value with the convenience of much-needed overnight charging access in more locations.

Hilton’s extensive network of hotels, strategically situated along major routes and in key urban centres throughout the United States, uniquely positions the company to provide scalable charging access for travellers on long-distance journeys.

Rebecca Tinucci, Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure at Tesla, emphasised the importance of convenient and cost-effective AC charging solutions for electric vehicle owners:

A key priority for Tesla Charging is installing low-cost, convenient AC charging anywhere electric vehicles are parked for more than an hour or two. To ensure electric vehicle adoption at scale, our joint industry goal must be to vastly improve upon the traditional gasoline vehicle ownership experience, not just meet it. Installing infrastructure at popular destinations, like Hilton hotels, enables EV owners to charge where they park, meaning no unnecessary refuelling stops along their journey. We applaud Hilton for their leadership in the space and look forward to continuing to ramp this critical program with other industry leaders.

The surge in demand for EV charging options among travellers is evident through the increasing number of searches at Hilton’s website for hotels with charging capabilities. In 2023, the website’s EV charging search attribute experienced the fastest volume growth to date, jumping from fourth to the second highest in converting searches to bookings.

Hilton’s commitment to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of travel aligns with its Travel with Purpose platform. This initiative offers eco-conscious travellers more convenient options to contribute positively to both people and the planet.

Virgin Atlantic launches new services to Austin, Texas

Virgin Atlantic is launching new direct services to Austin, the capital of the Lonestar state of Texas and the airline’s first new route to the US since 2015.

The four times a week service will launch on 25 May 2022 and will operate on the airline’s 787-9 aircraft boasting 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats.

Austin is the fourth most populated city in the state with 7.7million passengers travelling through the airport in 2019. The city is known as the “live music capital of the world” and is famed for its art and foodie scene as well as a wide range of outdoors activities.

Austin is also known as a growing tech hub with businesses such as Apple, Tesla, Facebook, IBM and Oracle all opening up bases, giving the city the nickname “Silicon Hills”.  This booming region is a key focus for Virgin Atlantic and its expanded joint venture partners, with Delta Air Lines offering connections from Austin to 10 US cities, Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Raleigh Durham, JFK. KLM also looks forward to launching three-times weekly services from Amsterdam to Austin on 28t March 2022 offering even more choice for customers both side of the Atlantic to connect between the US and Europe.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: 

We are incredibly excited to launch this new service to Austin, Texas. With an impressive food, arts and music scene, we know it’s a destination our customers will love to explore.

The US has been our heartland for more than 37 years since our first flight to New York City in 1984. Since US borders opened to UK travellers on 8 November, it feels extra special to be launching new flying, especially to the fantastic city of Austin.

There are so many synergies between Virgin Atlantic and the city of Austin. We love their philosophy and desire to celebrate local brands, businesses and communities and we cannot wait to welcome customers, both existing and new onboard, flying them safely to explore this fabulously quirky city.

Jacqueline Yaft , CEO, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport commented:

We are thrilled to welcome Virgin Atlantic to Austin and Central Texas. This exciting new partnership helps meet our goals of continued recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and furthers our commitment to being the Gateway of Central Texas for both leisure and business travelers alike.

As Virgin Atlantic recovers from the pandemic, the airline continues to work towards its vision of becoming the most loved travel company. With new Caribbean services to St Vincent and the Grenadines, Bahamas and St Lucia as well as new flying from Edinburgh to Barbados launching tin 2021, the airline is focussed on serving the destinations we know our customers love to visit. Later this year, Virgin Atlantic will be the first UK airline to receive the A330neo aircraft which not only boasts a step change to its Upper Class Suite and social space for customers but will help transform the fleet into one of the quietest and most fuel efficient in the sky.

Flights are on sale from Wednesday 12 January.

To help customers book with confidence, Virgin Atlantic has extended its policy of unlimited free date and flight changes for new bookings, giving further flexibility to customers to support future travel plans.  The updated flexible booking policy enables Virgin Atlantic customers making a new holiday or flight-only booking for travel up to 31 December 2022, to make as many changes as necessary to their travel dates, origin or destination, with the change fees waived, as well as one free name change.