Premier Inn to roll out high-powered GeniePoint electric charging at hundreds of locations across the UK
29 January 2021Whitbread has announced it has struck a deal with energy giant ENGIE, to deliver the UK hospitality sector’s biggest roll-out of high-powered electric charging points brands across its brands including Premier Inn hotels and restaurants Beefeater and Brewers’ Fayre.
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.
News of the innovation – the UK hospitality sector’s largest roll out 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.
Access to the charging points will be for guests as well as members of the public using ENGIE’s GeniePoint Network and will ensure electric car owners can relax knowing there are even more locations being added in easy-to-reach-places - with many in key strategic locations in towns and cities across the UK.
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.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Electric vehicles are key to our plans to cut emissions, build back greener and kick start a green industrial revolution across the country. “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.
“This fantastic initiative between two great companies will allow for stress-free electric vehicle charging when we are able to visit our favourite pubs and restaurants again - allowing consumers to charge up in record time, while encouraging others to make that all important switch to electric.”
Simon Leigh, Group Procurement Director at Whitbread said: “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.
“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.
“A combination of our excellent locations and guests being able to wake up knowing they can safely get back on the road again means Premier Inn and ENGIE are the perfect partners for these charge points.”
Sam Hockman, Divisional CEO – Futures at ENGIE UK & Ireland added: “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."
A big factor for drivers considering the switch to EV is access to a broader range of charging options. This significant investment at Premier Inn sites will provide hundreds of new, convenient charging locations across the UK and also give customers access to ENGIE's wider GeniePoint network.
Leigh added: “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 roll out 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.
The chargers are accessed via the GeniePoint App, available from the App Store or Google Play, or by RFID card.