Electric vehicle charging stations are the latest trend to hit the urban environment and they are becoming increasingly common as the EV market continues to expand. In fact, if you look around your city, you may notice EV charging stations at shopping malls, office buildings, public parking garages, and even residential communities. But one of the hot new places to locate an EV charging station is the pinnacle transportation hub of the 21st century: the airport.
Indeed, several airports across the country have recognized the importance of providing amenities for EV drivers. After all, with all the millions of people that pass through American airports every day, it is quite likely that many of them will drive an EV.
Why EV Charging at Airports?
Airports are perhaps the most important transportation hub in any city – their primary function is to facilitate inter-city and international travel. As the EV market expands, even more people who drive to airports will also be EV owners. And as any EV owner will tell you, their biggest concern is always where they will charge their car.
That’s why airports are among the most important places to find EV charging stations. EV drivers who visit the airport will likely need a place to charge their car. While some will be electric taxi or rideshare drivers dropping off a passenger, many other EV drivers will park for a length of time ranging from several hours to days or weeks. By using a charging station at or near an airport, EV owners can charge their cars while they are parked, allowing them to drive home from every trip with a full battery. And with business travelers making up 12% of an airline’s total passengers and 75% of revenue, adding EV charging stations for these frequent fliers makes perfect sense.
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Leads the Industry with SemaConnect Chargers
One of the first airports to invest in EV charging stations is Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. BWI Marshall Airport first enlisted SemaConnect’s help. to construct eight EV charging stations in its parking garages. The eight Level 2 (240 VAC) plug-in charging stations went live last year on Earth Day. Half were installed at the Level 1 daily garage and half at the Level 1 hourly garage. Both garages provided reserved parking exclusively for EVs. After installing these initial eight charging stations at the Hourly and Daily garages, BWI Airport added two more SemaConnect Level 2 stations to the Daily Garage’s rooftop and several DCFC stations to the Cell Phone Lot.
BWI Marshall Airport’s administration is always trying to think of new ways to lead the way in environmental sustainability, while also making the airport more convenient for its 74,000+ daily customers. The new EV charging stations satisfy both of these elements while giving the airport a more cutting-edge image.
In the words of Paul J. Wiedefeld, Executive Director of BWI Marshall Airport: “This innovation highlights our commitment to environmental stewardship. Providing these EV charging stations for our customers is consistent with our efficient, convenient service and our ‘easy come, easy go’ reputation.”
Additional EV Opportunities at Airports
But airports are not the only segment of the travel industry investing in electric vehicles and EV charging. Some car rental companies with locations near airports are noticing that many of their customers are partial to EVs. A cursory glance through today’s car rental lots reveals EV charging stations and EV fleets. Hertz and Enterprise are now adding electric vehicles and EV charging stations at many of their offices and vehicle searches. As more Americans shift towards EVs for personal transportation, we will see many more car rental companies expand their EV infrastructure for customers and operations.
EV Charging Stations at Airports are the Way Forward
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is considered one of the pioneers in providing EV amenities for air travelers, and many other airports have followed their lead. EV infrastructure projects are now off the ground at airports across the country. Washington DC’s Dulles International Airport has installed nearly 30 EV charging stations for passengers. New York’s LaGuardia Airport has opted to install 10 EV charging stations. And Sacramento International Airport has installed no less than 26 EV charging stations across its parking lots.
Thousands of Americans travel through an airport every day, and leading airports, airport hotels, and car rental companies are now planning for EVs. In addition to BWI Airport, other SemaConnect travel industry customers include the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, Hampton Inn Seattle Airport, and Wingate Miami Airport. Ready to join the many airports that are tapping into the needs of EV drivers? Click here to request your quote for smart EV charging stations today.
Joseph Tohill is a freelance writer and online communications specialist for organizations in the sustainability sector. He has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia and spent most of his academic career studying sustainable urban development; namely the interdisciplinary relationship between built form and natural environment.