While widespread use of battery-powered air travel remains in the future, airports are still getting on the EV bandwagon by providing their customers with EV charging in their parking lots and car rental options. Explore how the top 10 US airports with EV charging technology achieved success by boosting their customer experience through convenience.
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1. Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW)
With 20 Level 2 charging stations in three of its terminals, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is leading the way in implementing airport EV infrastructure. With valets that charge customers’ EVs for free before they return them to their owners, this airport adds a touch of hospitality to this leading-edge service.
Its innovative airport management team and city energy manager Jesse Dillard didn’t stop there, though. According to Popular Science’s Andrew Paul, the Texas airport partnered with charging station provider EV Safe Charge to create and test a robotic EV charger that can roll around the airport’s parking lots, charging its patrons’ cars while they fly toward their destinations.
2. Portland International Airport (PDX)
On the West Coast, the Portland International Airport rolls out its own brand of hospitality by adding free jump starts and flat tire assistance to its free EV charging services. With six Level 2 free-to-use EV charging stations in its short-term parking and 24 Level 1 stations in its economy lot, this airport lays out the welcome mat for EV owners. Additionally, it makes its EV-owning employees feel at home with charging stations in their parking lot.
That’s not all. As PDX’s rental car manager, Jeremiah Hartley, points out, the airport leveraged its existing infrastructure and rental partnerships to install EV charging stations for its rental customers as well.
3. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Living in one of the most polluted cities in the US, Angelenos are turning to EVs to tone down the smog and save on fuel costs. Naturally, its airport, too, needed to accommodate the growing number of EV owners in greater LA.
With 400 EV charging stations scattered throughout three terminal parking lots, LAX doesn’t intend to stop there. They plan to deploy 1,200 more chargers in the near future, giving their eco-conscious customers a broad range of charging options so they need not worry about getting home after a long flight.
4. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
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It’s no surprise that San Francisco would grant preferred parking spots to EV-owning customers in all its parking garages. After all, it’s the second-most eco-friendly city in the US – and the fifteenth in the world.
With a total of 176 EV chargers, passengers and visitors can easily find a spot to charge their vehicles. And, like many of these forward-thinking leaders in air travel, SFO offers free charging for both its Level 2 and Level 1 chargers. However, patrons must bring their own connection cord if they choose a Level 1 charger.
5. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
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With 275 EV charging stations scattered across this busy hub’s parking lots, ATL has made good its commitment to work toward a “resilient and sustainable future” while still turning a healthy profit. Beginning in 2011, the airport’s Sustainable Management Plan set performance goals toward that end, aligning it with the facility’s developing infrastructure.
ATL and its public partner, Atlanta’s Department of Aviation, plan to reduce the airport’s energy consumption through renewable energy sources, such as microgrids. Although ATL has not yet added vehicle-to-grid capability to its list of renewable energy sources, it could be in the works as a significant source of energy to power the grid, given its 275-station capacity.
6. John Wayne Airport, Orange County, CA (SNA)
This busy Southern California airport, too, offers complimentary EV charging stations for customers in each of its parking lots. With 60 EV chargers in all, including 20 Level 2 chargers, fliers can rest assured they’ll return to a charged car once they’ve landed. However, unlike some of the airports on this list, they do not offer the service to their valet parking patrons.
But this airport’s real crown jewel is its plan to convert its entire shuttle bus fleets to EVs during the next few years. Along with that goal, the plan also includes providing both customers and employees with EV charging infrastructure, along with chargers for their new shuttle buses. When the plan comes to fruition, the airport will spew out fewer emissions, enjoy lower fuel and maintenance costs, increase the surrounding community’s awareness, and benefit from more efficient technology.
7. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
As part of Salt Lake City’s quest to improve the state’s air quality, the improvements resulted from a partnership with EV charging provider ChargePoint, the city’s Department of Airports, and Rocky Mountain Power, who footed 50% of the project’s initial costs.
8. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Up from 48 in 2019, SEA now offers its parking customers 94 EV parking stalls. After a 2023 upgrade, all EV-owning travelers can now enjoy free Level 2 charging while they fly.
The 2023 renovation is part of the airport’s ongoing quest to provide leading-edge charging capability to its patrons and a more sustainable future for state residents.
9. Denver International Airport (DEN)
With 36 EV charging stations, Denver International Airport provides complimentary EV charging to its paid parking customers. EV-owning travelers can relax as they fly, knowing they’ve chosen an option that reduces their carbon footprint and their vehicles’ operating expenses.
Like other travel hubs that have begun to offer EV charging, this airport boosts its reputation as a purveyor of convenience as well as comfort. DEN also provides travelers with a high level of security in their EV parking spaces, giving EV owners peace of mind. After April 2023’s highly publicized identity theft issue at ATL, many other airports – like Denver – have tightened security measures to guard against such an event.
10. O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago, IL
Although it’s hard to find on the airport’s website, O’Hare International provides its EV-owning customers with 32 EV charging stations. However, with the relatively new Chicago Travel Plaza opening up at the airport, that lack of publicity might change.
Not only does the travel plaza offer 16 EV charging stations, but it also sports a 7-Eleven, the city’s first Taco John’s franchise, and other options for alternative sustainable fueling. Open to the public, the travel plaza looks to be a popular fueling destination for airport-goers and city residents alike.
Built with sustainability in mind, the plaza offers “E85 and other clean-burning fuels” in addition to its stable of 14 Tesla Superchargers, two Level 2 charging stations, EV chargers, and traditional fossil fuel-burning options. The plaza powers its chargers and facility operations with solar panels and other carbon-free power sources, making it both sustainable and convenient.
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