b"ARVC Panel Highlights EV Technologys Impact to Outdoor Hospitality IndustryT he National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) held a panel focused on the future of electric vehicles (EV) and how it will impact the out-door hospitality industry in early November during its Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo in Raleigh, N.C.Moderated by Paul Bambei, ARVCs CEO and president, other panel mem-bers included Josef Hjelmaker, chief innovation officer for THOR Industries Inc.; Gene Zanger, owner of ARVC member-park Casa de Fruta in Hollister, Calif.; Darren Foley, sales director of Rexel USA; and Christine Taylor, principal partner at The Towne Law Firm. To start the panel, Hjelmaker and Zanger were given time to talk about the growth in the EV segment and then the panel answered questions from the audience.Bambei noted during his opening remarks that ARVCs 2021 Generational Camping Report highlighted that 15% of those surveyed said they would own an EV and 33% said they plan to purchase one within the next 12 months. Likewise, when asked how important it was to have a charging station for their EV when choosing their camp-ground destination, 79% of respondents said it was very or highly important. With the record number of travel trailers being sold at the moment, and with EV trucks and other vehicles coming down the pipeline, we know these types of vehicles are coming to our parks, Bambei explained. The big question is, are you going to be ready? Following is an edited version of that panel discussion.Josef Hjelmaker years ago. causing the change? The What is ThemarketindicatesEVsrepre- current U.S. administration is working sented about 4% of all sales over thetospendabout$15billiononEV last year. The recent data suggest thatcharging stations and Forbes is report- Josef Hjelmaker Gene Zangerit is growing exponentially, however.ing that the infrastructure bill that was About 20% of all new vehicles sold thisjust passed calls for the installation ofsell only electric cars by 2030, and GMstances and guest demands will drive summer were electric and add to that500,000 charging stations around thewill only sell zero emission vehicles bythe speed of change. It's often said more than 5% of all the light commer- nation. Favorable regulations are also2035.that if you've seen one RV park, you've cial duty vehicles were electric as well.boosting the effort. Maybe what's even more importantseen them all. The differences of your All of this is coming from a segmentTheautomotiveOEMsarecom- than all those macro trends is also theparks will determine what's going to that was practically non-existent 10pletely shifting gears. Volvo plans tofact that the technology, the batteryhappen next, but expect a significant costs, have come down dramatically. shift from innovation and adoption, On the campground front, 70% ofjust like Wi-Fi, which will drive costs first-time campers were from Genera- down. tion Z in 2020, an increase of 11% inIt'sinterestingtoseewhathap-just a few years, and about 41% arepened 20 years ago when we talked Millennials. These younger, more af- about mobile phones. Twenty years fluent people are also the ones buyingago, if you were at this convention and the EVs, which means we should knowwetalkedaboutcellphones,afew what's coming.folks would've had them and all you We are working hard to make surecould have done with that phone was that we continue to reimagine the RVmake a call. Fast-forward and every-experience from a holistic, digital ex- one is using them to communicate, perience to comprehensive platformsruntheirbusinessesanddoother just to satisfy this next generation ofthings. That transformation has taken consumers. We are working hard toplace over 20 years, but I can probably continue to improve our products andassure you that it was really 10 years operations to accommodate for theago when you jumped in wholeheart-future with advanced, lightweight ma- edly. EVs are going to have a similar terials, the design of the vehicles, andimpact moving forward.aerodynamics, all to support electricYou're going to need to check your towing vehicles.electrical service for capacity to deter-Gene Zanger mine upgrade suitability. Changes are going to be required and you're going I operate a 300-site RV park andto have to engage your utility service. about three years ago Tesla put in 20Gearboxes are probably going to need superchargers on our property adja- to be upgraded and of course permits, cent to the Chevron station. The parkand that's never a short process. Start has seen many Teslas come through.thinking about it now. In fact, what happens is Tesla buildsQ&A Session the cars at its Fremont, Calif., location and car carriers come through our lo- Moderator Paul Bambei: Is it a re-cation, going out to all points east.alitythat100-ampserviceisever Overtheyears,wecontinuetoseegoingtobeanessentialpartof Tesla drivers come in and stop.campground infrastructure?OfferingEVchargingsomewhereHjelmaker: This is a question that on your property is going to be thewe together with our RV manufactur-next opportunity to differentiate yourers are working on with the RV Indus-service, and in time profit and mone- tryAssociation(RVIA)andits tize from the latest of these evolution- technical institute and has been on ary upgrades. It's too early to tell howthe agenda for about six years or two significant EV charging is going to im- regulationterms.Everythingthat pact our bottom lines, but as entre- we're seeing right now with how we preneurs, we must actively search forare dealing with energy management what's new and what's next. EVs areand the systems that we're putting to-what's new and next. It will be a partgetherthe appliances, the products of your parks future.that go into an RVwe're still able to Yourspecificpropertycircum- handle that within a 30- to 50-amp 26 January 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine"