Electric Car Charging Stations: Hotel Guests Check-in and Plug-in

By Andy Kinard President, Car Charging Group Inc. | November 21, 2010

A Travelocity poll recently revealed that up to three-quarters of travelers were happy to pay a little extra cash for eco hotels and tours. To remain competitive, the over 49,505 hotel properties across the U.S. must adopt greener business practices to cater to the every-growing eco-traveler market.

You may already invite your guests to hang up their towels or skip washing bed linens every day in order to conserve water. You may also use compact fluorescent light bulbs. But with a recent Deloitte survey indicating that nearly half of all travelers try to make environmentally-friendly decisions while traveling and a quarter of those surveyed are willing to pay more for green accommodations and transport, hotels need to do more to remain competitive.

With the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt slated to pull up to hotel properties as soon as January 2011, hoteliers can not afford to miss this green marketing opportunity before it passes them by.

The Nissan Leaf is a fully electric, 24-kilowatt battery-operated car that can be driven for about 100 miles. The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid vehicle with a battery and internal combustion engine, also known as a range extender. The Chevy Volt can be driven in the fully electric mode for about 40 miles. With the introduction of these vehicles on the road approaching us very shortly, how can you accommodate guests that drive these vehicles?

One simple solution is installing an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in your hotel's parking area. There are two ways of doing this. The first way is to purchase and install a simple EV charger, similar to the ones that you would install in your home. By purchasing this charger, hotel owners can provide electricity to those electric vehicle owners who stay at their hotel. With this option, you cannot charge the customer for their usage, and the machine does not communicate its location to the Internet.

The second and more cost-effective way is to hire a company that installs smart chargers. Smart chargers are public electric vehicle charging stations that communicate to EV owners the location of the charger. Their exact locations show up on Google Maps, smart phone applications, and built-in GPS systems. Many hotel owners are hesitant to take the risk of purchasing their own charging station. The better route for hesitant owners is to work with a company, such as Car Charging Group, that installs and maintains the charging station at no cost to the owners. In fact, hotel owners share a percentage of the sales from electric vehicles being charged.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.