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Charging at Hotels

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Ludus, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    #1 Ludus, Jun 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
    At the recent Shareholders meeting, a shareholder who self identified as Eric Gross asked Elon whether Tesla had a program to develop charging in the "hospitality industry". Elon responded that they had worked with a few hotels and that since it was overnight they didn't need a supercharger just a 240 line and Tesla should probably do more with this.

    This brief exchange didn't stand out very much to me at the time but later in the day it began to seem like a very good idea.

    Supercharger stations are intended just for waypoints along major highways. That's a brilliant constraint since it tackles the main issue of freedom to travel but doesn't swamp the system with local commuters or require a vast infrastructure to make a difference.

    The Tesla IT system will be able to integrate new superchargers as they come online and direct drivers to closest options.

    As Elon mentioned in an earlier answer about why the SC stations aren't expensive to operate, the rent is very low or free because the owner of the rest area is being handed a stream of new upscale customers.

    These points potentially make paying for a standard 240 volt charging infrastructure a very attractive proposition to hotels. The upfront capital cost to create a few parking spots with Tesla chargers is quite minimal. If Tesla offerred a program to hotels (probably in conjunction with Solar City in states where it operates) to put them on the map along with the Supercharger stations so a Tesla driver could query his car nav and make a hotel reservation with a guaranteed reserved charging spot, the hotels would have a strong incentive to sign on given the minimal investment.

    Operating costs to hotels would be directly proportionate to new business, and the value of renting the room for the night would significantly exceed the marginal cost of the electricity for charging. Tesla owners are a perfect match for upscale hotel chains that already struggle to distinguish themselves with amenities.

    Unlike Superchargers, hotel charging could be located anywhere and could be operational very quickly since they wouldn't require the solar aspect or special equipment. To be consistent the Tesla contract could require some kind of sustainable power offset...and encourage (and note in the IT system) the construction of solar canopies to go with the charging stations. Also consistent with the Supercharger network the hotel chargers would have to be free to guests.

    Hotels could display the Tesla charger logo and would be put on the map and nav system. By 2015 when the US and Canada are covered with a network of hundreds of Superchargers allowing rapid recharge at waypoints throughout the highway system, there could be a complimentary system of thousands of hotel charger locations on the same map.

    Other than internal costs to develop the websites, write the contracts and such it would cost Tesla nothing either in upfront capital or operating expense.

    A hotel based charging infrastructure suppliments the Supercharger network neatly. Most Superchargers will be away from markets with major hotels. People on roadtrips won't have many overnight charging alternatives so would otherwise unnecessarily rely on the Superchargers when they could be doing ordinary slow charging overnight.
     
  2. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    I would agree more needs to be done to get hotels to add charging stations. On my current trip to Denver I found this out only too well. I needed both a hotel with charging and dog friendly. That turned out to be impossible. I ended up using a mixture of Walgreens, Tesla store and service center, and the 110 charger at the hotel.

    Because of this I had my first ever range anxiety or maybe it was charging anxiety. On Friday I was afraid to drive around too much because I needed a lot of charge for the assault on Mt Evans and I wasn't sure here I'd be able to charge up that night. Managed ok. And was able to get my charging needs covered. But had there been 50amp service at the hotel I could use overnight this stay would have been better.
     
  3. gnelson

    gnelson Member

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    Could you have gone to the Tesla store in Denver for a more rapid charge? The reason I ask is I may want to take overnight trips and Tesla stores may be a good way to make these trips easier.
     
  4. Enadler

    Enadler Member

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    @Ludus I think this is a great idea. A joint marketing agreement would be fabulous. The only change I would say is that to require the hotel to include solar may be too capital intensive. If the requirements were simply dedicated spots with a 14-50 outlet free for Tesla owners then the initial costs would be negligible and the potential marketing to Teslas upscale customers would be tremendous. Hotels could be listed on Nav as you suggested but Tesla could also build out a trip planning page on their website that would display all Tesla friendly establishments.
     
  5. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It's a great idea, except that I would like them at bed & breakfasts rather than hotels/motels as I never stay at a hotel/motel unless forced to. I got the Wunder Roost B&B in Lincoln, NE to put in a 14-50. Worked great on my last vacation.
     
  6. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Those are nice, but by volume and for wider implementation the large chains make the most sense to pair with. Just like Walgreen, if you knew all Courtyard by Marriotts had an agreement with Tesla to have a HPWC for guests, that would make finding and picking your hotels on a trip much easier.


    Evan, Via Tapatalk
     
  7. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    I agree that solar or sustainable shouldn't be required, just encouraged and noted on the system. B&B's and boutique hotels could afford it and would benefit, but as efusco suggests the biggest impact and fastest expansion of the network would be through contracts with big national chains.

    If they put it together quickly having an approved contractor install charging points for a few parking spots could happen with weeks. Companies on the system could benefit from the buzz that Tesla is generating including potentially getting in on Elon's family vacation transcontinental roadtrip. Hey, they gotta stay somewhere.
     
  8. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I'm very much in favor of hotels being encouraged to put in overnight charging, but am doubtful they'll do it on any scale unless they get a revenue stream with it. The number of plug in vehicles will be so small for several years (or maybe longer) that the roughly $10K purchase and installation cost is going to be a pretty tough sell, especially for smaller hotels, not to mention B&B's. I'd be surprised if most hotels would get more than one or two additional stays per year as a result of putting in a charger.

    With about 850 Courtyard by Marriott hotels in the US and Canada, if you assume about $10K for a complete installation of a dual headed charger that's over $8M for that hotel chain alone, although they may be able to get some tax credits. Then there's the power, which is going to cost them something like $10 for a full charge. Given that, I don't think a $20-$25 charge would be at all unreasonable and might encourage more installations. From the Tesla owner's standpoint, it's a bargain for the convenience and I think we should be willing to pay for it.
     
  9. twinklejet

    twinklejet Member

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    #9 twinklejet, Jun 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
    I know one hotel chain that Tesla has been doing 'business' with...
     

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  10. greencharge

    greencharge Member

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    Tesla stores and service centers should be included in planning for a road trip at least with the current 'lethargic and sparse' charging infrastructure. It will get to a tipping point where level 2 would available round the corner everywhere and we won't need Tesla charging in cities, but as we stand
    today my Chicago trip was easy only because of Tesla Oak brook and the welcoming staff there.
     
  11. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I agree about the Tesla locations with parking. It seems to me that they should all have superchargers, especially since they already have the location and likely the power connection as well.
     
  12. greencharge

    greencharge Member

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    +1 about having supercharging or semi - supercharging
     
  13. Tacket

    Tacket Member

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    Wow cool! How did you approach/get the B&B to do the install? I imagine you must be a regular there?
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    You're correct of course. I was stating my preferences because any at a hotel aren't going to help me :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    $10K for a 14-50 is really high, which is all we need. As Tesla is the only EV suitable for a trip, nothing more is needed. (Plug-in hybrids don't count because they don't require any charging to run.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually, this was my first time staying at that particular B&B. All I did was call in advanced and ask them if they could install a 14-50 so I could charge my car. I offered to pay for the install, but when they got back to me they said it would cost $200 to do the installation* so they just charged $10/day extra usage. (I stayed ten days so they have recouped half already not counting what they made on the room.) I did mention that I traveled to Lincoln two or three times a year.

    Dealing with a B&B is often much easier than dealing with a hotel/motel because at the B&B you talk to the folks who have an interest in promoting their business and keeping their customers happy, rather than an employee who's main concern is getting paid--and if you run into a B&B that has no interest, you find out in a few minutes rather than a few hours or days.

    * We're talking Nebraska. The average Cornhusker makes the average Scotsman look like a spendthrift.
     
  15. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I think this is a great thread as I have been frustrated by the lack of charging facilities at hotels/motels/B&Bs/...

    But I think people are overlooking the most powerful program of all. When making reservations, every one of us should ask about EV charging facillities. Even if you know they don't have them. Nothing sends a message in the hospitality industry like persistent customer requests. Especially if you ask about charging and say "no thanks, I'll look elsewhere" when they indicate they don't have them. A lost reservation is a powerful message.

    Also, we should get recargo/plugshare to have an easy way of filtering for hotels only.

    By the way, Willows Lodge in Woodinville. WA has chargers. I would give them my business in a heartbeat.
     
  16. Ludus

    Ludus Member

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    I wouldn't expect national chains to roll it out immediately to all their locations, just hotels located appropriately to catch traffic from the Supercharger stations. An initial investment in a few dozen locations could be well worth it for accompanying publicity alone. Tesla should have already passed 10K model S's delivered and production should accelerate. At least initially there will be few other choices.

    If you're right though and the initial investment is a major impediment a direct subsidy might be justified...if the chain would agree to free charging for Tesla referred guests. Fee charging locations are an option to include on the map too but wouldn't be a natural extension of the "free forever" Supercharger network. $10/night power costs are I think well in line with other referral discount costs...in this case the hotel is charging regular price and paying nothing for the referral.
     
  17. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    It takes a few phone calls, and a little luck, but I have been able to find several hotels with 14-50s. Clarion Inn in Ontario, OR was pleased to tell me they had 14-50s out front and that I could use them. I put their listing in Recargo. The manager also told me that the Clarion Chain (Choice hotel group, 6200 hotels, largest hotel group, blah blah, Clarion, Comfort Inn, etc.) is planning on putting chargers at every hotel. This was last fall.

    I also charge in Reno, NV, at Grand Sierra Hotel, that is associated with an on site RV park and charges me $10 a night for charging. They are also on Recargo.

    So, keep on checking. We'll leave the light on. And things will get better. The hotels know that Electrics will need charging, and they want your business.

    I stayed in Scottsdale, AZ at a medium scale hotel. They have their power coming in next to the pool parking lot, and could easily add a 14-50. The manager said he'd look into it if I'd give him a ride. He loved the car. I plan to be there again, and they need to get that outlet installed! Of course it's only 3 blocks to Tesla Store, but I'd rather charge outside my room.

    What I'm saying is, it is happening, because people are asking for it. These hotels have to compete.
     
  18. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    One of the early investors (or maybe a Signature 100 Roadster owner) in Tesla Motors was also a major hotel chain shareholder. As in, the name of the hotel chain was also his last name.

    I forget the name of the hotel chain. But I recall from when I owned my Roadster that there was a lot of talk back in 2008-2009 about that hotel chain planning to have a Roadster HPC in every location. I can see that it didn't actually happen because I am sure it would be mentioned in this thread if that had happened. But it was discussed quite a lot back then.

    Does anyone recall what I am referring to?
     
  19. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, a number of Canadian Best Western hotels have installed CS-90 (90 amp) J1772 chargers at their hotels.
     
  20. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    As I understand it the original poster's concept could be NEMA 14-50 outlets which only cost a few hundred dollars to install. This would certainly be in the reach of smaller hotels to attract Model S owners, and it would have the added advantage of being compatible with other EVs as well.

    Even for a smart charger that is capable of charging a fee, I doubt the installation cost would be anywhere near $10,000. However, as I understand it, the original poster's concept was to have a business relationship between Tesla and hotel owners, whereby Tesla would advertise the availability of a hotel's charging equipment to Model S owners by incorporating it in the navigation systems, thereby literally routing business to the hotel. Although I personally have no problem paying a reasonable fee for charging, in this particular circumstance Tesla should only offer this competitive advantage to hotels that are willing to install charging equipment compatible with Model Ss at no charge to the owner. (Following the Supercharger philosophy.)

    Larry
     

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