This August, Nissan will begin taking orders for its LEAF electric car. In November, General Motors will begin selling its long-awaited Volt vehicle that can be driven 40 miles on an electric charge and an additional 360 miles thanks to its gasoline engine. Other companies are also getting closer to rolling out electric vehicles. Whether or not hotels purchase these for their own use remains to be seen. They are expensive. At least some hotels, however, are installing charging stations for guests who drive electric vehicles.
I just received a press release from the Seaport Hotel in Boston. The hotel will soon offer guests a charging station in the Seaport Garage. It is located directly below the hotel. There will be no "charge" for guests to use the charging station and guests driving electric vehicles will also receive a free night of valet parking. What the Seaport Hotel is doing is a great idea and a demonstration of leadership--not waiting until charging stations are an expected amenity.
The Seaport is not the first hotel to offer a charging station. Starwood's Element property in Lexington, Mass. has one and Starwood plans to install charging stations at its other Element properties. According to The New York Times, Hyatt installed several at its hotels in California as far back as 2007.
Have you considered installing a charging station at your property? How long will you wait to do so? (Click here for information on charging stations.) I will look forward to reading your comments.