Large and In Charge

Charging UnitIn the not-so-distant past, a six foot structure for plugging in electric vehicles might have looked like something out of a futuristic cartoon.  But this week in Duluth, Minnesota the Holiday Inn & Suites unveiled just such an investment; the first privately funded one of its kind in the city.  With the ability to charge four vehicles at a time, the hotel has made a clear statement of its commitment to sustainability.

The U.S. Department of Energy lists 77 non-residential charging stations in Minnesota.  Many of these are public parking facilities that collect fees for use of the charging station.  However, with over 100,000 plug-ins operating in the United States, it makes sense that hotels get on board.

The Holiday Inn & Suites is the largest full-service hotel in Duluth.  Their downtown location is perfect for a day-traveler who needs a charge as well as the many overnight tourists who are drawn to the area on Lake Superior.  And the hotel’s location in the city’s skywalk system makes it an ideal charging location for anyone attending events at the convention center or around downtown.

Cars in StationThe two stations installed at the hotel are somewhat of a toe-dip into the charging pool.  General Manager Gerry Goldfarb says they are prepared to add more as demand grows.  “We’re always upgrading our facilities to ensure our guests and others enjoy every modern convenience available,” said Goldfarb.  “These electric car charging stations are just another way of expanding on that commitment.”

The hotel’s charging stations are the newest models manufactured by ChargePoint.   Based in California, ChargePoint boasts the largest network of electric vehicle charging stations, operating in over a dozen countries.  They can fully charge an electric battery in four to eight hours, depending on the type of vehicle.

March Snow 2013The stations are set up to be very user-friendly.  They are free for hotel guests, but other users can pay at the charging port by use of a video screen that communicates in English, French, and Spanish.  They accept credit cards or ChargePoint passes.  Another great feature of the charging station is the fact that the buttons can be operated with gloves on.  If you’ve ever experienced winter in Duluth you know that is an important feature.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: