Novotel and ibis Tainui Hamilton are taking a lead role in the adoption of electric vehicles, offering free charging stations to guests in what is considered a first for New Zealand's hospitality sector.
The two riverside hotels have partnered with Mighty River Power to install the stations, supporting the uptake of 'home-grown' renewable electricity as a cheaper and cleaner alternative to imported fossil fuel.
General Manager of the Novotel and ibis hotels, Dick Breukink, is proud of the hotels' efforts to increase access to renewable energy with charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs).
“We believe that we are the first two hotels in New Zealand to offer this kind of service to guests,” Mr Breukink said. “With the rapid growth of electric vehicle ownership, we saw an opportunity to take the lead and to support this growth.
“We've been offering free valet parking for any hybrid drivers as part of a wider Accor Hotels initiative for some time now, but our partnership with Mighty River Power has opened the door for us to do more.”
Mighty River Power Chief Executive, Fraser Whineray, said the initiative shown by the two hotels was a “perfect example of the corporate leadership putting more EVs on New Zealand roads”. Alongside charging infrastructure, he said EV purchases by large fleet owners were a key tipping point.
“It's great to see this initiative right alongside the Waikato River, one of this country's most important sources of renewable electricity, and to be partnering with organisations that have a vision for a positive change in transport fuels,” Mr Whineray said.
“New Zealand has a big opportunity in increasing the use of electricity – that is made right here, costs the equivalent of about 30 cents per litre, and takes about 2 tonnes of carbon out of the environment for every EV on the road every year.,” Mr Whineray said.
Mr Breukink is looking forward to more guests using the charging stations.
“We have already seen a number of guests pull up and charge their cars,” Mr Breukink said. “It'll be great to see more drivers stop-in as awareness and ownership of electric vehicles continues to grow.”
The charging stations are now available free of charge for all Novotel and ibis Tainui Hamilton guests.