Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts and SPG Resorts Hawaii Offer Complimentary Charging for Electric Vehicles

HONOLULU – Driving green on Oahu will become even more convenient starting Monday, Nov. 21, when Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts make electric vehicle charge spots in Waikiki available to the public.

Guests of the Sheraton Waikiki and The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, or anyone attending an event, dining at either of the hotels or who simply wishes to valet-park there, will be able to charge their electric cars at the standard fee for valet parking service. To have an electric vehicle charged, drivers can pull up to the valet in the porte-cochere of the Sheraton Waikiki or The Royal Hawaiian. A valet attendant will drive the vehicle to an available charging station in the parking structure and take care of the entire recharging process. Up to four electric cars can be accommodated at the same time. When the driver is ready to leave the hotel, an attendant will retrieve the recharged vehicle and return it to the driver in the porte-cochere.

“Having a convenient place in Waikiki to recharge electric vehicles will help demonstrate to visitors and kamaaina the ease of driving clean cars in the Islands,” said Jason Ito, director, administration and planning, Kyo-ya Management Company. “Kyo-ya and Starwood are proud to be part of a collaborative partnership with Better Place to build an electric vehicle charging network that will support Hawaii’s efforts to achieve environmental sustainability and reach its clean energy goals.”

“More of our guests are opting to rent electric vehicles, and providing charging stations at our hotels allows them to easily recharge their cars before they head out to explore the island,” said Ito. “We are also seeing more local residents ‘driving green,’ and thanks to our charging stations, kamaaina can recharge their cars while dining at one of our restaurants, attending an event at either of these hotels or just spending the day or evening in Waikiki.”

In December 2010, Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts’ Sheraton Waikiki became the first Hawaii hotel to install electric vehicle charging stations. Until being made available to the public on Nov. 21, the charging stations have been used only as part of a collaboration with Better Place, which is deploying electric vehicle infrastructure statewide, to measure vehicle performance, battery-charging metrics, the impact on the electrical grid, driver behavior and the software systems that manage the charging network. As part of the partnership project, Kyo-ya and Starwood have been using two Chevy Volts in their fleet of vehicles and guest shuttles.

Better Place installed the charge spots in the Sheraton Waikiki – Royal Hawaiian parking structure with funding in part from the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture (HREDV), a project of the local nonprofit Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, which allocates U.S. Department of Energy funds. Better Place is continuing to deploy electric car charging networks across the state.

“Installing the first charge spots in a Hawaii hotel has enabled us to gain valuable information that will help as we continue to expand electric car infrastructure throughout the Islands,” said Brain Goldstein, director of Better Place Hawaii. “We are excited that more visitors and residents will now have the opportunity to experience convenient zero-emissions driving.”

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