Juice bars: they’re not just for your local upscale gym anymore. The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is opening an electric car “juice bar”, or charging station, in its garage. Hotel guests can charge their hybrid and electric cars for free, and like any exclusive hotel bar, strangers off the street will be denied access and will have to ogle the beautiful ones from the other side of the velvet rope.
The hotel’s charging station GFI protected outlet with 50/60 AMP, 240 volt and 20 AMP, 120-volt service can juice cars for two to four hours of driving time. As an added bonus, the Charles Hotel will keep back-up adapters for popular EV models on-hand.
It’s a nice service, but I wonder if it will still be viable once PHEV and EV vehicles become more mainstream. Just imagine the costs that a hotel would rack up giving away free gasoline to all guests. Electricity costs less than gas, but it can add up, especially if everyone staying at the hotel drives an EV (not likely today, of course, but you get the idea).
Still, electric car charging stations are poised to take over commercial spaces. EDF Energy is installing 250 EV charging points at nine U.K. shopping centers, and Nissan plans on deploying charge stations at U.S. shopping centers in the next few months. These stations, however, will charge customers for their electricity. Eventually, the Charles Hotel will probably have to do the same.