Home Publisher's Point of View DoubleTree Hotel’s SOLO EV Rentals Drawing Lots of Attention

DoubleTree Hotel’s SOLO EV Rentals Drawing Lots of Attention

Glenn Hasek

My family and I are talking about going to Victoria, B.C. this summer for part of our vacation. If I go, you can bet I will be checking out the car rental program at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Victoria. I may even choose a SOLO vehicle to drive. My wife and son won’t be too happy, but it will be one of the coolest cars I have driven in a while. You see, the SOLO is a one-passenger vehicle with two wheels in the front and one in the back. Made by Electra Meccanica, the SOLO has a range of 100 miles and is all decked out in green leaves and the logo of the hotel.

The property has two SOLO cars and two Toyota Prius vehicles that guests can book through the property’s MY STAY. MY CAR. program. A specific website was created for the program. See it at http://mystaymycar.com/. When booking a stay, guests can add a Toyota Prius or SOLO electric commuter car to their room for $20 to $30 and receive complimentary parking. (It costs $20/day for valet parking.)

The hotel has been offering the SOLO vehicles since last May. The cars are made in nearby Vancouver, B.C. and dealerships are located only in Los Angeles, Portland (Ore.), Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. Each SOLO costs $15,500.

Kirsten Kost, Director of Sales & Marketing at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Victoria, says the hotel is the only one in the world that has SOLO cars made by Electra Meccanica. The cars were purchased last May. “It’s been a good experience,” Kost says. “The program has been very popular. Everyone is talking about them. The interest has been high.” While purchased primarily for corporate travelers, all types of guests have been using the SOLOs.

You Can’t Drive Too Far in a SOLO

Because the SOLO vehicles have a range of only 100 miles, guests are encouraged to stay within the city. “We try to discourage long drives,” Kost says. The cars are charged by staff prior to guest use and after guest use. The hotel has two electric vehicle charging stations. Guests receive instruction before driving off with a SOLO.

Kost says the hotel’s MY STAY. MY CAR. campaign has been particularly effective at getting the Toyotas and SOLOs rented.

Acquiring the Solos was the idea of the hotel’s management company, Mairet Hotels. The idea was then pitched to Hilton which agreed to the SOLOs.

Kost, who has driven a Solo, says it gets a bit of getting used to. “You draw a lot of attention,” she says. “At first it feels odd. You can exit the car left or right. It drives smooth and has a push to it.”

The SOLO currently has a top speed of about 82 mph and 99 percent fewer parts than a combustion engine. According to Bloomberg News, by December, 5,000 Solos will be zipping around the streets of Los Angeles, with an additional 70,000 to be delivered over the next two years across the West Coast.

Does your hotel allow guests to reserve electric or hybrid vehicles? I would love to learn about the program. I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

How to Search on Our Website

Like other search engines you find online, a search using one word will produce articles with that word included. If you would like to search for something that is more than one word long—ozone laundry, for example—you will need to put quotation marks around the words or phrase. Ozone laundry would then be “ozone laundry” in the search.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

An All-New Advertising Opportunity!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, announces the launch of Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to more than 20,000 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast will feature multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight will be published weekly on Thursdays beginning March 7 to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs. The Green Suppliers Spotlight e-blast will also be available in the Suppliers Spotlight Archive section of the Green Lodging News website.

Planning Advertising for 2019?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2019. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2019 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 20,365. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail editor@greenlodgingnews.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,787 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 916 Facebook likes.

As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.