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AC Hotel big on current trends

By Rory Daley
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 19, 2019

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WHEN AC Hotel by Marriott opened its doors on June 17, it brought with it not only 220 rooms to the Corporate Area, but three charging stations for all-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric Vehicles (PHEVs).
“The chargers are owned and operated by the hotel and are totally free to all users,” Koen Hietbrink, general manager of AC Hotel, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.
AC Hotel doesn't currently own any electric vehicles.
“So far we've had three enquiries into using them, but I can't give a specific amount of times they've been used,” he said.
The three EV changing systems, designed and installed by Forge Dynamics & Innovations, are 7.6kW Level 2 units weather resistant, connected to the hotel's power grid that includes 200 solar panels.
“They are based on the American standard,” said Patrick DeRizzio, director of Forge Dynamics & Innovations.
This means, the units while at US Level 2, use the same connection as European Level 1 charging. For owners of Euro Level 2 electric vehicles, they will require a special adapter available, free from the hotel.
The units were installed to “future-proof” the hotel as EV and PHEV ownership increases locally. While electric vehicles make up only 2.1 per cent of global vehicle sales, interest continues to grow with reports expecting both vehicle types to account for 40 per cent of all new vehicles sold.
AC Hotel shares property space with ATL Autobahn, the arm of the ATL Automotive Group responsible for the BMW and MINI brands. Their vehicles are often parked there to bring attention to the chargers as the two brands sell PHEV models: the 330e for BMW and the MINI Cooper S E Countryman PHEV.
ATL Motorsports, a division of ATL Automotive responsible for Porsche, also carry two PHEV vehicles: the Cayenne SUV and the Panamera sedan.
“The sales of PHEVs have been going very well. They've been some of our fastest selling models. Persons naturally gravitate to hybrids more than a full diesel,” said Christina Taylor, group marketing manager — ATL Automotive.
Taylor gave customers the following reasons for going electric: better power output and delivery from a hybrid, lower noise, and higher cost savings. One big benefit for Porsche buyers is that they get a home charger.
Taylor expects more growth in the electric segment as on September 4, Porsche launched their first all-electric vehicle, the Taycan sports car, and Audi, another brand under the ATL Automotive Group, will soon make a regional debut of their e-tron all-electric SUV.


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