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Element Lexington First Hotel With Electric Car Charging Station

LEXINGTON, Massachusetts, July 23, 2009 (ENS) – The eco-friendly Element Lexington Hotel is offering a charging station for electric vehicles. Located 20 minutes from downtown Boston, the hotel will make the charging station available both to guests and to other travelers in the area.

Drivers can simply swipe a card, plug in and charge up their electric vehicles at the station. A first in the hotel industry, travelers will be able to locate the charging station and even determine whether it is currently unoccupied by using Google™ maps.

The ChargePoint™ Networked Charging Station is the most recent in a series of green initiatives implemented at Element Hotels, the brand that serves as a working laboratory for green design, practices and operations of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

“By offering a charging station for electric vehicles, we are deepening our commitment to greener travel as a key part of an environmentally responsible lifestyle,” said Brian McGuinness, Starwood’s senior vice president for specialty-select brands.

“We are proud to be playing a part in the development of the infrastructure needed to support the anticipated increase in electric vehicles over the next several years,” McGuinness said.

The ChargePoint Networked Charging Station at Element Lexington (Photo courtesy Coulomb Technologies)

Installation of the charging station is made possible under a partnership between Element Hotels and Carbon Day Automotive, headquartered in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Element and Carbon Day will share the cost for the charging station, which is equipped with a universal plug-in for all kinds of electric vehicles including cars, buses, Segway scooters and bikes.

“Starwood’s Element brand shares our commitment to driving environmental awareness and helping individuals, businesses and municipalities lower their carbon footprint,” said Scott Emalfarb, one of the principals at Carbon Day Automotive.

“By installing the ChargePoint Networked Charging Station at Element Lexington, we are preparing for the influx of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles expected on America’s roads in 2010. We hope that other hotels will follow Starwood’s lead and take the initiative to encourage this important change in the automobile industry.”

Most major auto manufacturers have announced plans to produce plug-in vehicles within the next one to three years. Carbon Day Automotive is preparing for the time when drivers will choose from hybrids that run on both electricity and gas, extended range electric vehicles, or purely electric vehicles.

Coulomb Technologies of Campbell, California has developed the ChargePoint Networked Charging Station for municipalities, utilities, hotels, green office buildings and parking garages to allow consumers to charge their electric vehicles wherever they live, work, shop and travel.

The charging stations perform bi-directional energy metering with an embedded utility-grade electronic meter, enabling precise measurement and reporting of electricity use via networked cellular modems.

An electric car charges up with a ChargePoint Networked Charging Station. (Photo courtesy Coulomb Technologies)

Up to 100 charging stations can communicate to and be managed by a single gateway charging station. The gateway charging station uses the local cellular network to communicate with the ChargePoint Network Operating System, which runs on a remote secure hosted server managed by Coulomb Technologies.

A driver has the option of paying for a single charging session by placing a toll free call to the 24/7 number on each charging station or becoming a ChargePoint Network subscriber online at www.mychargepoint.net. Subscribers receive a ChargePoint Smart Card that allows them to charge their cars at any charging station worldwide.

To date, only the Element Lexington has an electric vehicle charging station, but in all of the four Element hotels, green features include eco-friendly materials and maximum use of natural light. To reduce waste, guest room bathrooms are equipped with amenity dispensers, kitchens are supplied with silverware and glassware instead of plastic utensils and paper cups, and filtered drinking water is available rather than plastic water bottles.

Guestrooms feature carpets with up to 100 percent recycled content, wall art is mounted on bases made from recycled tires and low VOC paints and green housecleaning products improve indoor air quality. Recycling bins are available in guest rooms and public areas.

Element Hotels conserve water and energy with low-flow faucets and fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and energy-efficient appliances. The hotels also provide preferred parking for drivers of hybrid or electric cars and bikes to borrow for guests.

Element requires that its properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, certification.

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