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USA: Hotel at Kirkwood Center Offers Electric Vehicle Recharging Station

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Guests and visitors to The Hotel at Kirkwood Center can take advantage of a new amenity — an electric vehicle recharging station.

The Level 2 charger, one of only a few installed for public use in Eastern Iowa, will completely charge a dead battery in four hours. For now, Kirkwood Community College is making the charger available at no cost to guests and visitors to the campus until it determines use and how much to charge.

The City of Cedar Rapids designated $12,000 from an Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant program for the project, with Kirkwood covering the additional $2,500. Lee Belfield, general manager of The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, said hotels around the country are just beginning to install charging stations for their guests and the public who own the electric vehicles.

“The Hotel at Kirkwood Center hosts guests from around the country, and even around the world,” Belfield said. “More of these guests are now driving electric vehicles, and we want to make sure they have a full battery to get back home after their stay with us.”

Anyone who owns an electric vehicle will be able to use the parking stall with the charging station to recharge their vehicle. It’s expected that the number of electric vehicles on the roads in Eastern Iowa will increase as the sales rise at dealerships in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and other communities.

“The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are now for sale locally,” said Brian Brownfield, Kirkwood automotive technology instructor. “As we see more of these electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles hitting the road, we need to see more charging stations pop up, so the technology can continue to expand.”

Kirkwood has a second Level 2 charger installed for use by students training on four hybrid vehicles owned by the college’s automotive technology program.


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