My Stay, My Car



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Sunday May 20, 2018 My Stay, My Car This week I received a press release from Electra Meccanica about their participation in a program called My Stay, My Car that is offered by the Double Tree Inn located in Victoria, British Columbia.  This Hilton property is located close to the ferry terminal and to the location where float planes land.  Often its guests arrive on foot and so it has developed an innovative way to allow guests to explore the island.


Guests can request a rental car which is provided through car sharing service Turo.  The car must be reserved at least 24 hours before check in and will be waiting for the guest on arrival either by calling a toll free number or through the hotel's web site.  When the guest arrives the car will be waiting for them and parking is included in the rental cost of $20 - $30 per day. 


Originally My Stay, My Car offered only the Toyota Prius but they have just started offering the Electra Meccanica Solo, a single seat three wheel electric car.  It is configured with two wheels at the front and a single wheel at the rear.  The car is driven by an AC drive motor powered by a 16.1 KW Lithium Ion battery which allows the car to travel about 100 miles on a charge and hit a top speed of 80 mph.


The Solo rents for just $20 a day which is the same as the cost for valet parking.  When you return the car after a trip it will be taken and charged for you so you will have a full tank the next time you want to take the car out.  Currently the Double Tree has two chargers on site but they will also have the option to connect to a 110V outlet and charge if both level 2 chargers are already in use.  A full charge takes about 3 hours on a level 2 chargers and about 6 hours on a 110V connection so even at 110V it can be easily charged overnight.


Vancouver Island is 62 miles long and 32 miles wide at the widest spot.  Victoria sits a the south end of the island so while the car does not have enough range to drive to the other end of the island an back without stopping for a charge, it does have enough range to get to around Victoria and visit some of the main tourist attractions.  For example the round trip to Butchart Gardens is just 25 miles, a trip that can be handled with ease. Those that want to travel further could make use of the many public charging stations on the way, especially the ones in Sydney at the north end of the island.


The obvious issue with the Solo is that it only accommodates a single person.  That's OK if you arrive alone but not useful for a couple on getaway.  I suppose an eco-conscious couple could rent two Solo but I didn't see anything on the web site that allowed this so it may be just something that people travelling alone do.  It certainly would not be useful for families.


This is a good idea though.  I would like to see this expanded to more hotels.  For example wouldn't it be nice to fly up to the San Francisco Bay area and rent a Smart Electric Drive to get around the city.  A family could rent out a Pacifica Hybrid if they needed to accommodate a large family.  It would also be a good way to introduce people to plug-in vehicles.

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