With TEP’s support, Hotel Congress’ new electric vehicle charging hub in downtown Tucson is serving as a statewide example of enhanced urban sustainability.
TEP provided significant rebates for the installation of a set of EV chargers in January along Toole Avenue across the street from the hotel, near Maynards restaurant. The chargers have been used regularly, and they’re available to any EV driver parking in the downtown area.
The project is the first under the Charge Ahead Challenge to promote the electrification of Arizona’s transportation system with an emphasis on EV charging stations at business hubs. The challenge is an initiative by Local First Arizona and Chapman Automotive, with support from Mrs. Green’s World and CLEAResult.
Starting with Hotel Congress as an Arizona case study, Local First helps businesses navigate grants, rebates and partnership opportunities to add EV chargers.
Todd Hanley, Chief Executive Officer of both Hotel Congress and Maynards, said he was interested in installing EV chargers at or near his businesses as part of a longtime green strategy. For more than six years, the historic hotel has partnered with TEP on various energy-efficiency projects, including adding modern air conditioners to replace the outdated 1930s evaporative system. Last year, TEP recognized Hotel Congress with the Go Green Collaborative Partner Award.
The landmark hotel, which opened in 1918, includes a nightclub, café and music venues, with the recent addition of a jazz club. Maynards is tucked inside the historic train depot across the street.
“It was another step toward realizing the bigger picture goals of Hotel Congress and sustainability efforts that we’ve put in place as part of our business culture,” Hanley said.
TEP provided key savings with the rebates and also upgraded the electric infrastructure in the vicinity to handle four ports of EV chargers. They include two Level 2 chargers and two DC fast charging ports, which can charge about 80 percent of the battery in about an hour. Half of the chargers were operational in January, and the rest are expected to be online this spring.
“We are striving to make the changes to our infrastructure to support the future. Electric vehicles are part of that. This is just one of many projects that we’re working on to help us support our customers while also advancing TEP’s own sustainability goals,” said Manny Romero, TEP Commercial Account Manager who works with Hotel Congress.
Hanley said his EV chargers will provide a real-life example to other Arizona businesses that are considering such upgrades.
“Tucson is really not only leading the state of Arizona, but it is perfectly positioned to lead the nation in building resiliency in an urban environment in a desert city,” said Kimber Lanning, Chief Executive Officer of Local First Arizona.
“It’s tremendous what TEP is doing. I cannot say enough about how important their partnership and engagement has been in this project. From the straight power perspective to the rebates, TEP was critical to the project’s success.”
Learn more about TEP’s EV Charging Program for businesses, organizations and schools.