Tesla will give free chargers to select Airbnb hosts

21 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Airbnb, Tesla partner to make road trips easier for Model S owners.

For reasons of brand synergy, one presumes, Airbnb and Tesla are teaming up to install Tesla charging stations at a minimum of 100 Airbnb properties across California.Tesla Motors has already invested millions of dollars in its attempt to build electric car charging stations around the world, and the company’s latest move is to partner with home-sharing startup Airbnb to install chargers for Model S cars in select rental locations.One of the reasons why some drivers don’t want to adopt electric cars is that the availability of charging stations aren’t as frequent as a gas station. Earlier this year, Musk announced new features like Range Assurance and a Trip Planner, to ensure that Tesla owners would never stray too far from a charger, and this latest initiative seems to be another way to alleviate drivers’ “range anxiety.” But not every Airbnb host will be able to get a charger installed.

Tesla has donated and installed the stations that are meant to give travelers freedom on their road trips, according to Chip Conley, head of global hospitality and strategy at Airbnb. “When considering accommodations, Tesla drivers are limited by how far they can get on their car’s battery charge, but this partnership alleviates that constraint,” he said. In terms of availability, Tesla has been making some pretty good efforts, with the company recently entering into a partnership with several garages around Manhattan to provide charging stations to electric car drivers. The company released a study last year about its sustainability, though it amounted to little more than touting the fact that Airbnb members make sustainable choices in their personal lives.

And while eligible hosts will receive the $750 charger for free, they will still have to pay for the installation themselves — a service that can cost up to $900. An existing Airbnb host who lists an entire home, has had more than more than five bookings, and has an average overall star rating of 4+ is eligible to receive a free Tesla charger, which cost $750. Initially, the partnership will focus on Airbnb rentals in California, but the companies hope to expand the program globally; according to a map on the website, only 12 Airbnb rental homes are equipped with chargers so far. The partnership marks Tesla’s broader effort to convince consumers that owning an electric car is not a hassle, a perception that has prevented EVs from being widely adopted. They’re not as fast as Tesla’s Superchargers, which give 170 miles of charge in half an hour, but will more than do the job for your overnight Airbnb stay.

About 119,710 plug-in vehicles were sold in the United States in 2014, a 23% boost from 2013 and a 128% jump from 2012, according to research from InsideEVs.com. With the Destination Charging program, Tesla provides the charging station for free, with installation cost going to the property owner and electricity cost going to the Tesla owner. That being said, Tesla seems to believe that by placing a charger in these locations, it will encourage Tesla owners to stay at those properties, which in turn could make up for the difference in installation costs.

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