How to do you ensure that a 300 year old business keeps pace and relevant to the needs of today’s customers? At the Arundell Arms in Lifton, a former coaching inn, this was the problem faced by the owner Adam Fox-Edwards.
He has continued to invest in the fabric of the buildings and the skills of the staff but also has invested in the latest technology for electric vehicles. In 2014 he transformed the hotel into the most green hospitality business in the region by installing a biomass boiler to provide 100% of the heating and hot water for the hotel, providing all of the water from a new borehole, installing new energy efficient catering equipment, generating elecrticty from PV panels and a host of smaller measures. In total, the impact was to reduce fossil fuel consumption on site by 80% and costs by about 50%.
In 2014, he installed 16 and 32 amp electric car charging points. They had some take up but the first generation vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe, had limited range and were not really suitable for the distances and terrain inherent in our region. These cars have now been superseded by a new generation of vehicles such as the Tesla.
In 2017, in response to learning of the growth of Tesla Supercharging stations, he proactively contacted Tesla and negotiated the installation of eight Superchargers in his car park. His is one of only 32 such sites across the whole of the UK and the Arundell is the most westerly in England.
He said: “This seemed a logical step to take. We are just one mile from the A30 the major strategic route into Cornwall. If a modern electric car such as a Tesla calls in to us, they can recharge in just 30 minutes and have sufficient range for a week’s holiday in Cornwall or enough to reach London without recharging.
"We provide the electricity for free and about 80% of users come into the hotel to eat or drink and sometimes stay the night. So, not only do we both benefit, so does the environment. This is a triple win.
"The Tesla in car navigation system directs drivers to us and lets them know how many bays are free. They come and enjoy the facilities of the hotel and when their car is ready to go, it lets them know via an app on their phone.
"In many ways, this is merely the hotel reverting to its earliest role as a coaching inn. In the 1700s, we would refresh travellers and their horses. 300 years on, we are doing the same thing except their vehicles now take 200 kiloWatts and not a bale of hay!”