The Rampart Casino in Summerlin, Nevada, has taken the first steps toward a more Electric Vehicle (EV) friendly community. With the installation of an EV charging station, the Rampart became the first casino property to accommodate EVs, whose charge station was acquired in a business deal with Coulomb Technolgies.
If you build it, they will come…or not. Since the addition of the EV charge station, the Rampart Casino has seen limited numbers of Electric Vehicles. Very limited.
“We only have one patron with an electric car, that I know of,” said John Shaughnessy, a casino security guard. “Actually, I’ve never seen it.”
David Garth, a valet for the casino since 1999, confirmed Shaughnessy’s statement, saying that he’s never seen an EV pull up. “But,” he said, “we get plenty of hybrids.”
The lack of EV patronage hasn’t been discouraging, however. It is expected that more and more people will be switching to electric when the new line of electric cars hits the markets at the end of the year. Russell Lord, an engineer at the Free Energy Store, estimates that there are about 100 electric vehicles in the Las Vegas valley. He expects that number to jump in 2010 because that is when the manufacturers plan on introducing a new surge of EVs to the U.S. market.
Bob Rosinski, chief executive officer of EV-Charge America, agrees. He estimates that electric vehicles will make up 20 percent of all vehicles in the valley in three to five years. “We’re not waiting for the big car manufacturers to get their act together,” he said.
The Rampart charge station, which was installed on April 20, allows only one vehicle to charge at a time. Charging takes anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on how much of the vehicles battery was drained. Charge stations that can accommodate two to four vehicles are currently being produced.
Rampart’s single charge station sits quietly inside the garage, a sign overhead pointing it out. The station was installed by EV-Charge America. The Coulomb Technologies station is part of the Coulomb Recharging Network, a subscription recharging service for EV owners. The subscriptions range from $15 per month to $50 per month; and from 10 nightly charges per month to unlimited charging.
The Rampart Casino is currently offering the services free of charge to all casino patrons.
“Patrons of the resort can already feel like they are big winners before they step into the casino. The installation of this initial charging station is the first of many steps Rampart is taking to reduce emissions and waste. The Rampart Casino and Resort Team, in conjunction with EV-Charge America are demonstrating true environmental responsibility through this innovative initiative,” said Rosinski. “They are providing a low-cost, alternative fueling source to resort customers with electric plug-in vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles.”
“We hope to raise the bar by encouraging other properties to partake in this form of forward-thinking environmental responsibility,” said Peter Maksymec, general manager of Rampart Casino.
More: What other cities are becoming EV friendly?
Photo Credit: Jerry Henkel; EV-Charge America