Plug In to the Strip
MGM Resorts’ new charging stations make it easier to cruise Vegas in an electric car.
In 2008, President Obama set a goal of getting 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015. But only about 16,500 are in use today, according to electric car advocate Plug In America. Companies such as MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) are hoping to move the nation closer to that goal.
Courtesy MGM Resorts
Last summer the Las Vegas-based owner and operator of 15 casino resorts unveiled electric vehicle charging stations in the parking garages of two of its properties on the Strip: Mandalay Bay and Crystals at CityCenter. MGM plans a third station, for the Mirage, in 2012, and to partner with a local rental car company to provide a complete eco-vacation package for visitors.
“Our customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their expectations,” says Chairman and CEO James J. Murren. “We are proud to be a leader in demonstrating environmental responsibility.”
Unlike a traditional service station where cars come and go frequently, an electric charging station is essentially a parking space that connects a vehicle with a charge point via a cord. MGM’s stations can accommodate three electric vehicles at a time, each receiving approximately 25 miles of range per hour of charge. The company has placed the stations near the casinos’ main entrances to attract consumer attention, and, says Chris Magee, director of sustainable facility development, it has put great effort into creating an eye-catching logo declaring that the parking spaces are reserved for electric cars. “With millions of visitors coming to Las Vegas and MGM properties, we are manifesting environmental leadership and helping to reduce the anxiety that a low battery charge can generate.”