Vegas area, casinos charge ahead with electric vehicle spots

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FILE – In this Sept. 21, 2018, file photo, the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino reflects the last sunlight of the day along the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. The family of a woman killed by a gunman raining down gunfire from the Las Vegas high-rise hotel suite filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday, July 2, 2019, against eight gun makers and three dealers arguing their weapons are designed in a way that could be easily modified to fire like automatic weapons. The lawsuit, which targets Colt and seven other gun manufacturers, along with gun shops in Nevada and Utah, is the latest case to challenge a federal law shielding gun manufacturers from liability. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — As more electric vehicles hit the streets, additional places to charge them are popping up in Las Vegas.

Casino companies, Clark County, shopping centers and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, now offer charging stations.

Las Vegas city planners are exploring ways to make the city more electric-vehicle friendly as they put together a 2050 master plan, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

“We’re moving toward electric,” Tom Volk, a businessman from Phoenix, said as he charged his Tesla Model 3 at the Railroad Pass Travel Center in Henderson.

The car has a maximum range of 310 miles (498 kilometers), a little more than the 300-mile (483-kilometer) distance to Las Vegas, so Volk said he also stopped to charge the car in Arizona. But he said the decision to go with an electric car over a traditional gas engine was about “style and lifestyle.”

“With the power and the comfort and the luxury, you’re not trading off as much anymore with these vehicles,” he said.

In July, Tesla and Caesars Entertainment partnered to open a solar-powered facility, dubbed a supercharging station, near the High Roller observation wheel on the Las Vegas Strip.

It is the first site in Nevada to feature 24 V3 hookups for Tesla owners to rapidly charge batteries for about 180 miles of range in about 15 minutes.

Caesars has electric vehicle chargers at all its properties in Nevada. Eric Dominguez, company vice president for engineering and sustainable operations, calls it part of a commitment to sustainable energy.

“We made a commitment a while back to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2025,” Dominguez said. “This is something that helps to promote clean transportation. It really aligns with our environmental commitments here at Caesars.”

MGM Resorts International has 26 charging stations at its properties including Mandalay Bay, Luxor, the Mirage, New York-New York and Circus Circus.

At Wynn Las Vegas and the neighboring Encore, vehicle charging options are part of valet services.

UNLV has stations at its Harry Reid Research and Technology Park, and Town Square and Tivoli Village are among places where motorists can recharge.

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles reports nearly 7,000 registered electric vehicles, up from 1,200 in 2015 but still less than 1% of all registered vehicles.

That compares with more than 318,000 electric vehicles registered in neighboring California. Nearly 20% of U.S. visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 were from Southern California, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported.

Marco Velotta, a Las Vegas planner, said officials are looking 30 years ahead at business and market forces. He said the city has electric vehicles in its fleet and vehicle charging at city facilities.

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