In my last post I wrote about the recent launch of the BMW i3 electric vehicle and explained how EVs could be a catalyst for upgrading the electric grid in cities, which could enable various “smart” services. It’ll take time for EVs to catch on, of course, and as one commenter correctly pointed out, the main impediment is charging infrastructure.
This commenter had the following to say, finishing with a question that was quite timely:
It’s rare that I take my own car beyond 100 miles but I do worry about it when I want to go on longer trips. I know that Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto has charging stations at its facility in Toronto for instance. Partner institutions like Evergreen that have charging stations will really enable consumers to adjust to the EV lifestyle. Is Schneider engaged in partnership to install more charging stations in public spaces in the US?
Schneider is, in fact, engaged in partnerships to install more charging stations and one such effort was announced just a couple of weeks ago. In partnership with Caesars Entertainment Corp., Schneider Electric has installed EV charging stations at three Caesars resorts: Harrah’s Reno, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe.
The stations were officially unveiled on Aug. 16 with a ceremony at Harrah’s Reno, with Nevada Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki on hand along with Harrah’s and Schneider Electric management representatives.
For Caesars, installation of the EV charging stations is part of its CodeGreen initiative, as detailed in a press release about the new stations:
CodeGreen, Caesars Entertainment’s comprehensive approach to sustainability, is the key driver in the company’s commitment to provide tangible low-carbon solutions to reduce water, energy and waste consumption at all Caesars resorts. The deployment of EV charging stations at its establishments is designed to encourage cleaner transportation and the broader use of renewable energy. Access to the charging stations is free to the public.
“Encourage cleaner transportation” is exactly what the new charging stations will do, if initial reaction around the Web is any indication. A post in a forum hosted by the EV manufacturer Tesla Motors, for example, has more than a few visitors excited to be able to bring their EVs to Tahoe and Reno. Here are a couple of sample comments:
RedShift | AUGUST 16, 2013
Awesome! I love to Ski, and I was hoping for this to happen!
Sanjuro88 | AUGUST 20, 2013
I applaud this adoption of EV charging stations & I will plan my next vacation around these sites.
Another poster pointed out that if visitors let the folks at the resorts know that they came specifically because they were able to charge their EVs, it would likely lead to even more charging stations. I’d say that’s a fair bet. If companies see evidence that EV owners will patronize their establishments specifically because they offer charging stations, it stands to reason that more organizations of all stripes will invest in the technology.
At Schneider Electric, we will certainly be on the lookout for more partners that share our passion for energy conservation and understand the role EVs can play in helping to clean up the planet.