Caesar's CodeGreen EV Charging Network
By Bill Moore
Corporate Director for Facilities, Engineering and Sustainable Operations, Eric Dominquez explains how the gaming giant is reducing its carbon footprint and expanding its electric car charging network.
While it won't be Tesla's Supercharger network, in the not too distant future, it will be feasible to drive in an electric car at least some of the distance between San Diego to Atlantic City on free electricity courtesy of Caesar's Entertainment (stock symbol CZR).
The gaming and entertainment industry powerhouse that runs not only Caesar's Palace resort and casino in Las Vegas but also more than 50 other properties around the world, is implementing an ambitious program to install free electric car charging stations at all its properties. [See: Caesar's Expanding Its Electric Car Charging Network]
The man overseeing that project, as well as the corporation's other sustainability initiatives, is Eric Dominquez, who has been with the Caesar's Entertainment for eight years as the Corporate Director, Facilities, Engineering, and Sustainable Operations. EV World's Bill Moore had the opportunity to catch up with him via Skype fduring a business trip to Reno, Nevada, the location of CZR's first 24 public charging stations, which opened in 2013.
Now the company has added another 24 chargers, bringing the total to date to 48; these at its properties in Las Vegas and free for the use of its guests there. The expanding network of Snyder Electric-based AC Level 2 chargers, which can recharge an EV or plug-in hybrid in several hours - enough time for a nice meal, a show, and maybe a session or two at the slots - are tied together through the ChargePoint network. Besides enabling EV owners to use smart apps and their car's navigation systems to locate the chargers, the ChargePoint network also allows Dominquez and his team to monitor their use. That is when the cellular network signal is working properly - a shortcoming in the first iteration of the system the company is actively working to resolve. Eric explains that when the cellular network connection is lost, all operational data is stored on the charger. When the network link resumes, all of the data is uploaded. So, while no information is actually lost, they temporarily lose real-time monitoring capability at some sites.
Caesar's EV charging system, which will next be expanded to corporate properties in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, the Chicago-area, and New Orleans, as well as its other properties in California and Nevada, is only one aspect of Caesar's CodeGreen program to be a good corporate citizen and set an example for its patrons, employees and the community in reducing its carbon footprint. Importantly, that effort has financial payouts, especially important for a organization whose biggest competitor, MGM, has a 549% higher market cap valued at $13.13 billion compared to CZR's $2.39B.
Installing EV charging stations is a particularly smart move on their part, because generally speaking, the people who own electric cars are more affluent than the population at large. Whether they gamble or not may be an open question - some might argue that buying an electric car is a sizable 'gamble' in itself - but they certainly have to eat and probably enjoy a good show by the likes of Celine Dion and Jerry Seinfeld.
Our nearly 30-minute Skype video interview with Dominquez is divided into two sections. For bandwidth reasons, we eliminated EV World's side of the video to improve the quality and reliability of the recording.
Video Part I
Video Part II
Originally published: 28 Jul 2014
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