The Pala Casino Spa & Resort recently became the first casino in San Diego County, California to offer Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) to the owners of electric cars, according to the tribe's press release. The upgrade is part of Planet Pala environmental program. The tribe established its environmental department in 1997, and has since expanded to include quality control programs for water, pesticides, air and recycling. Now the tribe is helping improve the environment by supporting electric vehicles. The casino unveiled two BLINK charging systems on September 8. ECOTality is the nationwide provider of the BLINK system network. Andrew Hoskinson, the area manager of ECOTality, Inc. for San Diego, drove his 2011 Nissan Leaf to the casino in Pala and demonstrated the system by re-charging the car’s batteries for the return trip to San Diego. “The availability of the BLINK equipment here at Pala is very significant,” Hoskinson said, "because there is now a charging station in an outlying, rural area in Southern California for the owners of electric automobiles. This greatly improves travel distances for electric vehicles.” Pala is now listed on the BLINK internet map that pinpoints EVSE locations in Southern California. “This is an important new service for our guests and the public. We are very happy to be the first casino in San Diego County offer it,” Bill Bembenek, Pala Casino's chief executive officer, said in a press release. The owners of electric vehicles receive a BLINK membership card when they purchase a vehicle. To activate the charging system, they swipe the card and select the amount of time to charge the batteries. Both the Nissan Leaf and General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt automobiles operate on an eight-hour and four-hour charge respectively. The re-charge fee at Pala is $4 per hour.