Just under one year ago Cracker Barrel announced a plan to have electric vehicle (EV) charge stations strategically located around the state of Tennessee. As part of the EV Project Cracker Barrel projected a total of 24 EV charge stations, with 12 of these being DC fast charge stations. The Lebanon, Tennessee Cracker Barrel will open the first DC fast charge station on Monday. A total of 12 DC fast charge stations will be located around the state at the restaurant chain. 12 Level 2 240-volt charge stations are already online, and all 24 locations should be online by the end of November.
This is a model of what can be done to create an efficient and user-friendly EV infrastructure. Place the DC fast charge stations at restaurants where patrons will visit for 30 minutes or so. Put them in convenient locations along highways. These placements will serve as range extenders for those that wish to take their electric car further than the battery will allow. Supplement these fast chargers with the more conventional 240-volt charging dock for those locals that just want to “top up” while driving around town. This example of forward-looking thinking on Cracker Barrel’s part offers the hope that others will see the value in creating just such a network in other parts of the country as well.
UPDATE (November 20,2011): In writing another article about infrastructure, we realized that we did not provide the distances between DC fast chargers on the map above. Pulling up Google maps and entering the city names near the charging locations provided this information:
- Shortest distance between stations is roughly 29 miles
- Longest distance between stations is roughly 52 miles (Cookeville to Lebanon)
- The next longest station was only about 44 miles
We see this as a shining example of the potential development of DC fast charge technology.
Source: Nation’s Restaurant News