Cracker Barrel to install 24 Ecotality EV charging systems in select Tennessee locations; Level 2 and Fast Charge
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is becoming a major participant in The EV Project and will install 24 Blink electric vehicle (EV) chargers, provided by ECOtality, Inc., at select locations in “The Tennessee Triangle,” the 425-mile stretch of interstate highway that connects Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. The EV Project, designed to increase the adoption of electric vehicles by creating a solid charging infrastructure across the country, is managed by ECOtality.
Twelve locations will have DC Fast Charging stations, providing an 80% charge in under half an hour; 12 will have the Blink EV L2 chargers. Plans are to start installation of the electric vehicle chargers in the spring of 2011 and to be completed within a few months. Guests will be able to check the Cracker Barrel website to see which locations have installed EV chargers.
In the early days, Cracker Barrel provided food for our guests and fuel for their cars. While we expect that use of the electric chargers will be light during this pilot project, making this available to our guests is consistent with our brand reputation of hospitality, service, and value.
While ownership of electric cars is small compared with traditional vehicles, there’s great curiosity about them, and so we expect our guests will be quite interested in seeing these charging stations when they stop in with us. We like to think that our guests will be pleased to see Cracker Barrel taking an active role in exploring energy alternatives that are aimed at protecting the environment, as well as strengthening our economy. This is a way of showing that Cracker Barrel is focused on the future even as we provide guests with a genuinely hospitable experience reminiscent of times past.”—Cracker Barrel Chairman and CEO, Michael A. Woodhouse
The original Cracker Barrel locations sold gasoline because founder Danny Evins was an oil “jobber” who wanted to sell more gasoline as well as to offer the food and hospitality he grew up on in rural Tennessee. Fueling pumps were removed in the early 70s during the oil embargo, and Woodhouse sees the new electric car charging stations as being consistent with the company’s roots.