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Cracker Barrel to install 24 Ecotality EV charging systems in select Tennessee locations; Level 2 and Fast Charge

30 November 2010

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.

November 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

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Totally awesome!!!! Drive 30 miles, charge for 30 minutes. Drive 30 miles, charge for 30 minutes. Drive 30 miles, charge for 30 minutes... This is so cool! Of course I'll have to quit my job if I want to drive 90 miles in my electric vehicle because of the charge times and limited range of my totally cool car. But, who needs to work in this "green" economy?!?

They have installed Cracker Barrels ever 25 miles (give me a 5 mile reserve in case I want to use my heater while driving), correct?

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Goracle is living in the past. Future (2020+) BEVs will drive up to 500 Km and recharge in about 5-6 minutes. Current BEVs can do up to 160 Km between charges and most of them can recharge up to 80% in about 10-12 minutes.

More and more quick charge stations will be required, specially along highways. Food stops are ideal places to have such stations.

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"is living in the past. Future..."

LOL! Thanks for that.

How about all of those on GCC who say that there is no problem with the current electricity production rate because everyone will be charging their vehicles at night? How long are the lines gas stations at 3am? That's when everyone will be charging at Cracker Barrel, right? We need to build more nuclear power plants or forget the "electric economy." You can't force everyone to drive at night when there is enough electricity production capacity.

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Don't worry Goracle. There will never be long term e-energy shortages as long as the sun is still there and as we have the will to capture a mini part of its energy. USA could capture 10++ times the e-energy required if it wanted to do it.

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Ahh... But HarveyD, now you are living in the past. In my future BEVs are charged as they drive by Cracker Barrel without stopping. A giant ray gun on the roof (disguised as a giant redwood - green!) will TZZZZZaaappppp a burst of energy into my car and bill my account automatically. I won't even have to stop, or slow, to refuel. And batteries will be old news. We will use malphoragams, which have 10,000 times the energy holding capacity of batteries.

So lets ban all ICE cars now because the future will take care of all of our issues.

Yeeesh... What am I thinking?!?!? We need to tear up all roads, rails, and ships because we will simply beam ourselves to our wanted destination. It's so cool being able to make policy on non-existent future technology!

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Ha Ha!! Funny dialog between Goracle and HarveyD. Fact is, we can CHOOSE which technologies to pursue in keeping with the social benefits and goals they produce. Never before have so many options been available to human evolution.

We could leap frog a few steps and go right to unlimited energy - or follow a more prescribed program of development that will employ many and raise international standards of living. There is actually an abundance of opportunity.

Goracle, people WILL charge EVs at night simply because it's cheaper (even rich people shop Wal-Mart.) I drove a tiny little EV not long ago that got 225M per charge. It was tons of fun! So was a Model A back in its day.

I suspect we'll see low cost EVs with lower range become popular. In that case these Cracker Barrel charge points might be handy. But anyone who drives a regular pattern will simply plan ahead and charge overnight. Sorta like going to the gas station when you get low on gas.

And just because we learn to teleport does not mean we can tear up our ships. Recall the scintillating phrase: "Beam me up, Scotty!"

Goracle,
The point of what Cracker Barrel is doing is to make it possible to drive the "triangle" between Knoxville-Nashville-Chattanooga.

It's 112 miles between Knoxville and Chattanooga, 130 miles from Chattanooga to Nashville, and 180 miles from Knoxville to Nashville. So a charging point between these cities would allow a car like the Leaf to travel back and forth rather than be tied to one city or another.

Cracker Barrel has stores in places like the Sweetwater exit which is approximately half way between Knoxville and Chattanooga. This exactly serves the purpose they stated for doing the rollout.

Current BEVs e-range limitations are short term. Normal technology evolution will double and triple e-range within 10 years or less. All this talk about e-range limitation will sound foolish by 2020.

Of course, USA will use wireless charging points, in street and highways, at dedicated charge points and even in domestic garages. That's our nature. We will not be bothered with charging cords etc. Charging our BEVs will have to be 100% transparent, up to our credit card.

By 2020+ our ladies will not be aware that their sporty EV uses e-energy. The majority will believe that it runs on thin air. That also our nature.

I think it's a brilliant strategy by Cracker Barrel to try and appeal to a broader customer base. People that can afford Volts or Leafs should theoretically have plenty of expendable income to spend on meals at Cracker Barrels. If you ever been to one, they usually have ample parking - so they can easily install some of these at each restuarant without seriously affecting their overall parking. I've always liked their food & service.

This encourages the presently few BEVs to top up their batteries (win) while they eat at Cracker Barrel (win), encourages more BEVs (win), and keeps Cracker Barrel out of other mischief (draw).

ejj....use the place to recharge your BEV/PHEV but please eat somewhere else.

They have an AWESOME "open faced roast beef" sandwich (that's not really a sandwich) with gravy & roast beef over texas toast and mashed potatoes on the side...I always get it when I have a chance to eat at a Cracker Barrel.

http://www.crackerbarrel.com/menu-sandwiches.cfm?doc_id=898

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