LEBANON, TN - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store said it will be installing Blink electric vehicle (EV) chargers, provided by ECOtality Inc., at select restaurant locations across Tennessee.

The effort is part of the EV Project, an initiative to increase the adoption of electric vehicles by creating a solid charging infrastructure across the country. The EV Project is managed by ECOtality, a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. 
"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," said Cracker Barrel Chairman and CEO Michael A. Woodhouse. "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."

Twenty-four Cracker Barrel locations will have chargers. Guests will be able to get an 80 percent charge -- the recommended charge -- in just under a half hour at the 12 Cracker Barrel locations that will have the DC fast-charging stations. Guests visiting the 12 locations that will have the Blink EV L2 chargers, which are slower than the DC fast charging stations, will be able to top off their tanks, so to speak.

Cracker Barrel is working with ECOtality, the project manager for the EV Project, to install Blink electric vehicle chargers at select locations in "The Tennessee Triangle," the 425-mile stretch of interstate highway that connects Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga. A guest could, if desired, drive the entire 425 miles of the Tennessee Triangle, re-charging at Cracker Barrel locations along the way.

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 Web site to see which locations have installed EV chargers.

 "We are very pleased that Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has become an EV Project partner," said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. "Our goal is to make sure there are readily available Blink public chargers stations where people need them, in convenient locations." 

Twelve of the 24 Cracker Barrel locations that will have chargers installed have been identified. They are Athens, Cleveland, Cookeville, Crossville, East Ridge, Farragut, Harriman, Kimball, Lebanon, Manchester, Murfreesboro and Nashville-Stewart's Ferry Pike.