LEBANON, TN -- ECOtality and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store unveiled the first Blink Direct Current (DC) Fast Charger in Tennessee at the Lebanon Cracker Barrel location. This is the first of 12 Cracker Barrel locations statewide that will install DC fast chargers as a part of the EV Project.
The stations can charge a battery up to 80 percent capacity in under 30 minutes.
“By strategically placing Blink charging stations, we are collecting the data needed to build a commercial infrastructure which will untether drivers from their garages,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. “We identified destination locations like Cracker Barrel as ideal for charging stations -- places where people can grab a meal, charge up and go.”
ECOtality worked closely with Cracker Barrel during the site selection process, and took into account factors ranging from traffic patterns, retail destinations and input from other regional partners. “The Tennessee Triangle” -- a 425-mile stretch of interstate highway connecting Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga -- was deemed the best location for Cracker Barrel’s 12 DC Fast Chargers.
In addition to the fast chargers, Cracker Barrel stores will also be equipped with Blink Pedestal chargers that EV drivers may use to “top off” while shopping and dining.
With two CHAdeMo-compliant EV charging connectors, the dual-port DC Fast Charger provides an intuitive connector dock for storage and protection, ECOtality said. Additionally, the UL-certified charger features two interactive touch screens and a 42-inch color display for media and messaging. With real-time communication capabilities, the Blink DC Fast Charger supports energy usage data evaluation with an internal energy meter.
ECOtality is the project manager of the EV Project and will oversee the installation of approximately 14,000 commercial and residential charging stations in 18 major cities and metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia. The project will provide an EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. The project is a public-private partnership, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant and made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).