Where Do You Fill an Electric Gas Tank?
Hybrid gas/electric vehicles are great, but everybody knows that all-electric cars are the only way to permanently wean America from the gas pump. That’s going to require a lot of juice. To this end, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is continuing its corporate support of electric vehicle travel with high-powered rapid charging eVgo Freedom Station sites at four of its restaurants located around the DFW area.
NRG Energy, Inc., recently completed the installations at Cracker Barrel stores in Burleson, Arlington, DeSoto and Mesquite. The new charging stations, available around the clock for eVgo network subscribers, are a significant part of NRG plan to boost their Texas network and provide more charging options and range confidence for electric vehicle (EV) owners.
"Cracker Barrel's proximity to interstate highways adds a reassuring layer of confidence and convenience for EV drivers," says Cracker Barrel president and CEO, Sandra B. Cochran. "Participating in NRG's eVgo network fits with our traditional efforts to anticipate our guests' needs and at the same time, allows us to contribute in a meaningful way to national interests regarding energy use."
Each eVgo Freedom Station located at a Cracker Barrel includes one DC Fast charger, capable of delivering 30 miles of charge in 10 minutes, and one Level 2 charger that delivers up to 25 miles of range for every hour plugged in. With the DC Fast charger, users will essentially be able to fill up in about the same time it takes to order and eat a meal.
"One of the challenges for EV drivers is overcoming range anxiety, much the way early cell phone users worried about running out of power," added Cochran. "Cell phone users now easily keep their phones charged at a high level throughout the day, and as the number of EV charging stations increases, more EV drivers will be able to keep their cars charged at a high level, too," she says.
NRG plans to install a total of 70 Freedom Station sites in the DFW area, with six in use now, and 50 in the Houston area, with 11 already in place. As the stations are installed, the company monitors usage and gathers information to strategically place subsequent stations to sustain and grow the network.
"Cracker Barrel's participation in the NRG charging station project will create key links for EV drivers traveling around and between eVgo cities and will also generate important data to help us develop a well-connected infrastructure," says Arun Banskota, president of NRG Energy EV Services. "Cracker Barrel's interstate locations are a natural fit for eVgo Freedom Station sites and offer everything travelers need in one stop."
Monthly subscription plans include affordable options for home and mobile charging at several levels. Other NRG other retail businesses include Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy Company. With investments in solar, wind and nuclear power, as well as EV infrastructure, NRG says it is working to help America's transition to a clean energy economy.