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Cracker Barrel Restaurants Create E-Car Charging Network in TN
Old 12-03-2010, 01:36 PM   #1
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Cracker Barrel Restaurants Create E-Car Charging Network in TN

Tennessee Will Get Electric Car Chargers at Cracker Barrel Restaurants - Transportation - GOOD

This is part of a Public/Private effort to roll out charging stations in several regions, called the EV Project.

The EV Project Home

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Old 12-03-2010, 03:45 PM   #2
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Cracker Barrel?! Good for them, but probably the last restaurant chain I would have expected to do this.

I don't follow this market at all, but are the utilities prepared for anything more than a tiny trickle of electric vehicles?
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:56 PM   #3
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One of the advantages of EVs is you can charge them overnight when the utilities have excess capacity. I've read (not sure it's true) that in the 'wind down' phase they actually produce excess as you just can't slow down a thermal process that quickly without stressing everything. That is actually 'free' electricity from an environmental standpoint.

But putting chargers at restaurants means people will charge at lunch and dinner which are peak times. Not good on a hot day with peak A/C loads.

Now, adding them to hotel/motel for an overnight charge could be good, and I'm sure some are doing that. Not so sure restaurants are a good idea.

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Old 12-03-2010, 03:56 PM   #4
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Cracker Barrel?! Good for them, but probably the last restaurant chain I would have expected to do this.

I don't follow this market at all, but are the utilities prepared for anything more than a tiny trickle of electric vehicles?
Last year I remember reading an article that said the current grid could handle it easily if every single person with a 25 mile each way commute had an all electric vehicle to go to work.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:11 PM   #5
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Last year I remember reading an article that said the current grid could handle it easily if every single person with a 25 mile each way commute had an all electric vehicle to go to work.
I suspect that means charging at night, which would be the sensible thing for daily commutes anyhow. - ERD50
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:17 PM   #6
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The one thing I wonder is which plug are they going to use....


From what I see (commercials, pics online)... almost every plug in car has a different plug...
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:19 PM   #7
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I suspect that means charging at night, which would be the sensible thing for daily commutes anyhow. - ERD50
Exactly - short range commuters don't need to re-charge except at night.

For the long term there is lots of research and talk about "smart grids" where electric hybrids actually store more than they need and feed back into the grid overnight. There are decades to go before we get anywhere near the numbers of electric cars to put a serious strain on the grid.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:22 PM   #8
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The one thing I wonder is which plug are they going to use....


From what I see (commercials, pics online)... almost every plug in car has a different plug...
just like cell phones

I'm sure there will be a supply of various convertors very quickly available.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:28 PM   #9
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Exactly.

For the long term there is lots of research and talk about "smart grids" where electric hybrids actually store more than they need and feed back into the grid overnight.
Yes, but just the opposite approach is what they are talking about. They would charge and absorb more than they need at night (when there is excess capacity), and then buffer the grid with that energy during the day (to supply the peak need).

I don't put much stock in that idea anyhow. Batteries are already the most expensive, limiting part of an EV - why would you want to have any excess capacity? Esp capacity that you have to use energy to move around with you. Doesn't make any sense to me at all.

I'm sure that some stationary energy buffer would be much more cost effective. I've seen plans for room sized flywheels. You bury them in the ground to cover the safety issues, and small ones scattered through neighborhoods would provide nice, local, distributed buffering.

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There are decades to go before we get anywhere near the numbers of electric cars to put a serious strain on the grid.
Not in regards to the OP. On a hot day we already stress the grid with A/C. Adding a single EV to that situation during the day is adding a strain.

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Old 12-03-2010, 04:36 PM   #10
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Not in regards to the OP. On a hot day we already stress the grid with A/C. Adding a single EV to that situation during the day is adding a strain.

-ERD50
Very true, and I'm sure next time there are rolling blackouts during a heat wave there will be news reporters blaming it all on the "greenies".

But, did the planners take into account the trend to build Macmansions over the last 20 years that had to have had a very large impact on electricity usage.

I just don't see EV's becoming so popular so quickly to overcome the grid capacity.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:25 PM   #11
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Cracker Barrel is a "vehicle" oriented chain. The are known for RV-friendliness, often allowing overnight stays.

Gosh - get the right adapters and you could hook up your RV and enjoy all the amenities without draining your batteries or propane.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:29 PM   #12
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Gosh - get the right adapters and you could hook up your RV and enjoy all the amenities without draining your batteries or propane.
And save one whole dollar? That would be what, the equivalent of driving one mile? ;-)
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:07 PM   #13
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And save one whole dollar? That would be what, the equivalent of driving one mile? ;-)
It's not the $1.

In order to get $1 worth of electricity while stopping for the night, an RV'er might have to drive to an RV park which may be out of the way and also charges $30 for parking.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:19 PM   #14
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In the short time you are eating lunch or dinner, a typical EV wouldn't be able to suck down much juice, probably just enough to assure the car can get clear of the parking lot before crumping out. Cracker Barrel is just trying to keep their parking lots unobstructed.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:30 PM   #15
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According to the article they are "Blink" chargers capable of bringing an empty Volt to 80% charged in 20 mins (most likely shortens the battery life simultaneously.)
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:14 PM   #16
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Very true, and I'm sure next time there are rolling blackouts during a heat wave there will be news reporters blaming it all on the "greenies".

But, did the planners take into account the trend to build Macmansions over the last 20 years that had to have had a very large impact on electricity usage.

I just don't see EV's becoming so popular so quickly to overcome the grid capacity.
You are right, but the difference is that no one building a McMansion would be credibly stating that they were doing it 'for the environment'. But most of the EV owners are, and if they are trying to charge during peak hours, it's just wrong.

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Old 12-03-2010, 08:24 PM   #17
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So, good intentions do not count?
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:36 PM   #18
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So, good intentions do not count?
heh-heh - DW loves Halloween, and she was watching a bunch of 'B' movies during the season. One was called "Highway to Hell", and I just looked up from time to time when I passed the TV. They panned the camera past a construction crew working on said highway, and the company name lettered on the side of the Bulldozer was:

"Good Intentions Paving Company"

cracked me up

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Old 12-03-2010, 08:45 PM   #19
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Heh heh heh back at you.

Now, if good intentions can lead us to you-know-where, should I even mention "bad intentions"? Yes, siree Bob. There's a lot of those out there. Hence the public tends to look warmly at good intentions. It's human nature.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:50 PM   #20
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Heh heh heh back at you.

Now, if good intentions can lead us to you-know-where, should I even mention "bad intentions"? Yes, siree Bob. There's a lot of those out there. Hence the public tends to look warmly at good intentions. It's human nature.
Not me. When someone has bad intentions you know just what they are up to - no good, so you deal with it. But someone with good intentions ends up convincing others that it really is good - so let's all do it. And then real harm is done by the masses of followers. It's an especially insidious kind of evil

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