Public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging comes to Hendersonville TN at last!!
Both McDonald’s locations at Hendersonville have had EV chargers* installed in the last few weeks. The Indian Lake store has two chargers both of which are ready to use. I charged there today for 1/4 hour while getting lunch. McDonald’s do not charge anything to use the chargers, so it’s free fuel for as long as you want to stay at the store 🙂 The New Shackle Island store charger isn’t powered on yet, presumably it will be ready in the next few weeks. (Update 2011-10-20: The New Shackle Island store is now operational, I got a successful charge).
At both locations Saturday lunchtime all chargers were ‘ICE’d’. Which means to say non electric vehicles were parked in the EV parking bays. ICE stands for Internal Combustion Engine, and EV owners refer to being locked out of parking spaces by a conventional car as being “ICE’d”. Ironically as one can see in the above photograph two gas guzzling SUV’s, an Envoy and an Explorer occupied the spaces earmarked for fuel efficient vehicles 😦
McDonald’s have not painted the parking spaces a special color like is customary with disabled spaces, so one can’t blame drivers for not realizing the space is reserved for a particular purpose. Goodlettsville Library has done a better job in that respect. In order to get a charge I parked in a disabled spot adjacent to one of the chargers. Hopefully McDonald’s will have the spaces painted in the coming weeks.
To utilize the chargers one must have a Blink RFID card to activate the charger. I got my RFID card when I had a Blink charger installed at my house. Anyone can send off for an RFID card for a nominal fee. On my first try the card did not read correctly and I got an error. I held the card more carefully the second time (as instructed) and the LCD display told to start charging. I found the LCD display difficult to read in the bright sunlight and had to hold my hand strategically to block out the direct sun. The chargers would benefit from a shroud or shade.
A third McDonald’s location under construction on Main Street Hendersonville is also scheduled to get the EV chargers. Once three charger locations are in place Hendersonville, Hendersonville will catch up with Goodlettsville and Franklin.
*Footnote: EV enthusiasts might baulk at having EV chargers called chargers at all. To be precise the charger is part of the vehicle converting the electric into a form the battery can store, it actually charges the battery. Where the vehicle is plugged in is called an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment). The EVSE does nothing but deliver electric to the vehicle, it does no charging. Its a fancy electrical outlet. Other than EV enthusiasts I don’t think anyone will understand what an EVSE is and will call them chargers. So chargers it is 🙂
Last weekend my encounter was quite as impressive – a RN (not the medical term) with his wife and 10 year old daughter pulled up next to my leaf parked in the EV spot, so I motioned to the driver (heavy over weight fellow) in his brand new ESCALATE SUV still with a 2 day old drive out tag – that this is a EV only spot.
he rolled down the window – and stated: “…my car has a battery in it…”, “…so I can park her too!”
I guess that’s what you get when you mix with people of a specific education level that can’t afford anything better for breakfast, lunch or dinner then McDonalds.
IMHO McDonalds is the wrong place for an EVSE – period.
I did contact McDonald’s and they have acknowledged my email. Time will tell if I get a more specific response or not.
Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's to bring your concerns to our attention.
We take your comments very seriously and because we are a franchised organization, we have immediately forwarded them to the franchise owner of the restaurant you visited. We are certain that the experience you described will be fully investigated and the appropriate action taken.
Again, thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
McDonald's Customer Response Center
On October 16th 2011 there will be a grand opening of the chargers at the Indian Lake McDonald’s. The Mayor and other dignitaries will do the honors. I believe it is scheduled for 1pm.
Went to the grand Opening Ceremony
Read more http://wp.me/p1sK3k-5H
I have a book of gag “parking tickets” that I use when people (usually the ones with the biggest gas guzzling SUVs) demonstrate their lack of parking skills and take up more than one spot.
Sounds like EV owners are going to need a similar book of notes, worded politely, to inform drivers that they are blocking “EVSE”s (I definitely prefer the term charger). I suspect that most people, unfortunately, will not really care though.