I got my first fast charge today. Wow how amazingly fast it is!!. What would normally take 2 hours at a 240v charging station took 15 minutes. I found myself on Lebanon Pike in Nashville with ample charge to get home (if I drove carefully). The prospect of going through slow traffic on side streets was not enticing. I noticed on my smart phone that the fast charger at Cracker Barrel on Stewart’s Ferry Pike was just 3.7 miles away. Never having had an opportunity to use one, I had to give it a go.
You have to use your Blink RFID card like at any other charging station to activate the unit, however there is more to it than that. The unit asks you for your zip code and what % charge level you want to achieve and then it’s off to the races once you click on charge.
The LCD display isn’t easy to make out in the bright sunshine, the unit could do with a cover over the display. If it wasn’t for me leaning in with my camera, I’m not sure you’d be able to make out anything on the screen. I’ll have to go back at night for better photos of the screen. I took a few photographs and walked inside cracker barrel. I’ve needed lip balm, and also picked up a gift for my grand-daughter. By the time I selected the items, paid and returned to my car, the charge was already complete!!
I noticed another Newton Nissan purchased LEAF in one of the Level 2 bays. This cracker Barrel has parking for4 EV’s, 3 of which can charge simultaneously. I like that the parking spaces are well away from the main entrance, which means the spaces remain open. Another thing one notices after standing next to the fast charger is the constant noise of cooling fans. Two electrical boxes in the grass verge were making all the noise. This is a major installation. I can’t wait until some BP stations in Tennessee start getting these quick charging stations.
The trip I took to Lebanon Pike was to use a $10 Office Max coupon that expired that day. Normally it would cost over $8 in gas to make this trip. Nonsensical to even attempt it, spend $8 to save $10?!? With my free fast charge at Cracker Barrel, I didn’t use much electric, I made the trip for 83 cents. The cost savings of driving an EV extend beyond the obvious fuel savings allowing me to buy Keurig coffee at half price 🙂
The LEAF was busy today making trips to Portland, Gallatin, Madison and Nashville. For a grand total of 120 miles and I arrived home with a 41% charge remaining. Enough for another 45 miles or so. Total fuel cost for the day? $2.60!! I didn’t have to stick to side streets either, that fast charge allowed me to zoom along I-40, Briley Parkway and I-65 on the way home.