Private Business Welcomes Electric Car Charging Stations

Restaurant chain Cracker Barrel announced plans this week to install 24 electric charging stations along a 425-mile stretch of the Interstate Highway in Tennessee.

Initially developed to cater to highway travelers, Cracker Barrel said the Electric Vehicle project fit with its business model of catering to highway motorists while allowing it to participate in a meaningful way in the nation’s explorations of energy independence.

Cracker Barrel’s initiative, which is set to kick off with 12 stations in Spring 2011, represents the latest effort in a growing push by the private sector to add fast charging stations along the nation’s highways.

Earlier this year, the Governors of Oregon, Washington and California signed an agreement pledging to work toward building a “Green Highway” along Interstate-5 on the West Coast. And in October, the Oregon Department of Transportation was awarded $700,000 in stimulus funds to pay for eight charging stations in a public-private partnership with ECOtality.

The Partnership to Save Highway Communities applauds these states for working in partnership with exit-based businesses by targeting existing commercial enterprises to install electric charging stations. We hope Washington and California will follow Oregon’s and Tennessee’s lead and develop similar innovative partnerships with exit businesses.

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