Saturday, November 05, 2011

Taxpayers Fund Impractical Cracker Barrel EV Recharging Scheme

If you were going to run a pilot project that deploys charging stations in a network to enhance the use of electric vehicles, what kind of establishments would you locate them at? Whose customers might be most interested in that amenity? Certainly Starbucks comes to mind, as might sustainability-crazy Walmart – but how about Cracker Barrel? It’s true, the down-home chain of Old Country Store restaurants was chosen by Ecotality for a practice run in Tennessee as part of The EV Project, which is funded with a $115 million Department of Energy grant to create infrastructure to support EVs like the Nissan Leaf. The rollout features a dozen so-called “fast chargers,” which means they can provide an electric “fill-up” in 30 minutes, with the idea that an EV owner could consume his Cracker Barrel Sampler and a couple of sweet tea refills while the Leaf gets its electric infusion...more

And of course U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican who has fallen for every environmental scheme placed under his nose, has to show up for a photo op:

“There is enough unused electricity at night that we can plug in half our cars and trucks without building a single new power plant,” Alexander said, “and forward-thinking companies like Cracker Barrel are making it even easier to drive electric vehicles by allowing customers to charge them up while we eat, work, shop or otherwise go about our days. Electric vehicles are the best solution to $4 gasoline — and plugging in my Nissan Leaf gives me the patriotic pleasure of not sending money overseas to people trying to blow us up.”

Then the author really has some fun with the enviro Senator:

Unused electricity? Does Alexander think it gets thrown out with the uneaten chicken ‘n dumplins’ at night? And if he thinks EVs are the best solution to $4-per-gallon gasoline, he has probably also embraced the fantasy that bright sunshine and mountain breezes are enough to keep his Leaf running strong. Meanwhile the rest of us, who are steeped in reality, are the ones left to fight for the right to drill for fossil fuels on our own lands and shores, which is the real answer to high gasoline prices.

And oh yes, the quick charge won't work on the Chevy Volt. The D.C. Deep Thinkers are at it again and taking advantage of us poor old tax-paying crackers.

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