Arlington Cracker Barrel gets electric vehicle charging station
Electric vehicle owners can now recharge both their car and their own batteries at an Arlington Cracker Barrel restaurant.
NRG Energy took the wraps off of four new electric vehicle charging stations in the Dallas-fort Worth area Tuesday, including one at the Cracker Barrel located at 1251 North Watson Road, adjacent to Texas 360 in north Arlington.
Officials of NRG and Cracker Barrel caravanned in electric-powered cars from one site to another to mark the opening of the "eVgo" charging stations. Each of the stations, which are available for use only to NRG customers, has a 240 volt charging outlet and a DC charging outlet. The latter "pumps" 350 volts of electricity directly into the battery of compatible vehicles and a 15 minute charge is good for about 50 miles of driving range.
NRG now has six charging stations installed in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with plans for at least 70. It has installed 11 of a planned 50 in the Houston market.
Customer usage of the charging facilities is picking up a bit faster than expected, said Arun Banskota, president of NRG EV Services division. "We've got people that use them quite a lot, depending on their commute."
Only about 18,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2011, but Banskota said that compares favorably with the 6,000 annual sales rate that hybrids like the Toyota Prius enjoyed the first few years in the market.
Banskota said new studies show that while electric cars have high price tags their operating costs are much lower than conventional gasoline and diesel engine powered vehicles.
The other NRG charging stations opened Tuesday are at Cracker Barrel locations in Burleson, DeSoto and Mesquite.
For information on NRG's eVgo network and charging plans go the company's website.