Today marks another milestone for the electric vehicle in Tennessee. High voltage fast charging rolls into the state. Drivers of the Nissan Leaf will now have more capability to extend the vehicle’s limited 100 mile range.
A Cracker Barrel in the restaurant chain’s hometown of Lebanon is getting the first DC fast charger in the state, becoming a sort of gas station of the future. The company that got it s start selling gas plans to install a dozen of these DC fast chargers between Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.
They can juice up a Nissan Leaf in half an hour, a snail’s pace compared to filling up with gas. But Adam Auden of Nashville says fast charging makes it possible for him to make day-trips in his Leaf, with the proper planning.
“By taking a brief break for lunch or whatever, you can sort of squeeze 200 miles in a single run, whereas previously if you got to your destination you’d have to spend eight hours charging before you came back.”
A federal grant is paying for these chargers and hundreds more across Tennessee, where Nissan is based and will soon begin building the Leaf.
Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander will be at the dedication in Lebanon Monday but he won’t be able to charge his personal Nissan Leaf. A spokesman says he leaves the car in Washington for short commutes.