EV Fast Chargers Deploy in Tennessee

So I plugged the Nissan LEAF into a Blink Level 3- Direct Current (DC) fast charger for the first time today. Cool Stuff!

EV Fast Charger

This charger is capable of taking the car from a low state of charge up to 80% of full charge in about 20 mins. Level 2 chargers  take 6-8 hrs (using 240 volts, same as your clothes dryer) and Level 1 chargers 16-18 hrs (using 110 volts, same as a standard outlet). As these chargers are deployed, they will give many Electric vehicles (EVs) the ability to make “road trips”. The LEAF has proven itself to be very reliable and fun to drive around town. The biggest knock I have heard from folks is “well you can’t take it on trip out of town”. Maybe, maybe not…..

I pulled up to Cracker Barrel off Campbell Station road in west Knoxville with about 5 miles of range left. I wanted to test the charger and see how well it worked and how fast it would charge the car. First thing you notice is the size of the charger station, compared to the Level 2 chargers, it is huge. It has a 42 inch video screen and the cable and connector are much larger than the Level 2 chargers I have been using. It uses CHAdeMO technology to deliver the high voltage direct current to the car’s battery.

I waved my Blink card, you need one to activate the public stations, its like a credit card, and then entered my zip code. The touch screen on the right side charger, there are two per station, was messing up so I used the left side. It then directed me to plug into the car, the connector fits into the larger charge port on the LEAF and that is it. The electrons start flowing, I went in and ordered lunch and monitored the progress on my CarWings I-Phone app. Pretty cool.

It took 31 mins to hit 80% charged. It took the car from 5 miles of range to 71 miles on the car’s range meter. It did take me a minute to figure out how to unplug it from the car, I should have read the directions more closely.

Screen after the charge

So road trip anyone!

Stay tuned, we maybe going to Grandma’s in the EV this year for Christmas.

I’m mapping the Cracker Barrel located fast chargers along I-40 from Knoxville to Nashville and it looks pretty good. Many of these have come on in the last few weeks.



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glad to know it works I live south of nashville and will take my leaf to lafollette tn in next couple of wks.ROAD TRIP!! do you know if any other level 3 are in operation yet along I-40 I have use the one at nissan headqaurters in franklin tn. It worked fine!!

Comment by bryan haynes on March 3, 2012 12:57 pm

I made a trip to Chattanooga the other day from Knoxville in our LEAF and several of them were out along I-75. I have called the Cracker Barrels before just to check and depend on who answers how good the info is.

They seem to still be having trouble keeping the Level 3 chargers up.
This is a link http://www.blinknetwork.com/locator.html that is there to tell the status. The guys at Blink have kept them listed as offline for the Level 3 fast charger even when many of them are up and running as they work through the bugs. So its still a little hit or miss…..

Comment by Dr. Stephen A. Smith on March 3, 2012 3:08 pm

i saw your post on the I40 ones im going to try 500 miles in 12 hrs wish me luck

Comment by bryan haynes on March 3, 2012 7:56 pm

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