EV Fast Chargers Deploy in Tennessee

Stephen Smith | December 24, 2011 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Energy Policy
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.



Stephen Smith
Dr. Stephen A. Smith has over 35 years of experience affecting positive change for the environment. Since 1993, Dr. Smith has led the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as…
My Profile