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June 05, 2012

Cracker Barrel Expands Comfort Zone for Electric Vehicle Drivers

New eVgo Chargers at Texas Locations Give EV Drivers More Options
  
LEBANON, Tenn. (June 5, 2012) Cracker Barrel Old Country Store continues to drive its support of electric vehicle travel with the unveiling today of high-powered rapid charging eVgosm Freedom Station sites at four old country stores located in and around Dallas/Ft. Worth. NRG Energy, Inc. recently completed the installations at Cracker Barrel® stores in Burleson, Arlington, DeSoto and Mesquite. The new charging stations, available around the clock for eVgo network subscribers, are a significant part of NRG’s plan to enhance their Texas network and provide more charging options and range confidence for electric vehicle (EV) owners.
 
“Cracker Barrel’s proximity to interstate highways adds a reassuring layer of confidence as well as a high level of convenience for EV drivers,” said Cracker Barrel President and Chief Executive Officer Sandra B. Cochran. “We were founded along interstate highways with the traveler in mind and, today, Cracker Barrel has evolved into an indelible part of the automotive travel experience. Participating in NRG’s eVgo network fits with our traditional efforts to anticipate our guests’ needs and, at the same time, allows us to contribute in a meaningful way to national interests regarding energy use.”
 
Each eVgo Freedom Station located at Cracker Barrel includes one DC Fast charger, capable of delivering 30 miles of charge in 10 minutes, and one Level 2 charger that delivers up to 25 miles of range for every hour plugged in. With the DC Fast charger, Cracker Barrel guests will essentially be able to fill up in about the same time it takes to order and eat a meal.“One of the challenges for EV drivers is overcoming range anxiety, much the way early cell phone users worried about running out of power,” added Cochran. “Cell phone users now easily keep their phones charged at a high level throughout the day and, as the number of EV charging stations increases, more EV drivers will be able to keep their cars charged at a high level, too,” she said.
 
NRG plans to install a total of 70 Freedom Station sites in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and 50 in the Houston area, with 11 already in place in Houston and six installed in Dallas/Ft. Worth.  As the stations are installed, the company monitors their usage and gathers information to strategically place the remaining stations to sustain and grow the network.
 
“Cracker Barrel’s participation in the NRG charging station project will create key links for EV drivers traveling around and between eVgo cities and will also generate important data to help us develop a well-connected infrastructure,” said Arun Banskota, President, NRG Energy EV Services. “Cracker Barrel’s interstate locations are a natural fit for eVgo Freedom Station sites and offer everything travelers need in one-stop: food, power and fun.”
 
Cracker Barrel Dallas/Ft. Worth Freedom Station Locations
Arlington:      1251 North Watson Road
Burleson:      13301 South Freeway
DeSoto:        1421 N. Interstate 35E
Mesquite:      5304 North Galloway Avenue
 
About Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as its made from scratch biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.
 
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 615 company-owned locations in 42 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, visit crackerbarrel.com.
 
About NRG
NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG) is a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company that owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, N.J., the Company’s power plants provide nearly 25,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply more than 20 million homes. NRG’s retail businesses, Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy Company, combined serve nearly 1.9 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers. With investments in solar, wind and nuclear power, as well as EV infrastructure, NRG is working to help America’s transition to a clean energy economy. More information about NRG Energy is available at www.nrgenergy.com and about eVgo, the nation’s first privately funded, comprehensive electric vehicle ecosystem, at www.eVgoNetwork.com.
 
Media contacts:
 
For Cracker Barrel
Jeanne Ludington/ (615) 443-9115
jeanne.ludington@crackerbarrel.com
 
For NRG, Inc.
David Knox / (713) 824-6445
 
Carly Kade / 713.819.2550
 
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