KISSIMMEE, Fla. (February 3, 2010) – Sunshine Restaurant Corp, the Central Florida developer of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants/sports bars joined Progress Energy Florida and NovaCharge Thursday to introduce Florida’s first restaurant-based electric vehicle charging station and to emphasize Central Florida’s commitment to support electric vehicles. Immediately following the announcement, the group hosted the region’s first electric vehicle showcase, bringing an unprecedented number of electric vehicles together for a free public event.
Buffalo Wild Wings also unveiled plans to install additional ChargePoint® charging stations at its new restaurant located in Daytona Beach and all future Central Florida locations. Guests of the restaurant looking for a charge can find the station locations, check availability and get directions by using the ChargePoint® Network Find Stations live map.
“While electric vehicles are great for environmental reasons, we believe there is a strong business case for providing charging stations for our customers,” says Andrew L. Gross, president/CEO of Sunshine Restaurant Corp. “As the number of electric vehicles grows over the coming years, we know customers will choose Buffalo Wild Wings over our competitors because of the ability to charge their vehicle for free while enjoying their favorite sporting event.”
The showcase included displays and test drives from most of the electric vehicles currently or soon to be available in the United States. Attendees test-drove the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan LEAF, the Tesla Roadster and more.
During the event, Progress Energy Florida – which is supporting vehicle electrification through several automotive industry partnerships – emphasized the importance of ensuring the infrastructure to support electric vehicles is in place.
“As the ways our customers use electricity evolve, it’s important that we, as a utility, adapt to their changing energy needs,” says David Maxon, regional vice president of Progress Energy Florida. “We’re taking steps to support the adoption of this exciting, environmentally friendly technology today while determining how we can best support electric vehicles in the long term.”
“It was exciting to see how quickly Andrew and the Buffalo Wild Wings team embraced the electric vehicle market,” says Helda Rodriguez, president of NovaCharge. “They were able to show why businesses should be embracing charging stations as part of their business plan.”
Based in Longwood, Sunshine owns seven Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in Clermont, Formosa Gardens, Casselberry, Waterford Lakes, Osceola Parkway, International Drive and Lake Buena Vista. Buffalo Wild Wings was recently named “Best Wings” in the Orlando Sentinel’s Foodies and Best Bets section. Orlando Weekly named Buffalo Wild Wings as the best wings and best happy hour in Central Florida as well. Sunshine Restaurant Corp was named one of the top five fastest growing privately-held companies in Central Florida and the “best green company” in Central Florida by Orlando Business Journal. The newspaper also named Sunshine President/CEO Andrew Gross as one of Central Florida’s top business leaders under 40 years old. Gross was recently appointed to the state board of directors of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), provides electricity and related services to more than 1.6 million customers in Florida. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., and serves a territory encompassing more than 20,000 square miles, including the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as the Central Florida area surrounding Orlando. Progress Energy Florida is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit www.progress-energy.com.
NovaCharge enables a smart charging infrastructure for plug-in Electric Vehicles (EVs) by providing a seamless, scalable, reliable and cost-effective solution from Coulomb Technologies known as the ChargePoint System. Together, we are committed to providing an exceptional user experience for the owner’s of plug-in Electric Vehicles. NovaCharge provides sales, installation, commissioning and support for the ChargePoint System. With our network of Coulomb Technologies co-partner channels we can offer these products and services around the world. Through our growing network of re-sellers and installation partners, NovaCharge can deliver the critical services necessary to ensure the deployment of a high quality EV infrastructure for Government, Private Enterprise, and Electric Utility customers. For more information, please visit our website www.novacharge.net.
Coulomb Technologies is the leader in electric vehicle charging systems and application services, with the ChargePoint Network now operating in 14 countries, and Network Operations Centers in the U.S., London, and Hong Kong. The ChargePoint Network first went live in January of 2009. Coulomb provides a vehicle-charging infrastructure, with an open system driver network: the ChargePoint Network provides multiple web-based portals for Hosts, Fleet Managers, Drivers, and Utilities, and ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations ranging in capability from 120 Volt to 240 Volt AC charging and up to 500 Volt DC charging. For more information, follow Coulomb on Twitter at twitter.com/coulombevi. To request a charging station in your area, visit www.mychargepoint.net/request-station.php. To download the ChargePoint iPhone App, click here.