Makoto’s goes electric

By Anna Oakes (

Article Published: May. 3, 2012 | Modified: May. 3, 2012
Makoto’s goes electric

Dr. Peck Garner of Boone Dermatology becomes the first motorist to charge his electric car, a Chevy Volt, at Makoto's new electric vehicle charging station.

Photo by Anna Oakes

The staff and owners of Makoto’s Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar in Boone pride themselves on their “firsts” — the restaurant was the first in the town to serve beer in the ‘80s and the first to serve a mixed drink just a few years ago.

On Monday, Makoto’s owners Ronald and Gwen Dhing continued the trend by installing Boone’s first electric vehicle charging station. After the apparatus passed the town of Boone’s inspection, Dr. Peck Garner, three-week owner of a Chevy Volt, was the first to juice up at the station, located near the right side of the restaurant building.

Makoto’s installed a mid-level charging station that can transmit 240 volts of electricity, which can fully charge an electric vehicle in about four hours. Garner said his home charging station, which isn’t as powerful, takes eight to 10 hours to fully charge his vehicle’s battery.

Customers at Makoto’s can receive one hour of free charging at the station, and after that the charge is $1.50 per hour. Makoto’s staff can control the station from within the restaurant.

With several fully electric cars on the market now, convenient infrastructure is paramount to making electric cars a viable option for travelers.

Over the past year, new electric vehicle charging stations have been popping up all across the state. The N.C. Department of Transportation installed a number of stations at rest areas along interstate highways, for instance. But Garner said that until now, the closest station to Boone that he knew about was two hours away in Charlotte.

Makoto’s won’t have the only electric vehicle charging station in Boone for long. Appalachian State University is only weeks away from installing two of the 240-volt stations on campus, physical plant director Mike O’Connor said. While the specific locations are still undecided, one will be situated on the east side of campus and one will be on the west side, he said.

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