TDEC, TVA Announce Collaboration on Tennessee’s EV Fast Charging Network
Earlier this month, TDEC and TVA announced that they are partnering to develop a statewide electric vehicle (EV) fast charging network to power the growth of EVs across Tennessee and reduce barriers to transportation electrification. Specifically, the two have signed an agreement to collaborate and fund a network of fast charging stations every 50 miles along Tennessee’s interstates and major highways. This initiative will add approximately 50 new charging locations, tripling the existing fast charging network. For reference, as of February 2021, there are only 24 fast charging locations currently operating in Tennessee that are open to all consumers and support both charging standards common to EVs. This partnership advances the State’s goal of establishing a statewide corridor fast-charging network that improves transportation efficiency, reduces vehicle emissions, promotes EV adoption, and strengthens the resiliency of our transportation network.
TDEC and TVA will leverage various funding sources to support the development of the fast charging network with an anticipated project cost of $20 million. TDEC has committed 15%, the maximum allowable, of the State’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust allocation to fund light-duty EV charging infrastructure. Approximately $5 million from this fund is expected to be allocated to fast charging infrastructure along corridors. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) intends to provide TDEC with an additional $7 million in federal Highway Infrastructure Program funds to expand fast-charging electric vehicle infrastructure along federally-designated Alternative Fuel Corridors in Tennessee. The remainder of the project will be funded by TVA, other program partners, and program participant cost share.
The agreement reflects recommendations outlined in the Tennessee Statewide EV Charging Infrastructure Needs Assessment, conducted in 2019 by Drive Electric Tennessee, a consortium that includes TDEC, TVA, and TDOT. The agreement will support Drive Electric Tennessee’s goal of having 200,000 light-duty EVs registered in Tennessee by 2028. As of December 2020, 11,034 light-duty EVs were registered in Tennessee. To learn more about this partnership, the Memorandum of Agreement, and Tennessee’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, visit and
EV Evolution Charges Ahead in Clarksville
Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced earlier this month that EV battery manufacturer Microvast will establish operations in Clarksville. The company will create nearly 300 jobs and invest $220 million in Tennessee to manufacture battery cells, modules, and packs. “The electric vehicle industry is thriving in Tennessee,” said Commissioner Rolfe. “We are the number one state in the Southeast for electric vehicle manufacturing, accounting for nearly 40% of electric vehicle jobs and investment." Read more about the project here.
Metro Nashville Launches Smart Zone Pilot in Downtown Area 
Metro Nashville, in partnership with Coord, a leading curb management company, has launched its first-ever Smart Zone program to better manage the city’s curbs. This follows Nashville’s selection by Coord as one of four U.S. cities to participate in the company’s inaugural Digital Curb Challenge to undertake a new curb management program. While offering a more streamlined experience for drivers, Smart Zones can improve mobility for everyone visiting the downtown neighborhood by managing safety and congestion challenges such as double-parking and blocked pedestrian access.
Metro Nashville has deployed eight Smart Zones in downtown Nashville, which will provide the city with information that is essential in empowering data-driven operational changes. Coord’s platform allows a city to make adjustments in response to policy changes, special events, or emergencies without the hassle and expense of modified signage on the street. To learn more about this new program, read the full press release here.
ACEEE Releases First State Transportation Electrification Scorecard
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released the first edition of its State Transportation Electrification Scorecard. This report evaluates states on the adoption of policies with an impact on EV deployment, infrastructure creation, and grid liability. It also demonstrates how EV-specific policies can work in tandem with other transportation and utility sector policies to maximize relevant greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and ramp up EV deployment in the light- and heavy-duty vehicle sectors. Based on ACEEE’s scoring methodology, Tennessee ranked 20th out of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. (third in the Southeast region) for its EV policies and progress. Click here to access the full report.
Webinar: Transportation Decarbonization
The UT Knoxville Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy will hold a webinar on February 26 at 10:00 – 11:00 AM Central on GHG emissions and pollution reduction strategies for the transportation sector. Transport is a major source of GHGs worldwide and the largest source of GHG emissions in the U.S. According to UT Knoxville, a typical U.S. car or light truck emits about four tons of GHGs each year. Dr. David Greene, a research professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Senior Fellow at the Baker Center, will discuss technologies, policies, and behavioral changes necessary to reduce transportation sector GHG emissions to near zero by 2050. This virtual event is free and open to the public. The Zoom meeting link can be found here
2021 DERA National Grants
Each year, the U.S. EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program allocates funds nationwide to implement projects aimed at reducing emissions from older diesel engines. In 2021, U.S. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $46 million in DERA grant funding to eligible applicants across the country. The maximum amount of federal funding that may be requested per application varies by region. Tennessee applicants fall into EPA Region 4 and are eligible to request up to $2 million in grant funds per project. Eligible applicants include:
  • Regional, State, local, or tribal agencies/consortia or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality;
  • Nonprofit organizations or institutions that represent or provide pollution reduction or educational services to persons or organizations that own or operate diesel fleets or have the promotion of transportation or air quality as their principal purpose; and
  • School districts, municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), cities, and counties, to the extent that they fall within the bulleted definitions above.
Grant funds may be used for clean diesel projects such as EPA- and/or CARB-verified technologies or certified engine retrofits; idle-reduction technologies; aerodynamic technologies and low-rolling resistance tires; and engine, vehicle, or equipment replacements. Eligible diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment include school buses; Class 5-8 heavy-duty highway vehicles; locomotive engines; marine engines; and non-road equipment used in construction, handling of cargo, agriculture, mining, or energy production. Replacement projects can include the replacement of highway and non-road diesel vehicles/equipment with new, cleaner diesel, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicles/equipment (alternative fuels including compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, propane, or zero tailpipe emissions technologies such as battery or fuel cell vehicles where applicable). Funds under this program cannot be used to fund emission reductions mandated by federal law.
Applications for the Clean Diesel National Grants are due to U.S. EPA by March 16. To apply, visit For more information on the National Clean Diesel campaign, visit To view the full Request For Applications, click here.
Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grants
U.S. DOT recently announced approximately $889 million for the FY2021 round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program to fund projects that result in good-paying jobs, improve safety, apply transformative technology, and address climate change and racial equity.
This is the first time that U.S. DOT seeks INFRA projects that specifically address climate change and environmental justice. Projects will be evaluated on whether they were planned as part of a comprehensive strategy to address climate change, or whether they support strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as deploying zero-emission-vehicle infrastructure or encouraging modal shift and a reduction in vehicle-miles-traveled. Racial equity will also be considered as a selection criterion, to the extent that project sponsors have completed equity-focused community outreach and projects are designed to benefit underserved communities.
U.S. DOT seeks projects that apply innovative technology, delivery, or financing methods with proven outcomes to deliver projects in a cost-effective manner. Proposed projects may be large (at least $25 million) or small (at least $5 million). Eligible INFRA project costs may include: reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of property (including land related to the project and improvements to the land), environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, equipment acquisition, and operational improvements directly related to system performance. Full applications must be submitted via by March 19. Click here to view the full Notice of Funding Opportunity.
Alt Fuels Demonstration Library: Autogas Answers, Alternative Fuels 101, and More
Tennessee Clean Fuels has recently expanded its Alt Fuels Demonstration Library, a resource that includes informational videos, testimonials, and more on a variety of alternative fuel topics such as
  • Alternative Fuels: The Basics, a video that aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the history, characteristics, benefits, and use of alternative fuels;
  • Autogas Answers, a recorded webinar with the Propane Education and Research Council, which seeks to provide fleet managers and operators with a background on propane autogas as a transportation fuel and how organizations can begin to make a transition from gasoline or diesel to propane;
  • Virtual Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive, a collaborative effort with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to showcase a ride in a Tesla Model 3 EV; and
  • How to Host an Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive, a recorded webinar that seeks to train interested parties on how to successfully hold an EV ride and drive event and provide an overview of the newly published Drive Electric Tennessee Ride and Drive Event Guide resource. 
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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