Drive Electric Tennessee MOU Released
Throughout 2018, a core team of stakeholders—including State agencies (TDEC and TDOT), electric utilities, cities, universities, electric vehicle manufacturers, businesses, and advocacy groups—worked together on the development of a shared vision for electric transportation in the state, which includes goals and guiding principles for increased electric vehicle adoption over the next 5-10 years. Together, these stakeholders comprise Drive Electric Tennessee, a statewide electric vehicle consortium organized by Navigant Consulting on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
In January, Drive Electric Tennessee released the first edition of its Electric Vehicle Roadmap for the state. The Roadmap identifies projects and initiatives for local stakeholder implementation that will increase electric vehicle adoption across multiple Tennessee use cases and sectors. Click here to access the Roadmap.
In February, Drive Electric Tennessee released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that gives organizations the chance to publicly endorse the group’s shared vision and mission. Signatory organizations will endeavor to collaboratively pursue and support implementation of the initiatives and projects outlined in the Drive Electric Tennessee Roadmap, referenced above. Additionally, organizations may also pursue membership with Drive Electric Tennessee. Additional details on membership will be made available soon. If your organization would like to sign on to the MOU, please contact Drew Frye directly at
Gamification in Public Transit: Hytch in Middle Tennessee
An article in the February 2019 issue of Mass Transit digital magazine explored loyalty programs and gamification in public transit across the U.S., highlighting programs designed to encourage transit ridership through rewards, discounts, and other types of incentives. Among many transit gamification examples, the article highlights the partnership between Hytch and several transit agencies in Middle Tennessee. Hytch is a mobile app that pays users at least one penny per mile for any shared trip in Tennessee (including trips via carpool, shuttle, transit, etc.). Users can redeem their cash awards via PayPal once they reach $10.00. The company has corporate sponsorship from Nissan and others to pay for such rewards, including several Middle Tennessee employers that bolster the shared ridership incentive for their commuters. In 2018, Hytch reports that its users shared rides to avoid roughly 8 million vehicle miles travelled, circumventing approximately 7 million pounds of associated carbon dioxide emissions.
Hytch partners with WeGo Public Transit, the Music City Star, and the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee to offer these incentives to transit riders. According to WeGo CEO Stephen Bland, “The program is working well and has been well-received by riders. Some of our regular commuters are reporting savings on their commute costs of over 50% per month… because of the innovative nature of the program, we’ve calculated over $55,000 in earned media value,” generally from news stories promoting both the app and the transit service. Read the full article here.
TDEC Seeking Applications for Risk and Resilience Strategic Planning and Engagement Sessions
The TDEC Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices (OPSP) is seeking applicants to participate in its Risk & Resilience Strategic Planning and Community Engagement Sessions. These sessions are designed to support Tennessee communities in performing comprehensive vulnerability and needs evaluations, identifying local priorities, and providing technical assistance and community engagement activities that align with risk-management, resilience planning, environmental stewardship, conservation, smart growth, and sustainability. Up to five community applicants will be selected to receive technical assistance over the project period, which includes: 
  • A half-day strategic planning session with community leaders to identify resilience, environmental, infrastructure, public health, energy, and/or smart growth needs, vulnerabilities, and priorities;
  • A report summarizing the strategic planning session, community vulnerabilities and priorities, and identification of available resources and technical assistance to support strategic action;
  • A full-day workshop featuring technical experts and/or peer communities identifying resources to support community risk management, resilience, and mitigation efforts in at least one community priority area (e.g. water quality, general hazard mitigation planning, or access to natural resources and open spaces) and a community involvement session to identify activities that will educate and engage citizens (e.g., a watershed clean-up, home energy efficiency workshop, or backyard composting workshop); and
  • Periodic follow-up and technical assistance to support the community as it implements its strategic plan.
Click here to learn more and download an application. The deadline to submit is May 3, and announcement of participant selection is anticipated by May 17. Applications can be emailed to Christina Guidry at For more information about OPSP’s Sustainable Resilience for Communities program, click here.
Local Motors Will Use 3-D Printing to Build Olli 2.0 Autonomous Shuttle
In July 2019, Knoxville-based Local Motors will begin mass production of the Olli 2.0, the sequel to its self-driving, fully autonomous, electric shuttle bus that will be produced using 3-D printing polymer technologies. Local Motors states that 3-D printing will allow the company to manufacture the vehicles faster than would be possible with traditional manufacturing methods (e.g., one vehicle every week as opposed to one every four weeks). Learn more about this story here. Learn more about Local Motors and the Olli here.
Nominations Open for 2019 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards
TDEC is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the 2019 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, which honor outstanding accomplishments that support the protection and enhancement of Tennessee’s natural resources. “Being good stewards of our state’s resources is part of what makes Tennessee the beautiful and remarkable place it is,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “These awards help show that we all can do our part, and I can’t wait to see the potential solutions that individual Tennesseans come up with.”
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2019 awards, which include the following categories: Building Green; Clean Air; Energy and Renewable Resources; Environmental Education and Outreach (for both school and non-school projects); Land Use; Materials Management; Natural Heritage; Sustainable Performance; and Lifetime Achievement. 
Alternative fuel vehicles and sustainable transportation projects could be eligible under several categories, including under Clean Air or Energy and Renewable Resources. Any individual, business, organization, educational institution, or agency is eligible for nomination, provided it is located in Tennessee and the project was completed during the 2018 calendar year. A panel of judges will select award recipients based on criteria including level of project or program completion, innovation, and public education. The deadline for nominations is April 30, and winners will be announced in June. Contact Kathy Glapa at (615) 253-8780 or with any questions.
Tennessee Green Fleets Certification Program Open for 2019
The Tennessee Green Fleets (TGF) program offers an opportunity for Tennessee fleets to receive certification for their transportation efficiency efforts. Organized by Tennessee Clean Fuels, TGF certification is based on an applicant’s vehicle data and fleet fuel use. The TGF program recognizes fleets based on actions taken to reduce petroleum consumption, lessen greenhouse gas emissions, and implement alternative fuel vehicles.
Applicants who receive certification will be honored at a special ceremony during the 2019 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo. Applications for 2019 TGF certification are due by June 30. For more information about the program, visit
FTA Low-No Program Funding for Transit Buses
On March 19, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the opportunity for eligible applicants to apply for up to $85 million in competitive grant funds through its Low or No Emissions (Low-No) Bus Program. FTA’s Low-No Program helps project sponsors purchase or lease zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, and can support the acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. Eligible applicants for this opportunity include direct recipients of FTA grants under the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula program, states, local governmental authorities, and Indian Tribes. Instructions for applying can be found on FTA’s website at; applications must be submitted by May 14.
Tennessee’s urbanized area transit agencies may use state match funds in combination with the Low-No Program through the TDOT Office of Public Transportation, Division of Multimodal Transportation Resources. To do so, such agencies must complete and submit advanced state match request forms, as specified under the IMPROVE Act. 
Proposals for funding eligible projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted as part of a consolidated state proposal. Interested transit agencies in non-urbanized areas are encouraged to contact TDOT’s Kaitlyn McClanahan directly at
Webinar: Sustainable Fleet Technology
Fleets can use telematics to compile real-time vehicle monitoring data for any activity or metric that is important to their business and operations. Telematics can be used to gather data on driver safety and behavior, asset management, maintenance, routing, security, liability protection, and efficiency. Click here to sign up for a free webinar on telematics applications for fleets, to occur on March 28 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM CT. The webinar will feature industry experts and fleet representatives that have successfully leveraged telematics data to inform their business decisions.
Register for TennSMART's Spring Member Meeting
TennSMART is a public-private consortium designed to accelerate the development and deployment of new intelligent mobility innovations in Tennessee. It provides a collaborative forum for key stakeholders representing the automotive and trucking industries, local and State government (including TDEC OEP), and research institutions to address opportunities that no one organization could attain alone. TennSMART focuses on research related to connected and automated vehicles, electric vehicles, cybersecurity, freight efficiency, and multimodal commuting.
Registration is now open for TennSMART's Spring 2019 Member Meeting, which will take place on April 9 at the Tennessee Tower in downtown Nashville. Attending TennSMART members will discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in intelligent mobility and will have the opportunity to network with peers and other stakeholders. This event is for TennSMART members and first time guest only. Click here to register for the event.
Sign Up Now for the 2019 Commuter Challenge
Nashville Connector, Davidson County’s first transportation demand management program, seeks to help employers and employees in the Nashville region plan for a better commute. The program assists individuals and companies alike in identifying bus, carpool, train, and walking/biking commuter options available to commuters in the Nashville area.
Recently, Nashville Connector announced that it will host its 2019 Commuter Challenge from April 27-May 3. As part of this challenge, Nashville’s downtown commuting participants can pledge to not drive alone for at least one trip to work during the week. To do this, commuters may carpool, ride a bike or scooter, take public transit, walk to work, or work from home. Click here to sign up as a company or as an individual for the 2019 Challenge. Registrants will receive a Challenge Guide and Tracking Template to help plan for the event. Awards will also be given to top participants. Learn more at
2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference
The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference will showcase the latest alternative fuel technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, and propane industries. The conference will also have a strong focus on data-driven innovations designed to make fleets more sustainable. Registration is now open for the conference, which will run August 7-8, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. Learn more about the event at
Save-the-Date for Renewable Natural Gas Workshop in Nashville
RNG WORKS is a two-day technical workshop and trade expo for the North American Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) industry, hosted by the RNG Coalition. The Coalition recently released a save-the-date for an RNG WORKS event in Nashville from September 11-12. The event is designed to educate feedstock owners (landfill, wastewater, livestock, agriculture, food processing, etc.); RNG project developers, operators, financiers, and engineers; and RNG end-users (fleets, municipalities, utilities, etc.) about RNG best practices and resources for increased development, deployment, and utilization of RNG across the region. Learn more at
Transportation Resilience Conference 2019
The Transportation Research Board, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and Federal Highway Administration are sponsoring the second annual International Conference on Transportation System Resilience to Natural Hazards and Extreme Weather Events, which will take place in Washington D.C. from November 13-15. The conference will provide transportation professionals with information on emerging best practices on how to adapt surface transportation networks to the potential impacts of natural disasters and extreme weather events. The conference will also examine efforts to integrate resilience in all aspects of the transportation sector, including planning and programming, capital improvements, and operations and maintenance. Finally, the conference will promote international dialogue on research, implementation, and lessons learned on this important topic, with benefits that are expected to extend beyond the transportation sector.
Conference organizers are now accepting solicitations for presentations to be shared at the conference. Interested parties should provide pitches on case studies, applied research, and innovative approaches to resilience in transportation. Click here to submit presentation ideas, due by May 3. Visit for more information about the event.
Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 37
The Transportation Energy Data Book (TEDB) is a compendium of data on transportation with an emphasis on energy, emissions, and alternative fuels. The TEDB is produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the U.S. DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office. Designed for use as a desktop reference, the TEDB was first published in 1976 and has continued to be updated since. TEDB provides statistics and data on a variety of transportation, vehicle class, and alternative fuels activities and can be accessed on ORNL’s website. A PDF of the report can be found here.
2019 U.S. Energy Employment Report
According to the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER), jointly compiled by the National Association for State Energy Officials and the Energy Futures Initiative, Tennessee’s energy sector employed more than 200,000 workers in 2018:
  • Traditional Energy employed 55,248 workers (1.6 percent of all U.S. Traditional Energy jobs): 11,901 workers in Electric Power Generation; 7,702 workers in Fuels; 35,644 workers in Transmission, Distribution, and Storage
  • Energy Efficiency employed 53,006 workers (2.3 percent of all U.S. Energy Efficiency jobs)
  • Motor Vehicles employed 104,591 workers (4.1 percent of all U.S. Motor Vehicle jobs)
Visit to download USEER or explore the report’s findings on a state-by-state basis. 

Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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