Washington County Schools Unveils Tennessee’s First All-Electric School Bus
On June 3, Washington County Schools held a ribbon cutting ceremony to debut the first all-electric school bus in Tennessee. Following a competitive grant solicitation process under the State of Tennessee’s Volkswagen Settlement School Bus Replacement Grant Program, TDEC provided the Washington County Department of Education with a grant of $219,250 to support their replacement of an older diesel school bus with the new all-electric school bus and associated charger for their fleet. The project stands out not only for its use of a zero-emission vehicle technology, but also for the demonstrated commitment of key utility partners, TVA and BrightRidge, who supported the effort through additional cost share contributions. The vehicle has a range of 120 miles on a single charge and produces none of the harmful tailpipe emissions associated with traditional diesel engine buses. TDEC OEP estimates that this electric bus will avoid approximately 1,022 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions over the vehicle’s lifetime. The project also supports the multi-stakeholder Drive Electric Tennessee consortium fulfill its goal to drive electric vehicle adoption and increase the presence of electric vehicles in diverse applications statewide.
Governor Lee, TNECD Announce NOVONIX to Expand Chattanooga Manufacturing Operations
Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced together with officials from NOVONIX that the company will expand its manufacturing operations in Chattanooga. NOVONIX established its anode materials business, PUREgraphite, in 2017 to develop and commercialize ultra-long-life, high performance anode material for the lithium-ion battery market, specifically for electric vehicles and similar storage applications. To address the need for a U.S.-based lithium-ion battery supply chain, the company will expand its operations with a second facility in Chattanooga, a 400,000-plus square foot plant to accommodate over 8,000 tonnes of anode material produced annually. The expansion represents an investment of approximately $160 million and will create 290 new jobs in Hamilton County. Click here to learn more about NOVONIX and its efforts in the electric vehicle battery supply chain.

Tennessee Fleets Named Among 100 Best Fleets in the Americas
100 Best Fleets is a national fleet management recognition program designed to identify and reward peak performing fleet operations. Managed by the National Administration of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) Fleet Management Association, the program evaluates fleets on their use of technology and information, collaboration, performance, efficiency, staff development, and resource use stewardship. This year, several Tennessee fleets were featured on the 100 Best list, including the City of Germantown, the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and the Knoxville Utilities Board. Each of these fleets has been recognized for fleet vehicle performance and innovative practices. Click here for the full list of winners.
Amazon Funds Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing in Nashville 
Amazon recently announced a commitment of $75 million for developers to create affordable homes in Nashville near WeGo Public Transit high-capacity corridors. The company reported that 800 homes will be built on private land in Nashville as part of its more than $2 billion Housing Equity Fund, to preserve and create over 20,000 affordable homes in target regions through below-market loans to housing partners, traditional and non-traditional public agencies, and minority-led organizations. Music City is one of three cities hosting the company's new headquarters, where Amazon hopes to infuse communities with cash and support over the next five years. Affordable housing will also be developed in Washington’s Puget Sound region and in Arlington, Virginia. Amazon will focus on affordable properties within a half-mile of transit stops and "prioritize opportunities to invest in minority-led organizations and racially and economically diverse communities," the company reported. Click here to learn more.
Seven States Power Corporation Installs Chargers at ETSU Campus
Seven States Power Corporation recently celebrated the installation of eight electric vehicle charging stations on the campus of East Tennessee State University (ETSU). The charging stations were funded by the campus sustainability fee, which has been part of ETSU’s tuition since 2008, and were installed as part of a partnership with Seven States Power Corporation, which is serving as the project manager, and BrightRidge, which is powering the chargers. The project marks the 100th installation of electric vehicle charging stations by Seven States Power in the Tennessee Valley since the company's first installation in Johnson City in 2019. The eight Level 2 Clipper Creek charging stations are capable of providing up to 25 miles of range per hour. Click here to learn more.
U.S. DOT FY2022 Budget Highlights
U.S. DOT has released a summary of highlights of its proposed FY2022 budget, which includes a strong emphasis on sustainable transportation and electric vehicle efforts. Particular highlights include:
  • $15 billion to build a national electric vehicle charging network over five years, including a grant program to strategically deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors; a discretionary program to address charging needs in underserved communities; and a Joint Deployment Support Program to support a new U.S. DOT and U.S. DOE project to provide technical assistance to grant recipients, perform a national and regionalized study of charging infrastructure needs and deployment factors, support grants for community resilience and electric vehicle integration, and develop and deploy training and certification programs.
  • $100 billion for consumer rebates for electric vehicles.
  • $25 billion for zero emissions transit vehicles.
Click here to access the full budget highlight report.
Electric Truck Bootcamp Webinar Series
The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) will continue its 10-part Electric Truck Bootcamp, an educational series on electric trucks for fleet managers, utility planners, policymakers, and more. The series aims to increase industry awareness of electric trucks, provide professional development opportunities to decision-makers at all stages of their electrification journey, and convene fleets and other stakeholders across the electric truck ecosystem to discuss key opportunities and challenges as they plan for future deployments of electric vehicles. The remaining webinars include:
  • June 29 – Maintenance, Training, & Safety
  • July 13 – Financing the Transition & Innovative Business Models
  • July 27 – Sustainable Supply Chains & End of Life
  • August 10 – Global Perspectives
  • August 24 – Drivers and Electric Trucks
Click here to register for any or all of these free webinars.
Household Vehicle Use: Share of Income at the Census Tract Level
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will host a webinar on June 28 at 1:00 PM Eastern that will discuss how household vehicle fuel consumption can vary geographically and create higher energy cost burdens for low-income households. The webinar is based on a recent study by Argonne National Laboratory that provides a detailed understanding of the geographical variation in burden by connecting vehicles miles traveled, fuel economy, fuel costs, and income data at the census tract level. Its data and framework can help decisionmakers assess impacts of additional transportation costs or policies on affordability for households and can provide a foundation for equity-oriented transportation projects. Click here to register.
EVs in the Smokies
The Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association (KEVA) and Drive Electric Tennessee will host an EVs in the Smokies event on July 10 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern at the Townsend Visitors Center in Townsend, TN. Attendees will be able to speak with electric vehicle owners and learn about transitioning to clean, quiet, fast, and fun electric driving.

If you drive an electric vehicle, bring your vehicle and your lawn chair and enjoy a fun day hanging out in the Smokies to share your enthusiasm with current and future electric vehicle owners. Questions about the event? Contact KEVA at

National Shared Mobility Summit
The Shared-Use Mobility Center is holding the 2021 National Shared Mobility Summit with a four-part virtual series running throughout July. Public and private sector leaders, innovators, and advocates will collaborate with an aim to achieve equitable, accessible, affordable, and clean mobility. Attendees will hear about the latest innovations, strategies, policies, and plans; collaborate in roundtable discussions and breakout sessions; and engage in several opportunities for networking and partnership building. Each week’s session will focus on different infrastructure areas:
  • July 6 from 12:00 PM-4:30 PM Eastern – Informational & Physical Systems
  • July 13 from 12:00 PM-4:30 PM Eastern – Financial & Funding Systems
  • July 20 from 12:00 PM-4:30 PM Eastern – Policy & Institutional Systems
  • July 27 from 12:00 PM-4:30 PM Eastern – Social & Political Systems
Click here to register for the summit.
TennSMART I-24 MOTION Industry Forum
The TennSMART consortium will host a forum on July 10 at 10:00 AM Central to introduce the I-24 MOTION test bed and identify potential research uses of the project, scheduled to be operational in Summer 2022. TDOT is implementing a first of its kind test bed to understand how all types of vehicles interact with each other and the state’s transportation infrastructure, instrumenting a six-mile section of I-24 in the Nashville metro area with over 300 ultra-high definition cameras and converting those images into a digital model of how every vehicle behaves with unprecedented detail. Industry can help shape the future of I-24 MOTION through the identification of instrumentation needs beyond the ultra-high definition camera system currently underway. The forum will allow for exploratory discussions between TDOT and industry partners to identify potential collaboration opportunities. Click here to learn more and register.
Green Transportation Summit & Expo
The 10th annual Green Transportation Summit & Expo (GTSE) will be held in Tacoma, WA both as an in-person and virtual event from August 16-18. The GTSE focuses on clean fleets at the intersection of policy, technology, practice, equity, and the future of mobility with a regional focus and national lens. The event will feature a robust gathering of fleet professionals in the clean fuels industry and situates clean transportation stakeholders and advocates directly in front of influencers and decision-makers who are working to reduce emissions and lower costs for the transportation sector. This year’s theme, “Reflecting + Refocusing on a Resilient Future,” will lend focus to the recent events that have impacted communities and livelihoods across the nation. Click here to register.
Blueprint for an Advanced Battery Supply Chain
The Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) recently released the “National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries 2021-2030,” which codifies the findings of U.S. DOE’s battery supply chain assessment and details how strategic and immediate federal investments will position the U.S. to lead an emerging global market. The blueprint lays out five critical goals to guide federal agency collaboration, secure the nation’s long-term economic competitiveness, and create good-paying jobs for American workers:
  1. Secure access to raw and refined materials / discover alternates for critical minerals;
  2. Support the growth of a U.S. materials-processing base;
  3. Stimulate the U.S. electrode, cell, and pack manufacturing sectors;
  4. Enable U.S. end-of-life reuse and crucial materials recycling; and
  5. Maintain and advance U.S. battery technology leadership by supporting R&D, STEM education, and workforce development.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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