Nominations Open for the 2020 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards
The Tennessee Departments of Environment and Conservation and Transportation (TDEC and TDOT) invite nominations for the sixth annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards. Winners will be announced at the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo, which will be held in November in Chattanooga.

The Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards recognize outstanding initiatives to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state, consistent with ongoing efforts to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans, provide for a strong economy, and protect and enhance our state’s natural resources. A panel of reviewers representing an array of interests will select award winners based on the following criteria:
  • Innovation – how the project utilized new thinking or creative approaches to meet a particular transportation challenge;
  • Best Practices and Replicability – how the project demonstrates a transferable solution, such that others could adopt or implement similar programs or initiatives;
  • Changes in Transportation Behavior – how a project worked to encourage or achieve changes in transportation behavior in order to make a transportation system more efficient;
  • Improvements to Public Health and Safety – how a project creates improvements to public health, well-being, or safety in a given community;
  • Equity and Access – how the project provides sustainable transportation benefits to all community members and creates accessible mobility solutions for diverse audiences.
Eligible applicants include federal, State (excluding divisions under TDEC and TDOT), and local governments; commercial, nonprofit, and industrial organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; and utilities. The entity must be located in Tennessee, and the project must have been completed in the last five years. All nominees must have a minimum of three consecutive, current years of exceptional environmental compliance with TDEC. Self-nominations are encouraged.

More information, including the nomination form, can be found at June 19 is the last day for nominations to be submitted. Questions about the awards can be directed to Alexa Voytek at or 615-532-0238.

2019 Tennessee Electric Vehicle Survey
Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) represent a growing portion of Tennessee’s transportation sector. With nearly 10,000 PEVs on the road in Tennessee today, understanding how and where PEVs are used can better inform planning, policy, and future technology-related investments. To better understand Tennessee’s electric transportation landscape, Drive Electric Tennessee and Tennessee Clean Fuels are undertaking a large-scale survey of PEV owners across the state. All responses will be anonymized and will be utilized to provide insights on PEV use across Tennessee. The data will also be shared with the U.S. Department of Energy, as part of Tennessee Clean Fuels’ annual report on alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technology use within the state.

The survey should take about 5 minutes to complete. If you have any questions, please contact Drive Electric Tennessee at

Tennessee Green Fleets Certification Program Open for 2020
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 during the 2020 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo. Applications for 2020 TGF certification are due July 29. For more information about the program, visit
TAEBC Annual Meeting 2020
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) held its Annual Meeting for 2020 at Schneider Electric’s Nashville Hub this month. Featured speakers included Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe, who emphasized the importance of doubling down on efforts to support the electric vehicle (EV) economy in the state, and TDEC Commissioner David Salyers, who spoke to the role of EVs in Tennessee’s advanced energy economy. Commissioner Salyers also spoke about Drive Electric Tennessee (DET) and the continued development of a statewide EV charging network, reaffirming TDEC’s commitment to providing a cleaner, safer environment and supporting technologies that reduce emissions and improve air quality. TVA Program Manager of Grid Edge & EV Strategy Drew Frye also highlighted efforts under DET and provided an overview of EV trends and the utility’s EV strategy for the state. Click here to read more about the event.
Belmont University Partners with Hytch Rewards to Promote Carpooling to Campus
Belmont University recently partnered with the Hytch Rewards mobile app to provide cash incentives for faculty, staff, and students that share rides on the way to campus. These incentives are intended to encourage more sustainable mobility choices, lower carbon emissions, and further the university’s sustainability goals. The Hytch mobile app acts as a daily mobility diary, tracking emissions reduced or avoided by participating users. Each qualifying carpool mile tracked through the mobile app is rewarded with cash incentives and carbon offsets. Users are able to see their positive impact on air quality firsthand by driving with others, walking, biking, or using mass transit. Belmont will work with Hytch to set challenges during the project’s pilot period for faculty, staff, and students, to see how many trees can be saved and how many single-occupancy vehicle trips can be avoided. Click here to learn more.
ORNL Designs Stop-Light Camera Method to Reduce Fuel Consumption
ORNL researchers, in collaboration with the Tennessee-based traffic management service company, GRIDSMART, recently designed a computer vision system that can identify vehicles at intersections, determine their gas mileage estimates, and direct traffic lights to keep low efficiency vehicles (e.g., freight trucks) moving to reduce fuel waste. This method was tested under a variety of traffic scenarios, with some scenarios showing results that suggest fuel consumption savings of up to 25% in heavy trucks. The project, which is funded by the U.S. DOE Vehicle Technologies Office’s High Performance Computing for Mobility program, is in its first year and will assess the impact of such visioning system approaches on fuel use reduction.
U.S. DOT 2020 Grants for Buses and Facilities Program
U.S. DOT has made $454.6 million available through the Grants for Bus Facilities Program to assist in the financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, including the replacement, rehabilitation, purchase, or lease of buses or related equipment as well as the rehabilitation, purchase, construction, or lease of bus-related facilities. Eligible applicants include direct recipients of FTA grants under the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula program, fixed route bus operators (including local governments), State agencies, and Indian tribes. Proposals must be submitted by March 30, and agencies intending to apply should initiate the process of registering on GRANTS.GOV to ensure completion of registration prior to the submission deadline. Click here for more information, or contact Mark G. Bathrick at
Natural Gas Vehicle Training
The Natural Gas Vehicle Institute (NGVi) will provide Natural Gas Vehicle (NVG) Training at the Holiday Inn Charlotte Airport in Charlotte, NC on June 16-19. Training includes NGV Essentials and Safety Practices, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fuel Inspector Training, and CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification. Early registration for this training event is open until May 7, and regular registration is open until June 4. Click here to see NGVi’s full event listing and to register for training sessions. For more information, please contact Sabrina Dodd at
Webinar: Transportation & COVID-19
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is hosting a webinar on March 23 titled “Transportation & COVID-19 – Practices from Other Disease Outbreaks.” This webinar will highlight how the transportation industry can deal with and manage the current COVID-19 outbreak and will identify a holistic approach that transportation and health agencies may take to contain and manage the outbreak. Addressing disease response in the transportation context is a multi-dimensional task, involving not only transportation and transit organizations, but health organizations, emergency management agencies, and communications outlets as well.

Presenters will discuss their experience with other outbreaks such as H1N1 and Avian Influenza. They will identify challenges COVID-19 has presented in their transportation systems and what their agencies are doing to adapt and mitigate risks for those at greatest risk of contracting the illness. Presenters will also discuss what can be done today to enhance the resiliency of our transportation systems at risk of future similar disease outbreaks.

Webinar: Environmentally Sustainable Funding and Financing
The Transportation Research Board is hosting a webinar on April 22 entitled, “Greener in Many Ways: Environmentally Sustainable Funding and Financing.” This webinar will examine how funding approaches that encourage investment in transportation and infrastructure can also protect the environment and promote sustainability and resiliency. Topics covered will include the Transportation Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy, and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The webinar will also address the realignment transportation spending in several states to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions. Click here for additional information and directions on how to register.
Rescheduled: 2020 Tennessee Environmental Conference
The Tennessee Environmental Conference, now in its nineteenth year, has been rescheduled and will now be hosted at the Meadowview Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport from October 12-14. The conference will feature more than 40 presenters from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors addressing the latest trends, practices, and policies aimed at preserving the state’s natural resources, balancing growth, improving human health, fostering sustainability and innovation, supporting ecotourism, and protecting the environment. TDEC Commissioner David Salyers will deliver the keynote address, and representatives from Drive Electric Tennessee and Tennessee Clean Fuels will provide an update on ongoing efforts to drive electric vehicle adoption in the state. Click here to view the draft agenda.
Transportation Energy Data Book 38
The Transportation Energy Data Book, produced by ORNL for the U.S. DOE Vehicle Technologies Office, is a compendium of data on transportation with an emphasis on energy. ORNL released the 38th edition of this desktop reference earlier this year; the Data Book details petroleum and overall energy consumption in the U.S. transportation sector as well as both light- and heavy-duty vehicle production, sales, and use. Some highlights include:
  • In 2018, the U.S. consumed 20.5 million barrels of petroleum per day, or 21% of the global total.
  • In 2018, transportation energy use accounted for about 28% of total U.S. energy use.
  • Cars and light-duty trucks accounted for 58% of U.S. transportation energy use in 2017.
  • 5,304,000 cars were sold in 2018, which represented 31% of new light-duty vehicle sales.
  • The average U.S. household vehicle travels 11,200 miles per year.
Click here to view the full report.
City and County Vehicle Inventories / Transportation Data
U.S. DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have compiled a dataset on light-duty vehicle inventory at the U.S. city and county level. The dataset provides information on vehicle registrations by vehicle class, fuel type, and model year and shows the changes in adoption trends and fuel economies over time. This data, which is part of a larger suite of state and local energy profile data, can be used to inform energy and infrastructure planning and to provide insight into the current and future state of the U.S. transportation sector. Click here to navigate to the full dataset.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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