Tennessee State Parks, Rivian Partner on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
TDEC announced it is partnering with electric vehicle (EV) automaker and automotive technology company Rivian to install Rivian Waypoint EV charging stations at Tennessee State Parks. The goal is to have charging stations available at all 56 state parks systemwide, depending on the availability of electricity and planned future park upgrades.
Rivian will oversee the design and installation of the Level 2 chargers, which are compatible with all EV models currently on the road. The open-network chargers can provide up to 11.5 kilowatts of power, enabling EV drivers to top up on miles while enjoying a day trip or an overnight campout. In addition to providing the equipment and overseeing design and installation, Rivian will provide any necessary utility upgrades associated with the charger installation at no cost to the state or taxpayers. Rivian will also cover all network access fees, equipment service, and maintenance for 10 years. Under the estimated timeline, Rivian will begin site surveys and engineering over the summer, with installation beginning as early as Fall 2021 and stretching into March 2022.
Metro Nashville Launches Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure
The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Metro Nashville) has launched a new Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure, which will be responsible for a variety of issues such as traffic congestion, road maintenance, parking, permitting, bridges, street signs, and multimodal mobility.

This dedicated department for transportation issues stems from the Metro Nashville Transportation Plan, (adopted in 2020 by Metro Council), which emphasizes Metro Nashville’s focus on providing a modern multimodal transportation network that prioritizes safety and equity. Click here to read the full press release. 
Register for Special Tennessee EV License Plate
Registration is currently open for a special Tennessee EV license plate that will allow drivers to display their support of transportation electrification and Drive Electric Tennessee (DET). The first 1,000 registrants will receive this license plate free for the first year, and proceeds from registrations will be used to directly fund DET projects and programs. Click here to register.
TVA Video Series: Life with an Electric Vehicle
TVA EnergyRight is promoting EVs in the Tennessee Valley through a new video series on what it’s like to own an EV. “Life with an Electric Vehicle” features host Raven Hernandez, Founder and CEO of Nashville-based EV ridehailing service Earth Rides, going behind the wheel with a new guest in a different Tennessee Valley city each week to bust common EV myths and answer important consumer questions. The first three videos, filmed in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Huntsville, are currently available for viewing. Additional episodes filmed in Bristol and Knoxville will be released soon.
UT-Chattanooga Receives Funding for New Smart Corridor Project
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) was recently awarded a $1.37 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create Smart Corridor+, a 1.2-mile stretch in downtown Chattanooga that will be used to study traffic flow, public safety and transportation, environmental impacts, and other quality-of-life concerns. Through an online portal, researchers around the world will be able to study Smart Corridor+ with video, computer analysis, performance-measuring tools, continuously updated data, and other technologies to reduce pedestrian injuries and coordinate autonomous and connected vehicles. These funds will also allow for an expansion of the existing MLK Smart Corridor and will also bring Smart Corridor+ to Chattanooga-area high school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students. Click here to learn more about CUIP and Smart Corridor+.
Electrify America Reveals Cycle 3 National ZEV Investment Plan
Under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement, VW must invest $2 billion over 10 years in projects that support the increased use of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), which are defined as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). VW has created a separate entity within VW Group of America, known as Electrify America, LLC, to oversee the ZEV investment. The funding will be distributed over four, 30-month cycles: $300 million per cycle in the National ZEV Investment Plan with EPA oversight (totaling $1.2 billion) and $200 million per cycle in the California ZEV Investment Plan with California Air Resources Board (CARB) oversight (totaling $800 million).

In June, Electrify America released its Cycle 3 National ZEV Investment Plan (covering the third of the four cycles, which will run from January 2022 to July 2024). The Plan details how Electrify America will invest $300 Million in Cycle 3 funds into charging infrastructure and consumer education—including in areas not previously addressed in Cycles 1 and 2, such as access to EV charging for residents of multi-unit dwellings and infrastructure for taxi and transportation network company vehicles.

The Cycle 3 National ZEV Investment Plan outlines community charging infrastructure investments in 25 metropolitan areas, including the Nashville-Davidson County, Murfreesboro, and Franklin metropolitan area, and expands upon Cycle 1 and 2 investments in EV corridor charging along major highways. Several of these corridors run through Tennessee, including I-40, I-24, I-65, and I-75. The Plan anticipates 1-3 new stations to be added to the Nashville area and identifies the I-24 corridor between Manchester, TN and Atlanta as a regional route to be prioritized for new stations, upgrades and enhancements, and ongoing operations. As of now, there are ten Electrify America stations that are online and operational in Tennessee (in Memphis, Jackson, Clarksville, Nashville, Manchester, Cookeville, Ooltewah, Knoxville, and Kodak).

The Cycle 3 Plan and other related documents can be found at TDEC submitted feedback to Electrify America in response to Cycle 1, Cycle 2, and Cycle 3 solicitations for public comment, proposals, and recommendations. For more information on the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement in Tennessee, visit
2021 Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference
This year’s fifth annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference will be held as a series of virtual events highlighting the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities. Each session will feature expert speakers from across the U.S. that will discuss the latest opportunities for biofuel, electric, natural gas, and propane fuels and fueling, with a focus on data-driven decisions, tools, and technologies. These sessions will occur every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00-3:30 PM Eastern from September 9 through October 19. Upcoming sessions include:
Registration for each session is available free of charge. Click on the links above to register for individual sessions.
STEM Talent Challenge
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced the launch of the STEM Talent Challenge to support programs to train science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent and fuel regional innovation economies across the nation. The $2 million program will provide funding for work-and-learn programs to increase America’s STEM-capable workforce in emerging and transformative sectors such as space commerce, aeronautics, digital manufacturing, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and cybersecurity. Competition applicants may request up to $250,000 for implementation of a 24-month workforce development program that complements their region’s innovation economy. The deadline to apply is October 12. Click here to access the full Notice of Funding Opportunity. Click here to apply.
CANCELLED: 2021 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo
In response to increases in COVID-19 cases across the state, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and Tennessee Clean Fuels (TNCleanFuels) have cancelled the in-person 2021 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo (STF&E). Participants who had already paid registration for the event will have their registration fees returned to them over the coming weeks. If you have questions about this process, please contact
Event organizers still plan to host STF&E content for the public later this year. More information will be announced soon at
TAEBC Releases 2021 Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report
Every three years, the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) releases an Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report to provide context for decisions by public officials and private sector leaders to make lasting contributions to Tennessee’s economic base for the next decade and beyond. Advanced energy refers to any technology that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure, and more efficient. It includes manufacturers and companies that use advanced energy technologies, as well as professional service providers, researchers, and entrepreneurs. TAEBC’s recently released 2021 Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report further defines the scope of Tennessee’s robust advanced energy sector with updated stats that quantify Tennessee’s advanced energy economic impact, including the following stats based on 2019 County Business Patterns (CBP) data from the U.S. Census Bureau (the most recent data available):
  • Tennessee’s average advanced energy sector salary is much higher than the state’s overall average salary ($63,586 compared to $47,688). With nearly 394,000 employees at 20,340 advanced energy establishments statewide, total payroll spending amounts to $25.0 billion.
  • By 2019, the advanced energy sector experienced employment growth at a pace higher than overall employment growth (10% compared to 5.1%). Total advanced energy establishments in Tennessee have risen by 11.9%, annual payroll expenditures have increased by 9.9%, and state GDP is up 8.2% since 2016.
  • The advanced energy sector is vitally important to the Tennessee economy, accounting for $45.8 billion in state GDP in 2019—12.2% of total state GDP for that year.
  • The more than 16,000 electric vehicles produced in Tennessee each year accounts for nearly 40% of the Southeast’s EV manufacturing jobs. In fact, Tennessee ranks number one in the Southeast for EV manufacturing. To date, TNECD reports there has been over $6.2 billion in capital investment from EV projects, over 19,700 Tennesseans employed by companies with EV operations, and over 4,200 new job commitments.
Click here to access the report.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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