U.S. DOE Awards $2.8 Billion to Supercharge U.S. Manufacturing of Batteries for EVs and Electric Grid

U.S. DOE announced the first set of projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrical grid as well as materials and components currently imported from other countries. The 20 selected companies will receive a combined $2.8 billion to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states to extract and process lithium, graphite, and other battery materials, manufacture components, and demonstrate new approaches, including the manufacturing of components from recycled materials. Recipients will match the federal investment to leverage a total of more than $9 billion. Responsible and sustainable domestic sourcing of the critical materials used to make lithium-ion batteries, such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite, will strengthen the American supply chain, accelerate battery production to meet increased demand, and secure the nation’s economic competitiveness, energy independence, and national security. 

Of the 20 selected recipients, three are located in Tennessee.  
  • Microvast, located in Clarksville, will receive $200 million to support the development of a thermally stable polyaramid separator manufacturing plant
  • Novonix in Chattanooga will receive $150 million for large scale, energy efficient, domestic production of high-performance synthetic graphite anode material for use in EVs and energy storage systems.
  • Piedmont Lithium, located in McMinn Co, will receive $141 million for their “Tennessee Lithium” project and associated plant, which is expected to be the largest lithium hydroxide plant in the United States.
Learn more about the individual projects here.

ORNL to Partner on Research and Design Projects to Accelerate Advancements in Lightweighting of Vehicles

The U.S. DOE Vehicle Technologies Office has selected five industry-led research and development projects to receive $2.5 million to address key technical challenges associated with the application of lightweight materials to improve the energy efficiency of EVs. The award recipients will partner with a member of the Lightweight Materials Consortium, or LightMAT, to accelerate solutions to the nation’s toughest materials challenges in the energy sector. 

These projects will help decarbonize the transportation sector and enhance the infrastructure needed to support the growing adoption of zero-emission vehicles. Oak Ridge National Laboratory will partner with General Motors on two projects: a machine learning assisted weld quality diagnostic tool to assure structural integrity of EV battery enclosure and the development of a sustainable aluminum alloy for lightweight ultralarge castings. 

U.S. DOE Requests Information on EV No-Charge Events

The U.S. DOE Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) is requesting information on the prevalence of and solutions to EV no-charge events or issues related to EVs failing to charge properly when connected to chargers. VTO is developing plans to implement the Vehicle Grid Integration Research, Development, and Demonstration Program, as directed by the Energy Act of 2020, and one of the barriers to vehicle grid integration to be addressed is the issue of some EVs failing to charge satisfactorily when connected to EV supply equipment (EVSE or chargers). These no-charge events either fail to start charging or fail to complete the charge without interruption. Responses to this request must be submitted by November 1 at 5:00 pm ET

Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations Releases Draft Report on EVs in Tennessee

The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) has drafted a report that details the potential impacts of increased EV adoption in the state. Increasing costs for road construction and decreasing collection of fuel taxes will impact the State’s revenues for public road and bridge maintenance.

EV drivers do not pay the State’s gas tax, which has traditionally provided the bulk of funding for state and local road repair and construction projects. Additionally, the average national vehicle fuel efficiency is expected to increase, further limiting consumers’ fuel purchases and the payment of fuel taxes. TACIR recommends that lawmakers examine potential alternative means of financing transportation infrastructure to offset lost revenues without discouraging EV adoption. 

One alternative to the gas tax that is mentioned in the report is an increased annual registration fee for electric vehicles. TACIR notes that this could supplement the loss in revenue from decreased gas tax collection. 

Metro Nashville's Commitment to EVs

EVs are the future of low-carbon, multimodal transportation in Nashville. Whether car, truck, bike, scooter, or bus, EVs comprise a growing part of the way Nashville moves. Watch as Mayor Cooper test drives an EV and talks about the city’s commitment to EVs and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with a goal of reducing GHG emissions 80% by 2050. Metro Nashville currently manages more than 20 charging sites available for public use.

Two TN Entities Awarded Funding for Low- and No-Emissions Transit Buses

U.S. DOT’s Federal Transit Administration announced $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states to invest in 150 bus fleets and facilities. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more than 1,100 of funded vehicles will use zero-emissions technology, which reduces air pollution. This year's funding will nearly double the number of zero-emission transit buses on America's roadways. The Low or No Emission competitive program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as the acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. For the first time, 5% of low- and no-emission bus funding will be used to train transit workers on maintaining and operating new clean bus technology.

In Tennessee, TDOT will receive funding on behalf of urban and rural transit agencies across the state to purchase new buses and close to 200 demand response vehicles to replace older vehicles that have surpassed their useful life. Additionally, the Memphis Area Transit Authority will receive $54 million to build an operations and maintenance facility as well as additional funding to purchase all-electric buses and associated charging equipment and to provide workforce development training for operating and maintaining the buses.
EV Manufacturing Updates in Tennessee

Daejin Advanced Materials USA Inc. Announces New Facility in Cumberland City
Daejin Advanced Materials USA Inc. announced its decision to invest $10.2 million to establish its second U.S. manufacturing and processing facility of polymers and plastics for the EV battery industry in Cumberland City. The facility will be located in a portion of the Stewart-Houston Industrial Park, and the investment will create 83 new jobs in Houston and Stewart counties.
Ford Breaks Ground on BlueOval City in Haywood County 
Ford Motor Company has officially broken ground on BlueOval City, a $5.6 billion project in Haywood County. BlueOval City is expected to be Ford’s largest and most advanced auto production complex in the company’s history and will accelerate its target of two million EVs produced annually by late 2026. The nearly six-square-mile mega campus in West Tennessee will create approximately 6,000 new jobs when production begins in 2025 on an all-new electric truck and advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles.
Duksan Breaks Ground on Shelbyville Site
Duksan Electera America, Inc. broke ground in Shelbyville on the company's first North American electrolyte manufacturing plant. The company will invest $95 million and create 101 new jobs in Bedford County. A video recap of the event can be found here.   

Clean School Bus Updates

EPA to Double Clean School Bus Rebate Awards to Nearly $1 Billion
EPA announced it will increase the funding awarded for clean school buses this year following high demand, with school districts from all 50 states applying for the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates. This is with regard to the first round of funding from the EPA Clean School Bus Program, which the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created with a historic $5 billion investment for low- and zero-emission school buses over the next five years.
Bledsoe County Schools Welcomes New Electric School Bus
In September, Bledsoe County Schools officials unveiled the district’s new all-electric school bus and demonstrated it to county leaders and emergency personnel. The purchase was made possible by a $600,000 EPA grant the district was awarded earlier this year. 

U.S. DOE Webinar Series: EV Grid Assist

U.S. DOE is hosting a webinar series as part of DOE’s EVGrid Assist: Accelerating the Transition initiative. This initiative aims to support decision-makers by providing timely information on a wide range of topics important to the integration of EVs and the grid. More information regarding EV Grid Assist and registration links for the upcoming webinars can be found at Click on any webinar title listed below to register.  

Chattanooga Green Prix

A student-designed and -built electric power race car event, the Chattanooga Green Prix, led by Green|Spaces, will take place October 28-29 at the Chattanooga Riverwalk. Participants range from elementary to high-school students from Hamilton County who construct Greenpower USA electric power race cars. Participating students learn about team building, engineering, electrical wiring, alignment, and aerodynamics through this event. Find the race schedule for both days here, and sign-up to volunteer for the event here

Register Now: Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo and Drive Electric TN Momentum Summit

TDEC, TDOT, and Tennessee Clean Fuels will hold the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo (STF&E) on November 8-9 at the UT Conference Center in downtown Knoxville, returning the event to an in-person format for the first time since 2019. The research, technology, planning, and policy developments shared at STF&E aim to improve transportation efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, and address the mobility needs of all.

STF&E will feature expert speakers and panels, an alternative fuel vehicle and equipment showcase, and a ceremony that honors winners of the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards. Participants can look forward to a welcome from Knoxville’s Mayor Indya Kincannon, followed by speakers who will address topics including “Mobility Justice & Expanding Transportation Access,” “Research in Sustainable Transportation,” and “Where Transportation and Public Health Intersect.” Session descriptions and the full agenda are now available on  

This year, STF&E will be preceded by the inaugural Drive Electric TN Momentum Summit on November 7, which will focus exclusively on transportation electrification efforts, including breakout groups focused on outreach, EV infrastructure, policies & programs, and innovation. Register now for both STF&E and the Momentum Summit.

Mobility Innovation Collaborative Workshop

The Mobility Innovation Collaborative is a Shared-Use Mobility Center program run in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to provide technical assistance to nearly 50 FTA grantees from across the country, increase awareness about mobility innovations, and share lessons learned from projects. These grantees are spearheading some of the most innovative and challenging projects in the mobility landscape relating to automation, mobility on demand, novel data sources, data integration, and payment integration.

The Mobility Innovation Collaborative Workshop is an interactive event to discuss key technical issues on mobility innovation with experts, to meet peer mobility innovators from around the country, and to share lessons learned from pilot projects. This workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn from and have conversations with transit agency officials, policymakers, public and private sector leaders, transportation experts, and innovators from around the country.

The workshop is free and open to the public and will take place November 16-17 at the Tennessee Room in the Westin Memphis Beale Hotel in Memphis. Click here to register.


U.S. DOT Funding Available for Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation Grants Program

The Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grants program is now open.  The SMART program was established to provide grants to eligible public sector agencies to conduct demonstration projects focused on advanced smart community technologies and systems to improve transportation efficiency and safety. 

Funding for FY22 will be $100 million, and the FY22 Notice of Funding Opportunity is available here and on The SMART Grants Program includes two stages: Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping Grants and Stage 2 Implementation Grants. U.S. DOT anticipates that only recipients of Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping Grants will be eligible for Stage 2 Implementation Grants and anticipates funding projects of up to $2,000,000 per project for Stage 1 and up to $15,000,000 per project for Stage 2.

Eligible applicants for the SMART Grants Program include states, political subdivisions of a state, federally recognized Tribal governments, public transit agencies or authorities, public toll authorities, metropolitan planning organizations, or groups of two or more eligible entities applying through a single application. SMART grants may be used to carry out a project that demonstrates at least one of the following:
  • Coordinated automation
  • Connected vehicles
  • Sensors, Systems integration
  • Delivery/logistics
  • Innovative aviation
  • Smart grid
  • Traffic signals 
Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm ET November 18

Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee Funding Available to Replace Older Diesel Vehicles with Clean Vehicle Options

The East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition’s (ETCF) “Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee” Program is making funding available in Tennessee to replace older diesel vehicles that are class 5-8 with either new alternative fuel vehicles (e.g., propane, compressed natural gas, electric, or hybrid vehicles) or new diesel vehicles. The program is funded by the U.S. EPA Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) State Formula Grant, which provides funding to states to reduce diesel emissions. 

Funding can also be requested to replace engines in older diesel vehicles with new alternative-fueled or diesel engines, convert diesel vehicles to run on alternative fuels, or to deploy Truck Stop Electrification equipment at Tennessee-based Travel Centers and trucking terminals. Anyone with a fleet that resides in Tennessee can apply for a maximum of 15 new vehicles or engine replacements, and public and private locations that would like to install Truck Stop Electrification or electric trailer refrigeration units may also apply.

ETCF will host a webinar on November 10 to review the funding opportunity. The instructional webinar from December 2021 is also available here. Proposals are due December 9 at 5 pm CT. The Request for Proposals and Application Guide are available here

Inflation Reduction Act Tax Credit Updates

Alternative Fuel Tax Credit Retroactively Extended for Propane Autogas Vehicles
The Propane Education & Research Council is encouraging propane autogas fleet operators to take advantage of the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit, which was extended by the newly-passed Inflation Reduction Act. Propane autogas fleet operators who apply can claim a credit for every gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) of propane autogas purchased, up to 37 cents per gallon. The bill extends the credits through Dec. 31, 2024, and fleet owners can also apply for credits retroactively for any fuel purchases made since the beginning of 2022. Tax-exempt entities that use propane autogas from an on-site fueling station for a vehicle fleet also qualify for the incentive.
Eligible Vehicles for the Clean Vehicle Credit
U.S. DOE has provided a list of model year 2022 and early model year 2023 EVs eligible for the Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit available under section 30D of the Internal Revenue Code (EV credit). Because some vehicle models are built in multiple locations, there may be vehicles on the list that do not meet the requirement of final assembly in North America. To identify the manufacturer’s location for a specific vehicle, please search the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the VIN Decoder website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 
Additional information on incentives for clean transportation can be found here.   

Switching to an Electric Forklift: How to Calculate the Battery Amp-Hour Capacity

Switching from a fuel-powered forklift to an electric one brings tangible benefits to users. However, it’s important to understand how to calculate the lithium battery amp-hour capacity for electric forklifts so you don’t have inadequate equipment. This article demonstrates how to correctly calculate the lithium forklift battery amp-hour (Ah) capacity for switching to electric forklifts. For companies looking to make the switch, TVA EnergyRight for Business & Industry offers incentives to help offset the cost of switching to electrical equipment.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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