Register Now: 2021 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and Tennessee Clean Fuels (TNCleanFuels) will hold the seventh annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo (STF&E) on October 20-21, 2021 at the Nashville Public Library in downtown Nashville. 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. An agenda for the 2021 STF&E will be made available soon.
Each year, STF&E features an alternative fuel vehicle and equipment showcase as well as a luncheon that honors winners of the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards (TSTAs). A networking reception will also be held on the evening of October 20. In 2021, STF&E organizers are also partnering with Drive Electric Tennessee to bring transportation electrification topics to the forum agenda and to host a one-day electric vehicle stakeholder event the day before STF&E on October 19. More details about this pre-STF&E event will be made available shortly.
Register now at An advanced conference registration rate of $50 will be available until October 4. For attendees that require overnight accommodations, hotel blocks are available at the Courtyard Nashville Downtown (call 615-256-0900 with code STFE2021) and Home2 Suites by Hilton Nashville (call 615-254-2170 with code TDE). These discounted rates will expire when the group blocks sell out, so be sure to book accommodations early.
STF&E organizers are currently soliciting proposals for a poster display session to be held during the forum. Posters should highlight projects or research focused on the implementation of sustainable transportation and enhanced mobility solutions. Topics in previous years have included multi-modal transportation projects, fleet and alternative fuel infrastructure innovations, shared vehicle programs (e.g., bikesharing, carsharing), and more. Proposals should be no more than 300 words and may be submitted by any entity. The summarized project(s) and/or research must pertain to actionable sustainable transportation solutions. Presenters should be prepared to speak about their projects with event attendees in a dedicated poster session. All poster presenters will receive complementary STF&E registration.
Poster proposals must be sent to by Friday, July 30 for consideration at the 2021 forum. Selected poster presenters will be notified by August 13 of their acceptance and will be provided further instruction at that time for final poster creation.
Learn more about STF&E at
New EV Battery Manufacturing Facility to Open in Chattanooga
Novonix, a company that develops and commercializes material for the lithium-ion battery market, recently announced that it will invest $160 million into purchasing and retrofitting a facility in Chattanooga. Novonix will use the facility to produce synthetic graphite for use in lithium-ion battery production, including for electric vehicle applications. The 400,000-square-foot plant will be outfitted to produce up to 8,000 tons of the material annually and will create 290 jobs. This comes following Volkswagen’s $800 million dollar investment to expand its Chattanooga facility for the production of electric vehicles, a project that is underway and on schedule for production to begin in 2022.

KAT to Receive Funding for All-Electric Transit Buses
Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) has been awarded $4.8 million through U.S. DOT’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program, a grant program that provides funding to state and local government authorities for the purchase or lease of zero- and low-emission transit buses as well as supporting facilities. KAT will utilize the grant funds to purchase six all-electric transit buses and associated charging infrastructure, bringing the transit agency’s all-electric fleet to 18 total buses by the end of 2022 and advancing a goal to electrify the entire 71-bus fleet by the end of the decade. Use of electric transit buses will support the City of Knoxville’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from City operations 50% by 2030 and community-wide emissions 80% by 2050.
Apply to Host a Tesla Supercharger in Nashville 
Tesla has identified Nashville as an area of high priority for expanding its public charging infrastructure and is actively seeking applications from Nashville-area businesses to host Superchargers onsite. Selected applicants who agree to terms with the company will have the chargers constructed and managed by Tesla on the lot, allowing business owners to both promote electric vehicles and attract customers to their location. Ideal hosting sites would support eight or more individual parking stalls and provide a hospitable experience with amenities such as restaurants, grocery stores, shops, restrooms, and Wi-Fi. This ongoing site selection is based both on market expansion needs as well as popular routes and destinations. Applications to become a site host are due July 30. Click here to access the application. For questions related to this application process, please contact
EV Owners and Enthusiasts Meet & Greet
The Appalachian Highlands Chapter of Drive Electric Tennessee is hosting an electric vehicle driver and enthusiast meet and greet in Johnson City on July 20 at 6:30 PM Eastern. The event will allow attendees to network, learn, celebrate electric vehicle successes, and plan for future chapter initiatives designed to increase electric vehicle adoption. Click here for more information.
Webinar: Public Transit as a Climate Solution
The Transportation Research Board will hold a webinar on July 21 from 1:00 to 2:30 PM Eastern that will explore public transit as a climate solution. Presenters will explain the sustainability benefits of public transportation, including a reduced carbon footprint and reductions in other associated transportation emissions. They will also provide tools that transit agencies and other planning organizations can use to work toward low-carbon solutions. Click here to register.
PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program
The PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program supports bicycle infrastructure projects and targeted advocacy initiatives that make it easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities to ride. While most funds go toward bicycle infrastructure projects such as bike baths, lanes, trails, and bridges; mountain bike facilities; bike parks and pump tracks; BMX facilities; and end-of-trip facilities such as bike racks, bike parking, bike repair stations, and bike storage, grants may also fund advocacy projects such as city street transformation and campaigns to increase investment in bicycle infrastructure. The grant program accepts requests for funding up to $10,000. Letters of interest to apply are due July 23 and full applications are due October 15. Click here to submit a letter of interest.
TDOT’s Multimodal Access Grant
TDOT’s Multimodal Access Grant is a State-funded program created to support the transportation needs of transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists through infrastructure projects that address existing gaps along State routes. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
  • Pedestrian crossing improvements, including signage, signalization, median pedestrian refuge islands, and crosswalks;
  • Shoulders and sidewalks;
  • Bicycle lanes;
  • Improvements that address requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Shared-use paths (pedestrian and bicycle traffic) located within the transportation corridor;
  • Transit stop amenities;
  • Road diets or traffic calming measures that enhance bicycle and/or pedestrian safety;
  • Separated bicycle facilities; and
  • Park and ride facilities for carpooling or access to transit.
Eligible applicants include Tennessee cities and counties. Multimodal Access Grants can provide up to 95% of a project’s total cost, requiring a 5% local match. Total project costs must not exceed $1 million. Applicants must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply to by July 30 at 11:59 PM Central. For questions, contact Robert Johnson at or 615-741-4449. Click here to read more. Click here to see a list of previous years’ awards.
Arcimoto Electric Vehicle Demonstrations in Memphis and Nashville
In coordination with Tennessee Clean Fuels and Drive Electric Tennessee, Oregon-based Arcimoto will host a series of electric vehicle demonstrations and ride and drives in Tennessee. The first two events in Memphis and Nashville (on August 17 and 19, respectively) will allow attendees to learn about and test drive two different models of Arcimoto all-electric vehicles. These three-wheel, small footprint vehicles are built to maximize efficiency and can be used for rapid response/emergency services, last mile delivery, or as fun utility vehicles. To RSVP for these free events, please complete the registration form here for Memphis and here for Nashville. More information, including the specific event location/time and details on future dates in East Tennessee, will be announced soon. Please direct any questions to Mark Finlay at
Report: Benefits of Transportation Electrification in a Post-Pandemic World
Atlas Public Policy and the Alliance for Transportation Electrification released a new report that highlights the public health, economic, and environmental costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It also details how the U.S. can reap the benefits of transportation electrification to reduce the disproportionate burden of economic and public health impacts borne by underserved communities due to issues such as long-term exposure to dirty air, increased occupational hazards, and disproportionate levels of unemployment. The report specifies how recent federal actions and commitments to vehicle electrification made by automakers, utilities, and other key players in the U.S. electric vehicle market have increased the number and breadth of pathways that policymakers can pursue to accelerate the shift toward transportation electrification and capture more of the billions of dollars in investments committed to the technology worldwide. Click here to access the report.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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