Tennessee State Parks Electric Vehicle Charger Installation Update

In 2021, Tennessee State Parks and automaker and electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment manufacturer Rivian announced a partnership to install Level 2 EV chargers at all viable State Parks across Tennessee. The first of these chargers was unveiled in October 2021 at Radnor Lake State Park, and further installations have occurred throughout 2022.
As of this month, free-to-use Rivian Waypoint chargers have been made available to the general public at a total of five State Parks:
  • Cumberland Mountain State Park
  • Fall Creek Falls State Park (two locations)
  • Montgomery Bell State Park
  • Pickwick Landing State Park
  • Radnor Lake State Park
Charging infrastructure installation will continue throughout 2023 to progress toward the partnership’s goals. Click here to access the Tennessee State Parks EV charging station webpage for more information and to access an interactive map showing the locations of commissioned stations as well as the status of those yet to come online.

LG Chem to Invest More than $3 Billion to Establish Cathode Manufacturing Facility in Clarksville

Governor Bill Lee, the TN Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, and LG Chem officials recently announced LG Chem’s plan to invest approximately $3.2 billion to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville, which will support the EV battery value-chain in the U.S. LG Chem’s anticipated investment represents the single largest announced foreign direct investment in Tennessee’s history. The project is expected to create 860 new jobs in Montgomery County. The current plan is for the facility to be constructed on 420 acres at the Allensworth site in Clarksville. Construction is slated to begin in Q1 2023, and the plant is scheduled to be in production by the second half of 2025. Once operational, the facility will be the largest of its kind in the U.S. and is expected to produce roughly 120,000 tons of cathode material annually by 2027, which is enough to power batteries in 1.2 million EV with a range of 310 miles per charge.

Ultium Cells to Invest $275 Million in Spring Hill Plant, Receives Loan from U.S. DOE

In November, Governor Bill Lee and the TN Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced that Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of LG Energy Solution and General Motors, will invest $275 million to expand its battery cell manufacturing plant in Spring Hill. This investment is in addition to the $2.3 billion investment announced in 2021, and will create an additional 400 jobs to increase battery cell production by more than 40% to supply the Spring Hill General Motors assembly plant for the Cadillac LYRIQ and other GM EVs. Production at the 2.8 million-square-foot facility is set to begin in late 2023.
Additionally, to support the company’s expanding efforts toward domestic production of EV battery cells, U.S. DOE announced a $2.5 billion loan to Ultium Cells to help finance the construction of its three new U.S. facilities, including the Spring Hill location. The company plans to coordinate with GM to eliminate 100% of tailpipe emissions from its new U.S. light-duty vehicles by 2035, and the investment supports GM’s plans to install capacity to produce more than one million EVs annually in North America and make its global products and operations carbon neutral by 2040.

TN Entities to Receive Funding to Supercharge U.S. Manufacturing of Batteries for EVs and Electrical Grid

U.S. DOE announced the first set of projects funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for EVs and the electrical grid and for materials and components currently imported from other countries. Twenty 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 manufacturing components from recycled materials. The federal investment will be matched by recipients to leverage a total of more than $9 billion.
Tennessee-based companies Microvast, Inc., NOVONIX Anode Materials LLC, and Piedmont Lithium Inc. will together receive approximately $492 million in federal funding under this announcement for their various projects to strengthen energy independence, create good-paying construction and manufacturing jobs, and lower manufacturing costs. Click here to see fact sheets for each funded project.

AAA Tennessee Launches Pilot for Mobile EV Charging in Nashville

AAA Tennessee has launched a pilot program geared toward helping stranded EV drivers. Nashville is one of 16 cities selected to receive a version of the program to gauge demand for mobile charging technology. In Nashville, the company has equipped one of their trucks with a Blink Charger, which can give a stranded driver a mile's worth of charge per minute. AAA hopes the tech, which can be mobilized 24/7, helps not only with emergencies but with overall "range anxiety" related to EVs. Click here to learn more about the pilot project.

Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure

The Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure (BICI) is a competitive grant program that aims to foster catalytic change in city cycling infrastructure around the world. Though cycling is one of the healthiest, most efficient, environmentally friendly, and financially accessible modes of transportation available, the lack of safe cycling infrastructure remains a major barrier for would-be cycling residents. In many cities, cycling infrastructure remains disconnected, incomplete, and in need of innovation.
Led in partnership with the Global Designing Cities Initiative, BICI will fund ambitious cycling infrastructure projects by providing grants of $400 thousand to $1 million and connect winning cities with world-class technical assistance and a global network of peers to help refine plans, conduct community engagement, collect data, and learn industry best practices.
Application submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis from until February 3, 2023. Selected cities will be announced in spring of 2023. Formal technical assistance and other program support, including opportunities to convene and connect with other winning cities, will begin in the summer of 2023, and last for up to three years. For questions about the program, please email

Ford Motor Company Fund’s West Tennessee Capital Grants Program

Ford Motor Company Fund is accepting applications for a new $1 million Capital Grants program to strengthen and improve local communities’ infrastructure in West Tennessee, home to BlueOval City.
The $1 million in Capital Grants are available for nonprofits, municipalities, and other community-focused organizations in West Tennessee, located in the following counties surrounding Ford’s manufacturing mega campus: Haywood, Fayette, Tipton, Lauderdale, Shelby, and Madison.
The grants are intended to enable capital improvements in the region, including physical infrastructure like playgrounds and construction of new or renovated spaces, such as community centers. The awarded grants will range between $25,000-$100,000.
Applications are due February 3, 2023, by 5:00 PM Central and applicants will be notified of the results by early April. Read FAQs.

Mentors Wanted for Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network

TennSMART and LaunchTN are actively recruiting seasoned leaders with experience in growing companies and raising capital and with technical or functional expertise related to the automotive industry for its Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network. The Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network pairs industry experts with startups through a structured, stage-gate process involving panel presentations and one-on-one mentoring sessions. The goal of the program is to provide sound, valuable advice that will help young companies develop and grow in Tennessee. Click here to apply.

Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) to Fund Multi-State Planning and Implementation Projects

Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) is a new Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) initiative that aims to drive large-scale, regional economic transformation through multi-state collaborative projects across Appalachia. With the additional funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, ARC launched ARISE to strengthen Appalachian business and industry, and to grow and support the development of new opportunities across multiple states.
ARISE encourages the region’s 13 states to think beyond local and state lines and to spearhead initiatives that encourage states to work together as one, united Appalachia to advance ARC’s strategic investment priorities. Applicants must highlight partnerships across multiple states and provide a plan that showcases the economic impact of proposed project as well as how it addresses one or more of ARC’s strategic investment goals:
  • Building Appalachian Businesses
  • Building Appalachia’s Workforce Ecosystem
  • Building Appalachia’s Infrastructure
  • Building Regional Culture and Tourism
  • Building Community Leaders and Capacity
This Request for Proposals (RFP) includes two types of grants: Planning Grants and Implementation Grants. Project eligibility spans a wide variety of category sectors which includes planning and implementation for transportation, infrastructure, and built environment proposals.
Eligible applicants include local development districts; States, counties, cities, or other political subdivisions of a state; institutions of higher education; and public or nonprofit organizations. Projects must serve and benefit a minimum of two states within a portion of the area served by ARC, which includes certain counties in Tennessee. Concept papers and applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis.
ARC held a series of two webinars including a pre-application workshop and an event aimed at assisting prospective applicants with developing and designing multi-state partnerships and projects. Click here to access the webinar recordings. Click here to access the full RFP to see concept paper and application requirements, additional eligibility requirements, funding caps and other funding information, and more.

U.S. DOE Issues Notice of Intent for 2023 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Funding

U.S. DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) recently announced a notice of intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled “Fiscal Year 2023 Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement.” The potential FOA will advance research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) in several areas critical to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including:
  • Reduction of weight and cost of batteries,
  • Reduction in life cycle emissions of advanced lightweight materials,
  • Reduced costs and advanced technologies for on- and off-road vehicle charging and infrastructure,
  • Innovative public transit solutions, and
  • Training to increase deployment of these technologies among diverse communities.
The RDD&D activities to be funded under this potential funding opportunity will support the government-wide approach to the climate crisis by driving innovation that can lead to the deployment of clean energy technologies. DOE anticipates including topics of interest that will support VTO’s RDD&D of new, efficient, and clean mobility options that are affordable for all Americans. As part of this approach, this prospective funding will encourage the participation of underserved communities and underrepresented groups.
Learn more about this notice of intent and other funding opportunities on VTO’s funding webpage.

2022 EPA Automotive Trends Report

The annual EPA Automotive Trends Report summarizes information about new light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, fuel economy, technology data, and auto manufacturers' performance in meeting the agency’s GHG emissions standards.
The report has several key findings:
  • For model year (MY) 2021, vehicle fuel economy remained at an all-time high of 25.4 miles per gallon (mpg), and new vehicle real-world carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decreased to a record low of 347 grams per mile (g/mi).
  • All vehicle types are at record low CO2 emissions; however, the market shift away from cars and towards sport utility vehicles and pickups has offset some of the fleetwide benefits.
  • Since MY 2004, average fuel economy in the U.S. has increased by 32%, or by 6.1 mpg.
  • The average estimated real-world CO2 emission rate for all new vehicles fell by 2 g/mi to 347 g/mi, the lowest ever reported.
  • Since MY 2004, CO2 emissions from new vehicles have decreased 25%, or by 114 g/mi. Over that time, CO2 emissions have been reduced in 14 of the past 17 years.
Click here to access the 2022 report directly.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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