TDEC Issues Request for Information on Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
Earlier this month, TDEC issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit program design feedback for the forthcoming solicitation under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT) Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment category.
TDEC plans to leverage program design insights from several recent electric vehicle charging resources, including the Drive Electric Tennessee Statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Needs Assessment and the Tennessee Electric Vehicle Charging Opportunity Map developed by TDEC OEP. These resources are available on the RFI website; TDEC encourages respondents to review these materials when compiling feedback to the RFI.
Respondents may submit information in response to some or all of the questions contained within the RFI (Section 5: Information Requested, pages 7-12). Responses should be transmitted electronically to in PDF format and must be received by 4:00 pm CT on December 6. TDEC will conduct a comprehensive review and evaluation of all responses.
TDEC will continue to release solicitations for funding under the VW Settlement EMT in the coming months. Interested persons are advised to sign up for the TDEC VW Settlement email list at to be kept apprised of all future and related announcements. For additional information on the VW Settlement, visit the TDEC website here: Click here to learn more about TDEC’s project solicitations under the VW Settlement EMT.
Volkswagen Breaks Ground on $800M EV Expansion in Chattanooga
Earlier this month, Volkswagen broke ground on expansion of its Chattanooga plant, which will be the company’s first electric vehicle production facility in North America. Governor Bill Lee attended and spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, joined by Volkswagen Group of America executives, Germany’s ambassador to the U.S., and Chattanooga plant leaders and production employees. The project represents an investment of $800 million by Volkswagen and the creation of 1,000 jobs in Hamilton County. Hiring for the new electric vehicle assembly lines will begin in early 2020 and will continue as needed to ramp up vehicle production. Volkswagen CEO Tom du Plessis noted that the company could make as many as 200,000 electric vehicles a year in Chattanooga, depending on demand. Watch the video below to learn more about the Volkswagen expansion, originally announced by Volkswagen and former Governor Bill Haslam at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Gov. Lee Supports Transportation Planning Initiative for Middle Tennessee
Last month, the Greater Nashville Regional Council held a transportation convening for Middle Tennessee, which was attended by nearly 200 elected officials, government agency representatives, business and corporate leaders, nonprofit partners, and community advocates. The meeting started with a call to action from Governor Bill Lee, during which he stressed the need for a collaborative solution to the region’s growing transportation demands. Following this convening, Middle Tennessee representatives will begin a nine-month community engagement process to develop a unified, regional transportation strategy. More information on plan specifics and potential funding sources will be revealed in the future. Learn more at
MATA Receives $12M for Electric Bus Rapid Transit Line
The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) has been awarded $12 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line along Memphis’s “Innovation Corridor,” an eight-mile route that connects the downtown area with the University of Memphis. Grant funding will support the purchase of nine electric buses, equipped with Wi-Fi and electric loading docks, as well as the construction of 28 new transit waiting stations along the BRT line. Click here to read MATA’s full press release.
Knoxville Receives Recognition for Propane Mower Fleet
The Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) recently honored the City of Knoxville with its 2019 Green Leadership City Award, which PERC provides to one American city each year in recognition of said community’s commitment to social and environmental health. PERC recognized Knoxville for its adoption of a clean, propane-powered mower fleet as well as other environmentally friendly programs that support the City’s sustainability and emissions-reductions goals. By September 2019, the City had converted 18 of its 25 commercial lawnmowers to run on propane, reducing the mowers’ carbon dioxide emissions by 10 tons in 2018 alone. During the award ceremony, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero accepted a $5,000 donation from PERC, which will go toward the Beardsley Community Farm, a Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee nonprofit that promotes food security and sustainable agriculture.
Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee
On behalf of TDEC,the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCF) recently released a request for proposals under the 2020 “Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee” (RDE4HT) rebate program, which is funded by the State of Tennessee’s annual allocation under the U.S. EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Program. RDE4HT is designed to reduce diesel emissions in the transportation sector and can support 1) the replacement of diesel vehicles with new alternative fuel vehicles (e.g., propane, compressed natural gas, electric, hybrid, etc.); 2) the replacement of old diesel vehicles with new diesel vehicles; 3) the conversion of diesel vehicles to new alternative fuel or diesel engines; or 4) the installation of Truck Stop Electrification equipment at Tennessee-based travel centers.
Eligible applicants may include both public and private entities. Fleets may apply for as few as one vehicle or as many as 15, and there are no restrictions on the model year of the vehicle to be replaced. Applications are due by December 10, 2019. Questions can be directed to Jonathan Overly at or 865-974-3625.
REAP to Fund Rural Energy Projects
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. This program helps improve American energy independence by both increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers. Funding for Fiscal Year 2020 is available in a variety of forms, each under its own application process and timeline. Grant applications are due March 31, 2020. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as biomass (biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels); geothermal for electric generation or direct use; hydropower below 30 MW; hydrogen; small and large wind generation; small and large solar generation; and ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation. With regard to transportation, REAP funds may be used for solar-assisted electric vehicle charging stations. Funds may also be used for the purchase, installation, and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC); insulation; lighting; cooling or refrigeration units; doors and windows; electric, solar, or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots; switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor; and replacement of energy-inefficient equipment.

Click here to learn more and to apply for REAP financial assistance. Click here to find the REAP point of contact for your Tennessee region.
Webinar: Designing Communities to Support Mobility
The Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals will hold an informational webinar on November 20 from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET called “Aging in Place: Designing Communities to Support Mobility.” Presenters from Ohio State University, UCLA, and Toole Design will discuss how to design communities with senior citizens in mind, providing for healthy mobility opportunities (e.g., safe and accessible public transit, pedestrian walkways, etc.) that help preserve the independence and dignity of people who wish to age in place as well as benefit all community members via comprehensive transportation system improvements. Click here to register for the webinar.
TRB Accepts Abstracts for Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) seeks proposals for presentations for the 24th National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation, which will be held October 17-21, 2020 in Charleston, SC. Conference attendees will include rural and tribal transit managers, human service transportation managers, rural and regional planners, and other rural transportation experts. Presentation abstracts should address how transportation services impact lives and create measurable benefits in rural and tribal communities. Click here to learn more about presentation proposal process. TRB will accept presentation abstracts through January 3, 2020.
TRB 99th Annual Meeting
TRB will host its 99th Annual Meeting from January 12-16, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The meeting will feature more than 5,000 presentations in nearly 800 sessions and workshops, addressing topics of interest to policy makers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions. Presentations will address all modes of the transportation sector, including topics that align with the meeting’s 2020 theme, “A Century of Progress: Foundation for the Future.” Click here to learn more or register for the Annual Meeting.
Fuels Fix Highlights Alternative Fuel Vehicle Projects across the U.S.
ETCF manages Fuels Fix, a website and monthly newsletter publication that features stories about alternative fuels (e.g., electric, natural gas, propane, renewable fuels and/or biofuels, hydrogen, etc.) and advanced vehicle technologies (e.g., fuel economy improvements, idle reduction technologies, autonomous vehicles, etc.) across the county. The site is powered by news from designated coalitions under the U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program as well as from working partners in the alternative fuels and vehicle technologies industry. Recently, ETCF launched a Fuels Fix Facebook page and associated Facebook group, allowing readers to engage with each other on alternative fuels stories online and keep up with stories as they are announced. Visit Fuels Fix at
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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