DENSO to Produce EV Inverters in Maryville
Automotive supplier DENSO plans to produce a next-generation inverter for U.S. vehicle manufacturers at its plant in Maryville, Tennessee. The Maryville location will be the site of $1 Billion in new investment related to electrification, connectivity, and safety products over the next few years. DENSO calls its Tennessee facility “one of its key manufacturing locations, which is localizing a critical product for North American customers focused on electric vehicles.” The Maryville factory will also produce the first of DENSO’s next-generation power modules, “a critical component for the smaller and more efficient inverters needed for future electrified vehicles.”
Drive Electric Tennessee Hosts EV Roadmap Webinar
In late 2017, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) hired Navigant Consulting to conduct a multi-stakeholder “Electric Vehicle and Shared Visioning and Roadmap Development” project, which has resulted in the formation of a statewide electric vehicle consortium, now known as Drive Electric Tennessee. The consortium gathers stakeholder organizations who are working to make Tennessee an electric transportation leader in the Southeast. Throughout 2018, a core team of State agencies, electric utilities, cities, universities, electric vehicle OEMs, businesses, and advocacy groups worked together on the development of a shared vision for electric transportation in the state, which includes goals and guiding principles for increased electric vehicle adoption over the next 5-10 years. 
On January 9, Drive Electric Tennessee held a webinar to present its draft EV Roadmap. The Roadmap identifies projects and initiatives for local stakeholder implementation that will increase electric vehicle adoption across multiple Tennessee use cases and sectors, and is organized into the following opportunity areas:
  1. Making electric vehicles a compelling alternative to traditional vehicles;
  2. Creating supportive policies to advance electric driving;
  3. Increasing consumer awareness; and 
  4. Increasing electric vehicle charging infrastructure availability. 
Click here to view the webinar recording, or access the webinar slides here. For questions or suggestions on the EV Roadmap, please contact Learn more about Drive Electric Tennessee at
SmartCharge Nashville Seeks EV Driver Participation
SmartCharge Nashville is a research opportunity to help local utility companies prepare Tennessee for greater electric vehicle (EV) adoption. If you drive an EV, SmartCharge Nashville needs your help to understand the needs of current and future electric vehicle owners by gathering information on how EVs charge today. Data gathered by the SmartCharge program will inform development of infrastructure and programs that support EV utilization and maintain low cost, reliable electric service in the future. Participants will gain access to their own driving and charging data, as well as information on emissions reductions achieved by driving an EV, via an online dashboard. Participants will also receive up to $100 in compensation for their participation in the study.
Enrollment is open to anyone in the Greater Nashville area who currently drives a plug-in EV and is a customer of either Nashville Electric Service (NES) or Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation (MTEMC). Enrollment is limited, so those interested are encouraged to register soon! More details can be found on the signup website at
SmartCharge Nashville is a voluntary program for EV drivers in the greater Nashville area. The program is being managed by FleetCarma, a company specializing in electric vehicle data collection in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and local utility companies Nashville Electric Service and Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation. Please contact your local power company with further questions about the program.
Two Clean Diesel Funding Programs Currently Open
1) 2019 Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee
On behalf of TDEC, the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCleanFuels) recently released a request for proposals under the 2019 “Reducing Diesel Emissions for a Healthier Tennessee” rebate program, which is funded by the State of Tennessee’s annual allocation under the U.S. EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program. The program is designed to reduce diesel emissions in the transportation sector. Funding from the program can cover up to 100% of the incremental cost of replacing an older diesel vehicle with a new alternative fuel vehicle (up to $25,000 per vehicle).
  1. Fleets must operate in any Tennessee county or counties to be eligible for funding.
  2. Eligible alternative fuel vehicle replacements include those that run on electric, propane autogas, compressed natural gas (CNG), and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The program may also fund new, non-hybrid diesel replacement projects, provided that the new diesel vehicle’s improved fuel economy reaches or exceeds 20% of the replaced vehicle.
  3. Replaced vehicles must be model year 2006 or older; operate on diesel fuel; and have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or greater.
  4. Engines from replaced vehicles must be destroyed, and proof of engine destruction must be provided to ETCleanFuels.
The program can also fund truckstop electrification (TSE) projects as well as the purchase of electric trailer refrigeration units (eTRU). Consult the program’s application manual for more information.
Applications for the rebate program are due to ETCleanFuels by January 18, 2019 at 5:00 PM CT. Questions can be directed to Jonathan Overly at or 865-974-3625.
2) DERA Clean Diesel National Grants
Each year, the U.S. EPA DERA program also allocates funds nationwide to implement projects aimed at reducing emissions from older diesel engines. In 2019, U.S. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 Million in DERA grant funding to eligible applicants across the country. The maximum amount of federal funding that may be requested per application varies by region. Tennessee applicants, in EPA Region 4, are eligible to request up to $2 Million in grant funds per project. Eligible applicants include:
  • Regional, State, local, or tribal agencies/consortia or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality;
  • Nonprofit organizations or institutions that represent or provide pollution reduction or educational services to persons or organizations that own or operate diesel fleets or have the promotion of transportation or air quality as their principal purpose; and
  • School districts, municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), cities, and counties, to the extent that they fall within the bulleted definitions above.
Grant funds may be used for clean diesel projects such as EPA- and/or CARB-verified technologies or certified engine retrofits; idle-reduction technologies; aerodynamic technologies and low-rolling resistance tires; and engine, vehicle, or equipment replacements. Eligible diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment include school buses; class 5-8 heavy-duty highway vehicles; locomotive engines; marine engines; and nonroad equipment used in construction, handling of cargo, agriculture, mining, or energy production. Funds under this program cannot be used to fund emission reductions mandated by federal law.
Applications for the Clean Diesel National Grants are due to U.S. EPA by March 6, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET. To apply, visit For more information on the National Clean Diesel campaign, visit
PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program Now Open
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 bicycles. The Program makes available grants of up to $10,000 per project. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations with a focus on bicycling, active transportation, or community development; city or county agencies or departments; and State or federal agencies working locally. Most Community Grants fund bicycle infrastructure projects such as bike paths, lanes, trails, and bridges; mountain bike and/or BMX facilities; bike parks and pump tracks; and end-of-trip facilities like bike racks, bike parking, bike repair stations, and bike storage. Community Grants may also fund advocacy programs that transform city streets (like Open Streets Days) or campaigns to increase the investment in bicycle infrastructure. Applicants for the spring 2019 grant cycle must submit an online letter of interest by January 18, 2019. Click here to begin an application.
U.S. DOE Seeks Industry Partners for High Performance Computing Program
The High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Program seeks qualified industry partners to participate in short-term, collaborative projects using high performance computing (HPC) facilities at U.S. DOE’s national laboratories. The program aims to assist in the development of energy and transportation technologies and strategies that improve energy efficiency, increase productivity, enable next-generation technologies, investigate intensified processes, lower energy costs, and accelerate innovation. Eligibility for this program is limited to either entities that manufacture or develop products in the U.S. for commercial applications or the organizations that support them. Selected demonstration projects will be awarded up to $300,000 to support compute cycles and work performed by the national lab partners. The industry partner must provide a participant contribution of at least 20%. Details on specific focus areas and other program information can be found on the HPC4EI solicitation webpage. Applications must be submitted by March 4, 2019 at 11:59 pm ET.
Nominations Open for Transportation Planning Excellence Awards
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are now accepting nominations for the 2019 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards (TPEA) Program. The TPEA Program recognizes outstanding initiatives across the country to develop, plan, and implement innovative transportation planning practices. Applicants may include states, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit operators that have previously used federal FHWA/FTA funding to develop a plan, project, or planning process that demonstrates excellence in transportation planning. The nomination period is open now through February 1, 2019. Click here to learn more and apply.
NASEO 2019 Energy Policy Outlook Conference
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) 2019 Energy Policy Outlook Conference will examine the key policies and initiatives needed to drive modernization and resilience across the nation’s energy infrastructure – grid, pipelines, buildings, and transportation. Join top state and federal energy policymakers and private sector leaders from around the country on February 5-8, 2019 in Washington, D.C. for in-depth discussions on the critical investments needed for strong, reliable, and affordable grid, transportation, and buildings systems. Click here to register and learn more about the conference.
Save the Date: TennSMART Spring Member Meeting
TennSMART is a public-private consortium designed to accelerate the development and deployment of new intelligent mobility innovations in Tennessee. It provides a collaborative forum for key stakeholders representing the automotive and trucking industries, local and State government (including TDEC OEP), and research institutions to address opportunities that no one organization could attain alone. TennSMART focuses on research related to connected and automated vehicles, electric vehicles, cybersecurity, freight efficiency, and multimodal commuting.
TennSMART has released a Save the Date for its Spring Member Meeting, which will take place on April 9, 2019 at the Tennessee Tower in downtown Nashville. More information about the event program and registration will be available soon at
Benefits of Natural Gas Vehicles
NGVAmerica recently produced a video highlighting the operational and cost-effectiveness benefits of natural gas vehicles (NGVs). The video also discusses renewable natural gas (RNG), claiming that fleets can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 125% compared to gasoline and diesel, depending on the RNG source. NGVAmerica states that use of RNG in vehicles also reduces criteria pollutants like NOx by up to 90% of the current national emissions standard. Watch the video below for more information.
Report: Innovative Active Travel Modes
The Future of Transport (TRL) released a report that identifies recent developments in active travel modes and determines their impacts on health. Active travel is defined as travel by bicycle, skateboard, scooter, and electrically assisted vehicles. The report includes suggestions and tools for practitioners to encourage active travel in their communities. 
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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