TDEC Announces Grantees for VW Settlement Transit and Shuttle Bus Replacement Program
TDEC has announced that the following three entities will receive $5,690,860.50 in grant funding to support Transit Bus replacement projects across Tennessee:
  • Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority
  • City of Knoxville (Knoxville Area Transit)
  • Memphis Area Transit Authority
These projects will be funded under TDEC’s Transit and Shuttle Bus Grant Program, which is the State’s second grant program to be funded by the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT). The purpose of the Trust is to execute environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
The Grantees will replace a total of nine engine model year 2009 or older diesel Transit Buses with six All-Electric and three diesel-Hybrid Transit Buses. These projects are expected to yield NOx emissions reductions of an estimated 17,027.46 pounds, or 8.51 tons, over the lifetime of the new vehicles. All nine Transit Buses funded will operate 70% or more of the time in former nonattainment areas for ozone and/or fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards and will collectively travel more than 400,000 miles each year.
For additional information on the VW Settlement, visit the TDEC website here: Interested persons and entities are advised to sign up for the TDEC VW email list at
Drive Electric Tennessee 2019 Year in Review
Drive Electric Tennessee (DET) is a statewide electric vehicle consortium focused on increasing electric vehicle adoption in Tennessee to 200,000 vehicles by 2028. DET is comprised of multiple stakeholders, including State agencies (TDEC and TDOT), electric utilities, cities, universities, electric vehicle manufacturers, businesses, and advocacy groups. Earlier this month, DET released its 2019 Year in Review to highlight accomplishments in the following areas:

  • Roadmap Strategy: DET published the first edition of its Electric Vehicle Roadmap, which identifies projects and initiatives for local stakeholder implementation that will increase electric vehicle adoption across multiple Tennessee use cases and sectors.
  • Leadership Development: DET founders created an organizational and programmatic structure for the consortium, which included hiring a full-time DET Coordinator, developing an Executive Committee for fiscal oversight, identifying co-chairs for several Opportunity Area Working Groups, and establishing core groups of stakeholders to help execute Working Group projects.
  • Communications: DET began developing communications channels for sharing electric vehicle news and opportunities via its website, social media, e-mail list, and a statewide public relations media network.
  • Infrastructure Projects: DET published the Statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Needs Assessment to evaluate the condition of Tennessee’s current electric vehicle charging infrastructure as well as to identify where new chargers should be placed to promote electric vehicle adoption throughout the state.
To learn more about DET, visit To stay up to date on news and accomplishments, sign up for the DET newsletter here.
Nomination Deadline Extended for the 2020 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards
TDEC and TDOT invite nominations for the sixth annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards (TSTAs). Winners will be announced during the online Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo, which will be held as a webinar series this fall.

The TSTAs recognize outstanding initiatives to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state, consistent with ongoing efforts to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans, provide for a strong economy, and protect and enhance our state’s natural resources.
A panel of reviewers representing an array of interests will select award winners based on the following criteria:
  • Innovation – how the project utilized new thinking or creative approaches to meet a particular transportation challenge;
  • Best Practices and Replicability – how the project demonstrates a transferable solution, such that others could adopt or implement similar programs or initiatives;
  • Changes in Transportation Behavior – how a project worked to encourage or achieve changes in transportation behavior in order to make a transportation system more efficient;
  • Improvements to Public Health and Safety – how a project creates improvements to public health, well-being, or safety in a given community;
  • Equity and Access – how the project provides sustainable transportation benefits to all community members and creates accessible mobility solutions for diverse audiences.
Eligible applicants include federal, State (excluding divisions under TDEC and TDOT), and local governments; commercial, nonprofit, and industrial organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; and utilities. The entity must be located in Tennessee, and the project must have been completed in the last five years. All nominees must have a minimum of three consecutive, current years of exceptional environmental compliance with TDEC. Self-nominations are encouraged.

More information, including the nomination form, can be found at July 10, 2020 is the last day for nominations to be submitted. Questions about the awards can be directed to Alexa Voytek at or 615-532-0238.

Tennessee Green Fleets Certification Program Open for 2020
The Tennessee Green Fleets (TGF) program offers an opportunity for Tennessee fleets to receive certification for their transportation efficiency efforts. Organized by Tennessee Clean Fuels, TGF certification is based on an applicant’s vehicle data and fleet fuel use. The TGF program recognizes fleets based on actions taken to reduce petroleum consumption, lessen greenhouse gas emissions, and deploy alternative fuel vehicles. Applications for 2020 TGF certification are due July 29. For more information about the program, visit
CSE Seeking Demonstration Sites for Electric Vehicle Charging at Multi-Unit Dwellings
The Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is leading a nationwide team of partners on a project to help identify and address barriers to multi-unit dwelling and residential curbside electric vehicle charging. CSE’s Vehicle Charging Innovations for Multi-Unit Dwellings (VCI-MUD) project, funded by U.S. DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office, is seeking sites to demonstrate technologies that aim to reduce capital and operational costs, increase charging station utilization, and improve the technology’s overall business model. The project team is interested in properties with multiple non-networked stations where the technology may be retrofitted, or properties with plans to install charging infrastructure in the very near future.
Site hosts will benefit from the smart management technologies implemented under this project, as well as from data analysis comparing their site’s charging station utilization to the overall project baseline. Sites will be considered through the end of June. To express interest in participating in the VCI-MUD project, or for additional project information, please contact Chris Liu at
Delta Regional Authority Invites Applications for States Economic Development Assistance Program
The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) supports state and local governments, public bodies, and nonprofit entities in Delta communities through its annual States Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP). SEDAP funding may be used to fund projects in a number of priority areas, including basic public infrastructure and transportation infrastructure. DRA has allocated over $1.5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 funding to projects in Tennessee. Applications for SEDAP are due by June 28. Click here to view the program manual and review eligibility guidelines and instructions on how to apply. Click here to access the online application portal.
Civic Innovation Challenge
U.S. DOE and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have partnered with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch the Civic Innovation Challenge, a national research and action competition that seeks to fund ready-to-implement, research-based pilot projects that have potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact on community-identified priorities. Applicants will compete in one of two distinct tracks. The first track, Community and Mobility, seeks to develop mobility solutions that connect communities with affordable housing to areas where there is a high concentration of employment opportunity. The second track, Resilience to Natural Disasters, aims to equip communities with tools and strategies for greater preparedness and resilience to natural disasters and other emergency events. In the first stage of funding, up to 12 teams per track will be awarded up to $50,000 each; a second stage of funding will offer awards to up to three teams per track of up to $1 million each. Full applications are to be submitted to NSF by July 1. To learn more about the competition, click here. For more information on eligibility and how to build a team, click here.
Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas (HRTG) is awarding funding to organizations to provide transportation services to veterans in rural areas, with a focus on services that can connect said veterans with VA medical care facilities and other opportunities through enhanced mobility. Eligible applicants include VA-accredited Veterans Service Organizations and State Veterans Service Agencies. Applicants may request up to $50,000 to fund their project. HRTF applications are due by July 17. Click here for more information on the funding opportunity. Click here to visit the application portal.
Grants for Transit Planning and Mobility-on-Demand Projects
The Administration for Community Living, the Community Transportation Association of America, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are soliciting projects under the Transit Planning for All Mobility-on-Demand Projects program. This program provides funding for inclusive transportation planning, development, and implementation projects with grassroots-driven mobility-on-demand solutions. Selected grantees will engage people with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers in partnership with transportation, planning, and human services organizations; projects should identify, develop, and implement mobility-on-demand solutions that respond to local transportation barriers and test a standard way of sharing trip data to support coordination and implementation of mobility-on-demand services. Eligible applicants include nonprofit or governmental agencies that are involved in the administration, delivery, or coordination of transportation, aging, and/or disability services.
The program anticipates awarding grants to three projects, and applicants may request up to $300,000 in project funding. Full proposals are due by July 31. Click here to visit the application portal.
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 31 at 11:59 PM Central. For questions, contact Matthew Cushing at or 615-741-7586. Click here to read more. Click here to see a list of last year’s award recipients.
USDA Announces Funding for Ethanol and Biodiesel
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced up to $100 million in funding as part of its 2020 Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). The HBIIP aims to increase the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products. The program is also intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to marketing higher blends of biofuels by sharing transparent costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure. Eligible applicants include 1) those operating transportation fueling facilities, including fueling stations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities, and similar entities with capital investments; and 2) those operating fuel distribution facilities, including terminal operations, depots, midstream partners, and similarly equivalent operations.
Applications are due by August 13. Learn more at
Federal Tax Credit on EV Charging Equipment Extended Through End of 2020
Originally expiring on December 31, 2016, a federal tax credit covering up to 30% of the cost to install electric vehicle charging equipment (up to $1,000) has been retroactively extended through December 31, 2020. Individuals and organizations that have installed charging equipment on or after January 1, 2017, or that plan to install equipment prior to the end of 2020, are eligible to claim this credit by using IRS Form 8911.
Driving on Sunshine Virtual EV Ride and Drives
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) is offering several virtual electric vehicle ride and drive events as part of its Driving on Sunshine campaign at the following dates and times:
  • June 27, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern
  • July 9, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern 
  • July 30, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Eastern
Each virtual ride and drives will discuss the benefits of driving electric and include a live question and answer segment for attendees. For more information on SACE and its efforts to promote clean transportation throughout the Southeast, visit
Webinar: Transportation Data for Equity
The University of California-Davis will host a webinar on June 23 from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Pacific titled, “Transportation Data for Equity.” Representatives from UC-Davis, Populus, the City of Oakland, and the University of California-Los Angeles will convene to discuss the opportunities that communities can capture with better mobility data collection and analysis, as well as some of the challenges associated with mobility data collection as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Transportation data can be utilized to support sustainable transportation planning and the development of enhanced mobility solutions that positively impact economic development, quality of life, and the preservation of the natural environment. Speakers will discuss the complex role of this data in addressing the needs of disadvantaged communities and will share examples of how collecting better information through community engagement strategies can help to address questions of accessibility at the federal, state, and local levels. Click here to register.
Webinar: Forecasting Zero Emission Vehicle Fleet Scenarios and Emissions Implications
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) will hold a webinar on June 30 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern on “Forecasting Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Fleet Scenarios and Emissions Implications.” The webinar aims to address how future ZEV fleet scenarios will impact emissions of criteria pollutants, mobile source air toxics, and greenhouse gases. Presenters will discuss research and analysis on U.S. ZEV adoption and will provide insights on how State Departments of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations can design and execute programs and policies to advance the adoption of ZEVs by both public and local fleet operators. Click here to register.
Shared Mobility Benefits Calculator
The Shared-Use Mobility Center has developed the Shared Mobility Benefits Calculator to assist cities in estimating emissions benefits from deployment of various shared mobility modes. Using these estimates, policymakers can envision and set goals towards reducing congestion, household transportation costs, and carbon emissions from personal vehicles. The data are derived from research publications and shared mobility user surveys in both the U.S. and abroad, and the tool shows how incorporating combinations of different shared mobility modes into city and regional planning can help local governments turn greenhouse gas mitigation goals into concrete plans of action.
Increasing Access to Transportation in Rural Communities: The Rural Transportation Toolkit
NORC at the University of Chicago’s Rural Health Outreach Tracking and Evaluation Program has developed a Rural Transportation Toolkit, which highlights information on programs and resources that can increase access to transportation for people living in rural communities. The toolkit describes models in three areas:
  • Improve access to transportation: public transportation, volunteer models, voucher models, coordinated services models, mobility on demand, ridesharing models, connector services, and mobility management
  • Overcome transportation barriers: mobile clinics, telehealth, school and work-place based health, home visiting programs
  • Improve transportation safety or infrastructure: active transportation models, models that increase access to public transportation, road safety models
The Rural Transportation Toolkit is part of a series of Evidence-Based Toolkits developed by NORC to disseminate best practices to rural communities. Click here to learn more.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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