Tennessee State Parks Charging Station 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 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 thirteen State Parks:
  • Cove Lake State Park
  • Cumberland Mountain State Park
  • Fall Creek Falls State Park (two locations)
  • Indian Mountain State Park
  • Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
  • Montgomery Bell State Park
  • Natchez Trace State Park
  • Pickwick Landing State Park
  • Radnor Lake State Park
  • Savage Gulf State Park
  • Seven Islands State Birding Park
  • South Cumberland State Park
  • Warriors’ Path 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.

Nominations Open for 2022 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards

TDEC is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the 2023 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, which honor outstanding accomplishments that support the protection and enhancement of Tennessee’s natural resources. Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2023 awards, which include the following categories: Agriculture and Forestry, Building Green, Clean Air, Energy and Renewable Resources, Environmental Education and Outreach, Materials Management, Natural Resources, Water Quality, Sustainable Performance, and Lifetime Achievement.
Any individual, business, organization, educational institution, or agency is eligible for nomination, provided the entity is located in Tennessee and their associated environmental project was completed during the 2022 calendar year. A panel of judges will select award recipients based on criteria including level of project or program completion, innovation, and public education. The deadline for nominations is March 17, and winners will be announced during the summer. Contact Kathy Glapa at (615) 253-8780 or with any questions.

White House Releases First-Ever Blueprint to Decarbonize America’s Transportation Sector

The White House recently released the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization. Developed by the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Blueprint is a landmark strategy for cutting all greenhouse emissions from the transportation sector by 2050. It exemplifies the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis, meeting federal goals of securing a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035, and reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Blueprint builds on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, which together represent historic investments that will transform how we move and live while we build the backbone of a safer and more sustainable transportation system.
The Blueprint is the first milestone deliverable of the historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the involved agencies in September of last year. The Blueprint will be followed by more detailed decarbonization action plans, to be developed and implemented by these agencies in cooperation with governments at the state, local, and tribal levels, philanthropic organizations, the private sector, and global partners.
The transportation sector—which includes all modes of travel through land, air, and sea to move people and goods—accounts for a third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions, negatively affecting the health and well-being of millions of Americans, particularly those in disadvantaged communities. Transportation costs are the second largest annual household expense in the U.S. and for the poorest Americans, the financial burden of transportation is disproportionately and unsustainably high.
A well-planned transition to a decarbonized transportation system can address these and other inequities and provide equitable, affordable, and accessible options for moving people and goods. Further developing and deploying clean-energy technologies such as electric vehicles, hydrogen, and other sustainable fuels, while also building out the supporting infrastructure for clean transportation, will create good-paying jobs in all segments of the transportation sector while strengthening America’s energy independence.
Learn more about the MOU and Blueprint.

New Federal Clean Energy Vehicles Tax Credit Goes into Effect

As of January 1, the Clean Energy Vehicles Tax Credit, a new tax credit to buy new or used clean vehicles, has gone into effect. This tax credit for up to $7,500 is available to consumers who purchase a new qualified plug-in electric vehicle or fuel cell vehicle starting January 1, 2023 while meeting certain income limitations. The Department of the Treasury released a list of vehicles that are eligible for the new tax credit, as well as a helpful FAQ for consumers that will be updated on an ongoing basis.

TennSMART Innovation Program Roadshow: Jackson

TennSMART is on a mission to shape the future of intelligent mobility, from electric vehicles and connected cars to grid security and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communication. As part of this effort, it is creating an ecosystem of mentors, resources, partnerships, and funding opportunities that position Tennessee as the best destination for corporations and small businesses to build successful and viable technologies that advance the industry.
On January 24 at theCO in Jackson, TennSMART's director of entrepreneurship and commercialization will provide information about the resources available and what is launching next year to accelerate this work. These resources and programs include:
  • The Smart Mobility Mentor Network
  • The Smart Mobility Challenge
  • Reverse Pitch Challenge
Click here to register to attend the event and learn about TennSMART's innovation programs and ways to be involved.

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. 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 by 5:00 PM Central and applicants will be notified of the results by early April. Read FAQs.

2023 Equity Summit

From February 7-9, Smart Growth America’s virtual 2023 Equity Summit will explore how equity should be included in the smart growth approach. With the passage of the trillion-dollar Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the largest-ever investment in the fight against climate change through the Inflation Reduction Act, there is substantial funding and an opportunity to address inequities and ensure that changes to the built environment benefit everyone. The Summit will examine these opportunities and discuss how to ensure equity is at the forefront of every decision through the lens of three themes:
Day 1 | Equitable Community Development: Empowering communities by dismantling exclusionary zoning, supporting wealth-building among historically disenfranchised communities, and prioritizing attainable housing.
Day 2 | Reconnecting Communities: Rethinking transportation to support and repair communities that continue to be harmed by divisive infrastructure and car-dependent design.
Day 3 | Equitable Decarbonization: Ensuring that the benefits and costs of cutting emissions in the transportation and building sectors are equitably distributed across society.
Click here to register.

Inaugural Smart Mobility Challenge

The Smart Mobility Challenge, TennSMART’s first-ever statewide smart mobility entrepreneur challenge, is an 11-week entrepreneurship education program that uses real and active intellectual property (IP) from Tennessee-based research and academic institutions to foster commercialization.
Modeled from the successful Scipreneur Challenge for the life science industry, program participants will create a business based on the supplied IP, gaining hands-on experience in conceptualizing and creating a viable and marketable business opportunity for the technology. Areas of focus include: Electric Vehicles and Electrification, Connected and Automated Vehicles, Freight and Logistics, Automotive, Cybersecurity, Multimodal Commuting, and Aerospace. The program concludes with a pitch event to investors and industry experts.
From there, the participants can move into the next phase of TennSMART's programs to launch real businesses with ongoing support from the Smart Mobility Mentor Network and other business incubation resources. This first Smart Mobility Challenge will kick off February 15 and run through April 25. Click here to submit an IP or technology, and click here to become involved in the inaugural cohort. For questions related to the Smart Mobility Challenge, e-mail

Save the Date: 2023 Forth Roadmap Conference

The 2023 Forth Roadmap Conference, an annual event which convenes leaders in the electric transportation space, will take place from May 15-17 in Portland, OR. The conference will allow attendees to forge relationships and gain valuable insights in a highly interactive format from industry and community leaders including utilities, local governments, vehicle original equipment manufacturers, charging providers, technology startups, public interest groups, communities and drivers.
The Forth Roadmap Conference will explore topics such as:
  • Improving the EV charging experience
  • Federal EV infrastructure funding
  • Building better batteries
  • Ensuring electric transportation and new mobility services reach communities that need them most
  • How utilities can maximize benefits for the areas they serve with charging
  • How repowered school buses will change the landscape for transporting students
Click here to register.

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.

Sharing in Action: Micromobility in Local Climate Strategies

In October 2022, the Shared Use Mobility Center (SUMC) released "Sharing in Action: Micromobility in Local Climate Strategies." In this paper, SUMC took a look at how more than 30 U.S. cities, including Nashville, have folded shared bikes and scooters into their climate action plans, highlighting the best policy examples from across the country.
As an example of how cities are including micromobility in their plans, this past December the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT) announced the city’s first dockless e-bike pilot program. With support from micromobility providers Bird, Lime, and Spin, the pilot program is to involve a total of 75 dockless e-bikes in portions of North, West, and South Nashville around downtown available for public use, and will utilize new bike racks and geofencing technology to keep the equipment inside designated areas.
SUMC will offer the chance to hear directly from people who played a role in authoring some of the most robust plans highlighted. A webinar on January 25 at 1:00 PM Central will highlight how micromobility operates in different cities and how it can be deployed more broadly as a tool to address carbon emission reductions. Speakers include sustainability and transportation leaders from the cities of San Diego, Chicago, and Denver, as well as ridesharing company Lyft.
Click here to register.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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