Two TN School Districts Receive EPA Funds for Clean School Buses
U.S. EPA recently announced winners for both the 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Electric School Bus Rebate Program and the 2021 Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) School Bus Rebate Program. The $7 million in ARP funding is directed toward school districts in underserved communities to replace old diesel buses with zero-emission electric buses, and the $10 million in DERA rebates will assist with 444 school bus replacements across the country and the purchase of newer, cleaner models.
Under the ARP opportunity, Bledsoe County has been awarded $600,000 to fund the purchase of two all-electric buses and associated charging infrastructure. This project will be the second all-electric school bus project in Tennessee, following the debut of Washington County’s first electric bus in 2021.
Under the DERA program, Sumner County Schools will receive $200,000 to support the replacement of 10 older diesel school buses with new diesel buses. Click here to see a full list of awardees under these school bus funding opportunities.
DriveElectricTN and TN Clean Fuels Launch EV Driver Survey
Electric vehicles (EVs) are a growing sector of Tennessee’s transportation landscape. With more than 17,000 EVs on the road in Tennessee today, understanding how and where EVs are used is essential to better predicting how Tennessee’s transportation future will be affected by electric technology.

DriveElectricTN and TNCleanFuels are undertaking a large-scale survey of EV owners across Tennessee. This data, which will be anonymized following collection, is integral to understanding how Tennessee's electric transportation landscape is changing. It will be utilized by DriveElectricTN to provide insights on EV use across the state and by TNCleanFuels as part of its annual data collection for the U.S. Department of Energy on alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technology use in Tennessee.

The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. If you have any questions or concerns about the data provided through this survey, please contact Click here to take the survey.
Cadillac Launches its First EV at Spring Hill Plant
The first all-electric Cadillac Lyriq has rolled off the assembly line at the General Motors Spring Hill vehicle plant, marking an important milestone as the automaker ramps up investment in Tennessee. GM announced a $2 billion investment in 2020 to renovate the Spring Hill plant, which will allow the facility to produce more EVs like the Lyriq. The 7.9 million-square foot plant—GM's largest American facility—opened in 1990 and employs 3,252 workers as of June 2021. Additionally, GM and battery manufacturer LG Energy Solutions announced a $2.3 billion investment in April 2021 to build an EV battery plant in Spring Hill.
This commitment joins other Tennessee EV manufacturing milestones, including Volkswagen’s 2019 investment of $800 million to expand EV production at its Chattanooga plant and Ford’s 2021 announcement of Blue Oval City, a $5.6 billion industrial campus in West Tennessee to produce EV batteries and all-electric F-series trucks.
Toyota Announces $17 Million Investment in Tennessee Plant for EVs
Toyota recently announced the investment of $17 million into its Jackson, Tennessee plant to increase the plant’s capacity to cast hybrid transaxle cases and housings from one million to 1.3 million per year. The added investment, which brings the to-date total investment in the plant to $389 million, will advance the production of clean vehicle components to help the company achieve its goals for carbon neutrality and push toward its commitment to ultimately offer an all-electric option across its entire lineup of Toyota and Lexus vehicles by 2025. Click here to learn more about the company’s EV goals.
DOE Announces $5 Million to Launch Lithium-Battery Workforce Initiative
U.S. DOE, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, announced the launch of a national workforce development strategy for lithium-battery manufacturing. As part of a $5 million investment, U.S. DOE will support up to five pilot training programs in energy and automotive communities and advance workforce partnerships between industry and labor for the domestic lithium battery supply chain. Lithium batteries power everything from EVs to consumer electronics and are a critical component for whole-of-government decarbonization strategies. This workforce initiative will support the nation’s global competitiveness within battery manufacturing while strengthening the domestic economy and clean energy supply chains.

The pilot training programs will bring together manufacturing companies, organized labor, and training providers to lay the foundation for the development of a broad national workforce strategy. The pilots will support industry-labor cooperation and will provide sites for job task analyses and the documentation of worker competencies. Insights gained will support the development of national industry-recognized credentials and inform the development of broader training programs to support the overall battery supply chain. This initiative comes as part of a suite of announcements from President Biden’s Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization, a partnership among the White House and nearly a dozen federal agencies committed to pursuing near- and long-term actions to support coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities as the nation transitions to a clean energy economy.
‘Is there an EV for me?’: 2022 EV Model Review
Drive Electric Tennessee, Drive Electric Alabama, and Drive Electric Georgia will together hold a webinar on April 5 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Central to allow attendees to learn about EV models in today’s market. EVs come in all forms, including affordable sedans and full-size SUVs. Participants will learn which EVs may be best suited for them as more automakers are making the transition away from gasoline-powered consumer vehicles. Click here to register.
Webinar: Alternative Fuel Work Truck Applications, Options, and Successes
Tennessee Clean Fuels will host a webinar on April 6 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM Central that will showcase alternative fuel options for fleets that operate vehicles in medium- and heavy-duty work truck applications. As the transportation sector, the highest carbon-emitting sector in Tennessee, transitions away from gasoline and diesel fuels, it is important that decision-makers and fleet specialists understand their options for introducing alternative fuels in their fleet. These transitions can and will contribute to energy resilience, lead to decreased reliance on imported energy, help meet organizational clean energy and emissions reduction goals, and promote clean air and community health.
Attendees will hear from public and private industry representatives on the many options available to organizations looking to revolutionize their fleets, and the webinar will help participants understand how to begin the transition and what benefits can be achieved. Featured vehicle technologies will include EVs, CNG, renewable natural gas (RNG), propane, and biodiesel. Click here to register.
FY 2022 Low or No Emission and Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities
The U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Low or No Emission Grant (Low-No) Program supports the transition of the nation’s transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy efficient transit vehicles. The Low-No Program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. FTA’s Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program assists in the financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing, or leasing buses or related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, constructing, or leasing bus-related facilities

FTA announced the availability of approximately $1.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2022 grants to help modernize bus fleets and bus facilities across the country and to help transit agencies purchase or lease low- or no- emission vehicles that use advanced technologies to help improve air quality. A Notice of Funding Opportunity has been released in the Federal Register and the application period will close on May 31.

FTA hosted a webinar to provide more information to potential applicants for the FY22 Low-No Program and Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program. The recording of this webinar can be accessed by clicking here.

Decarbonizing Medium- and Heavy-Duty On-Road Vehicles: Zero-Emission Vehicles Cost Analysis
U.S. DOE recently released a study showing that by 2030, nearly half of medium- and heavy-duty trucks will be cheaper to buy, operate, and maintain as zero emissions vehicles than as traditional diesel-powered combustion engine vehicles. Published by U.S. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the study finds that continued improvements with zero emission vehicle and fuel technologies will enable clean trucks to become cheaper and more readily available over the next decade. The report predicts that increased use of EVs and fuel cell electric vehicles within the trucking industry will support the decarbonization of America’s transportation sector, address the climate crisis, and bolster domestic manufacturing. 
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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