Tennessee announces EV fast-charging network partnership

"Newfound Gap Road - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN" by pvarney3 is marked with CC PDM 1.0

On Feb. 3, 2021, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced an unprecedented partnership to develop an electric vehicle fast-charging network across the state of Tennessee. Access to fast-charging stations spaced no more than 50 miles apart across major interstates and highways will significantly reduce barriers to widespread EV adoption.

This project has an anticipated cost of $20 million dollars, $5 million of which will be funded by TDEC as part of the State’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation allocation for light-duty EV charging infrastructure. The remaining costs will be covered by TVA, other program partners, and program participant cost share.

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TVA and TDEC will collaborate to make public EV fast-charging stations available every 50 miles along interstate and highway corridors, making range anxiety in Tennessee a thing of the past. This initiative will add roughly 50 charging locations (2-4 chargers per location) throughout the state, tripling the existing fast-charging network. These stations will be open to all consumers and will include both CCS and CHAdeMO fast-charging plugs in order to support all vehicle types.

Drive Electric Tennessee and TDEC have identified stretches of interstate and highway that would benefit from the creation of this EV fast-charging network. This project will provide infrastructure for rural areas, adding to the existing network in more urban settings, ultimately reducing the pervasive accessibility gap for EVs.

“Innovative partnerships with state agencies like TDEC and our local power companies are essential in developing one of the nation’s most comprehensive EV fast-charging networks, starting in Tennessee,” TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash said. “Through this partnership, TVA is positioned to be a national leader in electric transportation by making it easier for local power companies to install fast-charging stations, which make electric vehicles an easy choice for consumers to make.”

Widespread access to public charging solves one of the main problems facing EV adoption: infrastructure availability. With more accessible charging, TVA and TDEC aim to reach Drive Electric Tennessee’s goal of having 200,000 light-duty EV’s on the roads by 2028, a massive increase from the 11,034 vehicles that were registered as of Dec. 2020.

TVA, the nation’s largest public power provider, says EV adoption will promote job availability and economic development in the region, reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector and provide cost savings for both fleets and individuals. This project shows TVA’s continued commitment to sustainable transportation while supporting Tennessee’s economy and public health.

To learn more about this partnership, the Memorandum of Agreement, and Tennessee’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, visit: 

Additionally, to learn more about transportation electrification in Tennessee, peruse this website or visit this TDEC page.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies, and state and local governments, with economic development and job creation.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation exists to enhance the quality of life for citizens of Tennessee and to be stewards of our natural environment by protecting and improving the quality of Tennessee’s air, land, and water through a responsible regulatory system; protecting and promoting human health and safety; conserving and promoting natural, cultural and historic resources; and providing a variety of quality outdoor recreational experiences.


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