Electric Vehicles

TVA to help develop statewide electric vehicle fast charging network in Tennessee

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) on Feb. 3 announced that they are partnering to develop a statewide electric vehicle fast charging network to spur the growth of EVs across Tennessee and reduce barriers to transportation electrification.

TDEC and TVA signed an agreement to collaborate and fund a network of fast charging stations every 50 miles along Tennessee’s interstates and major highways.

The initiative would add approximately 50 new charging locations, tripling the existing fast charging network.

There are only 24 fast charging locations currently operating in Tennessee that are open to all consumers and support both charging standards common to EVs, TVA noted in a news release.

TVA said that a network of public fast charging stations will promote EV growth by giving drivers more confidence that they will have easy access to refueling while they are away from home, eliminating so-called “range anxiety” that keeps many consumers from considering EVs a viable option.

EV adoption will spur jobs and economic investment in the region, keep refueling dollars in the local economy, reduce the region’s largest source of carbon emissions, and save drivers and fleets money, TVA said.

TDEC and TVA will leverage various funding sources to support the development of the fast charging network with an anticipated project cost of $20 million.

TDEC has committed 15 percent, the maximum allowable, of the state’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation allocation to fund light-duty EV charging infrastructure. Approximately $5 million from this fund is expected to be allocated to fast charging infrastructure along corridors.

The remainder of the project will be funded by TVA, other program partners, and program participant cost share.

The agreement reflects recommendations outlined in the Tennessee Statewide EV Charging Infrastructure Needs Assessment, conducted in 2019 by Drive Electric Tennessee, a consortium that includes TDEC, TVA and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The agreement will support Drive Electric Tennessee’s goal of 200,000 light-duty EVs in Tennessee by 2028. As of December 2020, 11,034 light-duty EVs were registered in Tennessee.

TVA is working with a group of local power companies to design a charging station experience convenient for drivers, located close to major highways, and featuring access to amenities that drivers expect, it said.

To learn more about this partnership, the memorandum of agreement, and Tennessee’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, visit www.tva.com/ev and www.tn.gov/EVFastCharge.

The American Public Power Association offers a Public Power EV Activities Tracker that summarizes key efforts undertaken by members — including incentives, electric vehicle deployment, charging infrastructure investments, rate design, pilot programs, and more.