Electrifying transportation can now spur the same innovative transformation that electrifying the Tennessee Valley did back when TVA was founded. We’re committed to bringing the transformative power of EVs to the Tennessee Valley. That’s why we’re taking the lead in partnering with local power companies, governments, automakers and other stakeholders to make it easier for residents and businesses to make the switch to EVs.
The shared goal is to increase EVs on Valley roads by well over 200,000 by 2028, which would result in the following benefits for our region:
WATCH NOW: TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash discusses TVA's EV Initiative and recently announced partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
TVA’s EV initiative is a multi-year plan to build a coalition of partners to accelerate the electrification of transportation through programs to reduce or eliminate the top market barriers that currently prevent more people from choosing EVs.
More consumers will opt for EVs when as there are more offerings that meet the needs of Tennessee Valley drivers and fleets. TVA is working on multiple programs to increase EV availability and offerings in the Valley including:
TVA is also developing education tools and unbiased resources to get the word out about the benefits of EVs, both for the owner and for everyone in the region. Some program offerings include:
One of the top market barriers to EV adoption is “range anxiety” experienced by EV drivers with limited public charging stations serving an area or travel corridor. This barrier prevents many consumers from choosing an EV. We are building partnerships with state agencies, local power companies, and third-party charging developers to create a foundational network of public fast-charging stations every 50 miles along major travel routes in its seven-state region. Completing these fast-charging corridors will provide potential EV drivers with added confidence that they can travel long distances throughout the region without refueling concerns.
TVA is currently working with a group of local power companies to design a charging station experience that will appeal to consumers. Ideal charging sites will be located near major highways, and provide safe and efficient recharging experiences. These sites will also be near amenities such as shopping and dining options that drivers have come to expect near refueling locations.
This ambitious EV fast-charging program is one of the most comprehensive ever announced in the nation. TVA is currently making investments and coordinating with various community partners to secure up to $40 million in funding over the next five years to support EV adoption through its EV Initiative, which includes the development of a fast-charging network across the Tennessee Valley.
To accelerate this Valley-wide fast-charging network, TVA is working alongside state agencies that are pursuing similar EV-adoption policies. TVA’s collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is a prime example of these important partnerships. TDEC and TVA are engaging local power companies throughout the state, as well as third-party organizations with an interest in developing fast-charging stations in Tennessee.
Together, they are also committing significant funds toward the expansion of a fast-charging network in Tennessee. TDEC has allocated the maximum allowable percentage (15%) of its Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust allocation to fund light duty EV charging infrastructure. Approximately $5 million of this is expected to be allocated toward fast charging infrastructure along corridors. The remainder of the project will be funded by TVA, other program partners, and program participant cost share.
Following federal DOT guidelines, TDEC and TVA are planning to develop fast-charging stations at least every 50 miles along Tennessee interstates and major highways by the end of 2025. As of December 2020, there were approximately 24 fast-charging locations in Tennessee. However, these are mainly concentrated in and around large cities such as Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis. TDEC and TVA want to increase EV charging access beyond urban areas by adding to the state’s existing infrastructure.
TVA and TDEC estimate that fast-charging stations will be installed and made available to the public beginning in 2022. The entire project is expected to be completed over the next five years.
TVA is pursuing similar partnerships with state agencies in the other six states in its service region to build out a Valley-wide fast-charging network.
It’s no secret—EVs are the cars of the future. And the future is fast approaching. That’s why there’s no time like the present to drive innovation forward in the Valley. With the right partners and infrastructure in place, TVA is making it easier than ever for consumers to make the switch to EVs.
“General Motors is on its way to an all-electric future. We’re investing $27 billion in EV and AV programs and will bring 30 new vehicles to market by 2025,” said General Motors Lead Architect for EV Charging, Alex Keros. “We want to put everyone in an EV and truly value strong and meaningful partnerships like the one we have with the Tennessee Valley Authority, supporting greater adoption of EVs throughout their seven-state service region and EV initiative.”
“EV drivers are very enthusiastic about their vehicles and for very good reasons,” said Aditya Jairaj, Director of EV Marketing and Sales Strategy for Nissan North America. “EVs provide a great driving experience and consumer savings on fuel and maintenance costs. We are proud to assemble the Nissan LEAF in our Smyrna, TN facility, and provide thousands of manufacturing jobs to the Tennessee Valley.”
“The state of Tennessee’s support has been critical as Volkswagen builds its North American hub for EV production in Chattanooga,” said Matt Renna, Vice President of Electric Mobility, Volkswagen of America. “With production of the all-electric ID.4 SUV scheduled to begin here in 2022, we are committed to working with TVA to make sure Tennessee is at the forefront of the EV revolution.”
“We are pleased TVA is pledging its support for electric transportation,” said Jonathan Levenshus, Director of Federal Campaigns at the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. “It’s vital for the electric utility sector to invest in EV programs, so TVA’s commitment is an important first step to moving EVs into the fast lane of adoption – especially in a region that’s quickly becoming an important electric vehicle manufacturing hub.” Read press release.
“Electric Vehicles provide utilities with an exciting opportunity to address multiple emerging issues. Vehicle electrification provides an opportunity for Local Power Companies and TVA to keep rates low while reducing emissions in our communities that provide long-term and wide-ranging benefits on health and the environment,” said Wes Kelley, President and CEO, Huntsville Utilities. “We are excited to partner with TVA on this EV journey and continue to make the Tennessee Valley a center for EV innovation.”
"[We] are pleased to see the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's investment and goal to develop a statewide system of public electric vehicle charging stations throughout Tennessee. Transitioning to zero-emissions vehicles will result in reduced air pollution emissions, which will benefit public health and demonstrate critical leadership for other states." American Lung Association, Children's Hospital Alliance of Tennessee, Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians, Tennessee Asthma Coalition, and Tennessee Public Health Association." Read full statement.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
“Tennessee is on the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution thanks to its robust automotive manufacturing sector, supply chain capabilities, its highly trained workforce and its commitment to developing a reliable, fast-charging network,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “TVA's participation in this coalition is a critical step in ensuring Tennessee’s fast charging network connects regionally and nationally, providing efficient transportation for future travelers while improving air quality in our state.”