The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced on Wednesday, February 3, that they are partnering to develop a nationwide fast charging network for electric vehicles to drive the growth of electric vehicles across Tennessee and reduce barriers to the electrification of transport.
TDEC and TVA signed an agreement to collaborate and fund a network of fast charging stations every 80 miles along Tennessee’s interstates and major highways. This initiative would add around 50 new charging stations and double the existing fast charging network. In Tennessee there are currently only 24 fast charging stations that are open to all consumers and support both charging standards for electric vehicles.
“This investment in EV charging infrastructure is a monumental step forward, and I am proud that Tennessee is leading the way in this important effort,” said Governor Bill Lee. “With the partnership with TVA, we can continue our work to protect our environment and improve our transport infrastructure.”
Jeff Lyash, President and CEO of TVA added, “Innovative partnerships with government agencies such as TDEC and our local electric utilities are essential to developing one of the nation’s most comprehensive fast charging networks for electric vehicles, starting in Tennessee. Through this partnership, TVA is able to be a national leader in electric transportation by making it easier for local electric utilities to install fast charging stations that make electric vehicles an easy choice for consumers. “
A network of public fast charging stations will fuel the growth of EVs by providing drivers with access to refuel while they are away from home, to alleviate the so-called “range anxiety” that prevents many consumers from considering EVs as a viable option .
TVA is the country’s largest public electricity company.
TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said: “This agreement shows TDEC’s continued commitment to a cleaner environment. This is an exciting development for people from Tennessee and we look forward to working with TVA on this project that will benefit both rural and urban communities. “
TDEC and TVA will use various funding sources to support the development of the fast charging network with an estimated project cost of $ 20 million. TDEC has committed 15% of the maximum allowable amount of the government’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation allocation to fund charging infrastructure for light electric vehicles. This fund is expected to provide approximately $ 5 million for fast charging infrastructure along the corridors. The remainder of the project is funded by TVA, other program partners and the program participants’ co-payment.
The agreement reflects the 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 electric vehicles in Tennessee by 2028. As of December 2020, there were 11,034 light electric vehicles registered in Tennessee.
TVA is working with a group of local energy companies to develop a charging station that is convenient for motorists, is close to major highways, and has access to the amenities motorists expect.
For more information about this partnership, the Memorandum of Agreement, and Tennessee’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, please visit tva.com/ev and http://tn.gov/EVfastcharge.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a United States corporate agency providing power to business customers and local energy companies that serve nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA does not receive any taxpayers’ money and earns practically all of its income from selling electricity.
In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electrical system, TVA provides flood control, navigation, and land management for the Tennessee River system, and supports local energy companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.