The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the nation’s largest public power provider, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) have partnered to develop an electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging network across Tennessee.
The project has an anticipated cost of $20 million, $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.
TVA and TDEC will collaborate to make public EV fast-charging stations available every 50 miles along interstate and highway corridors. This initiative will add roughly 50 charging locations throughout the state, tripling the existing network. These stations will be open to all consumers and will include fast-charging plugs that 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 a comprehensive EV fast-charging network,” says Jeff Lyash, president and CEO of TVA. “Through this partnership, TVA is positioned to make it easier for local power companies to install fast-charging stations, which make EVs 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 December 2020.