Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan
The State of Tennessee is committed to supporting transportation electrification and other vehicle technologies. To support this effort, TDOT, TDEC, and diverse stakeholders across the state are partnering to develop the Tennessee Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (TEVI) Deployment Plan to create a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along interstates and key routes in Tennessee. The final plan will serve as a guide to efficiently implement the deployment of future stations in accordance with state and national guidelines. To read the approved plan click here.
Thank you for your support in developing our plan!
A key part of this plan involves collecting public input from the public and a variety of stakeholders with a range of perspectives and areas of expertise. Throughout May, we hosted multiple opportunities to provide feedback, including a public survey and nine in-person outreach sessions across the state. Thank you for providing feedback and we hope you will stay updated about this plan.
TDOT and TDEC have recorded a 20-minute online webinar with the information that will be presented at the public outreach sessions. Please watch the video below to learn more about the TEVI Deployment Plan and provide your feedback via the survey link above. You may also download the presentation in English and Spanish.
To receive information on EVs, energy, and other transportation stories, including updates about NEVI Formula Program planning in Tennessee, sign up for the TDEC Office of Energy Programs mailing list.
About the TEVI Deployment Plan
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, or BIL) includes a total of up to $7.5 billion in dedicated funding to help make electric vehicle (EV) charging stations accessible to all Americans for local and long-distance trips. That funding includes a $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program that helps states create a network of EV charging stations along Alternative Fuel Corridors designated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). See the map below of Alternative Fuel Corridors in Tennessee.
States must submit comprehensive plans to the U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) by August 1, 2022 in order to receive NEVI Formula Program funds. The Tennessee Departments of Transportation (TDOT) and Environment and Conservation (TDEC) are working collaboratively to develop an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan that details how Tennessee is going to use NEVI Formula Program Funds. TDEC and TDOT will conduct stakeholder and public outreach to support the development of the plan—see the "Get Involved" section below for more information. The final Plan will be approved by the Joint Office and published on this website.
Initial NEVI Formula Program Guidance was released by the Joint Office on February 10, 2022. The Guidance covers topics including minimum charging station technical standards, compliance requirements for projects funded under NEVI, and instructions to states on the rules and regulations they must follow to implement these funds. The full memo and accompanying NEVI Formula Program Guidance can be found here.
The remaining $2.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure under the IIJA will be released via a discretionary grant program, which can fund both corridor and community charging applications, including in rural and underserved communities. It is expected that this program will be made available by the federal government sometime in 2022.
For more information, contact Matt Meservy, TDOT Long Range Planning Division, Matt.Meservy@tn.gov or Alexa Voytek, TDEC Office of Energy Programs, Alexa.Voytek@tn.gov
EV charging infrastructure acquired or installed with NEVI Formula Program funds should be located along a designated Alternative Fuel Corridor until all Alternative Fuel Corridors in the state are designated as “fully built out” by the Secretary of Transportation.
An Alternative Fuel Corridor will be considered “fully built out” only once the following criteria are met:
- Charging infrastructure is installed every 50 miles
- Chargers are no farther than one mile from corridors
- Each charging location includes at least four 150kW Direct Current (DC) Fast Chargers
- These four chargers use Combined Charging System (CCS) ports
- The station can simultaneously charge at least four EVs at 150 kW
FHWA-designated Corridor-Ready (green) and Corridor-Pending (orange) Alternative Fuel Corridors in Tennessee.
Below are some of the FAQs we have received during our in-person public outreach sessions. The NEVI plan for Tennessee is still under development. At this time, all interested parties and stakeholders are encouraged to provide their feedback through the online survey which will remain open until May 31st.
Who is eligible to apply for a charging station?
NEVI applications will be open to any entity in Tennessee with a location within one mile of an alternative fuel corridor. Local governments, local power companies, convenience store operators, and any other interested entities may apply. We also welcome feedback from stakeholders and members of the public to determine if any limits or exceptions should be made. The State can request an exception from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for locations farther than one mile; however, there is no guarantee that the FHWA will grant the request.
How will applicants be ranked?
The ranking of applicants has not yet been finalized for the NEVI plan. However, priority may be given to applicants in locations that are farthest from a current charging station and those that will provide service to disadvantaged communities. Information gathered from the online survey will inform how applicants will be ranked.
Will matching funds be required for awarded projects?
Yes, grantees will provide a 20% match for NEVI projects.
Who will own and operate the charging stations?
Charging stations under the NEVI program will not be owned or operated by the State. Grantees will be required to own or lease the charging stations for a certain period following completion of the project. The exact length of the ownership period has not yet been finalized by the federal government; however, similar programs have required a five-year ownership period. Operation of the charging stations can be completed by a separate entity under contract.
With initial projects being within one mile of an alternative fuel corridor, will rural areas be left out?
Sites farther than a mile from an alternative fuel corridor could potentially be funded by the NEVI program if granted an exception from the Federal Highway Administration. Additional funding was authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act / Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for areas that are not near alternative fuel corridors. These funds are expected to be open following the approval of state NEVI plans in late 2022.
Could charging stations be placed at rest areas along the interstate?
Federal law prohibits the sale of motor fuel in the federal right-of-way, which prevents charging stations from being places at rest areas. While some existing locations in the United States are grandfathered in, new sites will not be eligible at this time.
Are communities outside of the Tennessee Valley Authority service are eligible?
Yes, any location near an alternative fuel corridor in the state of Tennessee is eligible for NEVI funding, regardless of power provider.
How will payment work at these charging stations?
Payment requirements under the NEVI program have not yet been developed. However, similar programs in Tennessee have required more than one payment method with a 24/7 phoneline for payment. To provide input on payment methods and options, please complete the online survey.
Will awardees be required to maintain their charging stations?
To prevent charging stations from falling into disrepair, grantees will be required to maintain their stations for a certain period. For similar programs in Tennessee, this period is five years. However, we welcome feedback through our online survey on any maintenance requirements or periods that should be required.
Does the Justice40 Initiative mean that 40% of charging stations will be in disadvantaged areas?
As part of the federal Justice40 Initiative, 40% of NEVI charging stations must benefit disadvantaged communities. This means that charging stations that serve or benefit disadvantaged communities but are not located in these areas will still count toward the Justice40 Initiative. Learn more about the national Justice40 Initiative or the map of identified areas via the Justice40 Electric Vehicle Charging Map.
Can charging stations be placed at multi-family dwellings?
NEVI funds cannot fund charging stations at multi-family dwellings for the purpose of resident-only charging. Unless a multi-family dwelling were to meet all of the site location requirements under the NEVI program (e.g., available to the public) it will not be considered as an eligible site. It is anticipated that additional funding will be released by the federal government that may allow for charging stations to be placed at multi-family units for the purposes of public charging and/or resident charging. Additionally, a future round of VW Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust funding may address multi-family charging.
How accessible will the charging stations be to those with disabilities?
There are currently no Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for charging stations. For the Fast Charge TN Program, design standards were created to allow for wheelchair accessibility and ease of use. See the full program guidelines here. We welcome feedback on what accessibility standards should be implemented into the NEVI program.
Will charging stations be equipped to charge industrial and commercial vehicles?
Standards have not yet been finalized for the charging stations but could be designed in such a way to accommodate industrial and commercial vehicles. Feedback from stakeholders and the online survey will be used to develop standards.
Will proprietary charging stations be allowed under the NEVI program?
Proprietary charging stations (i.e., charging stations that can only be utilized by a certain vehicle “make”) will not be funded under the NEVI program. However, NEVI funding could fund CCS charging stations at existing proprietary sites, provided such sites meet all necessary criteria.
What safety considerations have been made for these sites?
As with all aspects of Tennessee’s NEVI plan, we welcome feedback on any safety considerations that should be required under the NEVI program such as lighting, proximity to businesses and other establishments, or cellular reception. For the Fast Charge TN Program, site guidelines includes safety considerations including 24/7 public access with safety features including ample lighting, on-site personnel, and reliable cellular access. See the full program guidance here.
Can there be more than one charging station site per fifty miles?
Yes, one charging station site per fifty miles on alternative fuel corridors is the minimum requirement under NEVI guidelines. While charging stations can be located closer together, priority will likely be given to potential sites that are farther from existing charging stations.
Learn more about Electric Vehicle Stakeholders in Tennessee:
Drive Electric Tennessee (DET) is a multi-stakeholder consortium—including State agencies, electric utilities, local governments, universities, EV manufacturers, businesses, and advocacy groups—who are working together to accelerate electric transportation across the state. Their goal is to increase EV adoption in Tennessee to 200,000 vehicles by 2028. More info about DET can be found at www.driveelectrictn.org.
The TDEC Office of Energy Programs (TDEC OEP) provides education, outreach, assistance, and funding for energy programs (including EVs and associated charging infrastructure) across the state. More info about the OEP can be found at www.tn.gov/environment/energy. They also have a page dedicated to EV and associated charging infrastructure resources, titled Transportation Electrification in Tennessee.
TDOT is responsible for the implementation and administration of transportation services in Tennessee, including as it pertains to electrification efforts. This includes the implementation of projects utilizing federal funding that can be allocated to support transportation electrification, including through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program and the Highway Infrastructure Program (HIP). More information about TDOT can be found at www.tn.gov/tdot.
The Middle-West Tennessee and East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalitions (MWTCF and ETCF) are part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Coalition Network. Their combined mission is to promote the use of cleaner fuels, vehicles, and energy-saving technologies to improve air quality, health, and economic independence for Tennessee. More info on the Coalitions can be found at www.tncleanfuels.org.
Tennessee is unique in that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a federally-owned corporation, provides electricity to approximately 99.7% of the electricity service territory in Tennessee. TVA is heavily involved in accelerating the adoption of EVs across the state. More info about TVA’s EV efforts can be found at www.energyright.com/ev. Background