Tennessee Announces Awards for Statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Federal Funding Pays for Charging Stations Across the State
Wednesday, January 31, 2024 | 08:35am

Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has awarded $21 million in federal funds for electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations across the state. Thirty-one EV fast charging locations are needed to fill gaps along the state’s designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC) which include Tennessee’s two-digit interstate routes and US 64. The Tennessee Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (TEVI) Deployment Plan details how with federal funding the state will install EV charging infrastructure and support the establishment of an interconnected EV network across the nation.

“Tennessee has been home to the automotive industry since the 1980s and those automakers are growing electric vehicle manufacturing,” said Deputy Governor & TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “With these federal dollars, Tennessee is investing in its future and paving the way to lead the nation as an EV epicenter. We want to ensure that drivers in any vehicle can safely get across the state from Mountain City to Memphis.”

Federal funding through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program allocated $88 million for Tennessee over five years (Fiscal Years 2022-2026). TDOT and TDEC, developed a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to solicit applications for the grant funding. 167 applications were received from 23 different applicants, comprised of both public and private entities. Ten of those applicants will be awarded contracts to establish 30 new charging locations throughout the state. These awardees will purchase, install, own, operate, maintain, and report on the program-funded EV charging infrastructure.

"In Tennessee, federal investments made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are deploying EV chargers and building out a national network of EV chargers that is convenient, reliable, and made in America," said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. "Today's announcement builds on the Administration’s promise to deliver a national network of 500,000 publicly available EV chargers by 2030 – a goal we’re on track to achieve.”

The vision, shared by TDOT and TDEC, is to develop a safe, convenient, accessible, reliable, and equitable EV charging network that promotes economic vitality and environmental stewardship.

“Maintaining a clean environment is critical to Tennessee’s continued economic success,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “We are pleased to join TDOT in making the most of this opportunity and we look forward to how it will benefit Tennessee’s environment and its citizens.”

The NEVI formula funding requires a match of at least 20 percent of the federal funds. For this round of awards totaling over $31 million, private funding accounts for 32%, more than $10 million in private funding for EV charging stations in Tennessee. Other requirements include EV charging stations being located every 50 miles along the federally designated AFCs, within one-mile travel distance from the corridor, and having a minimum of four charging ports per location.

“Tennessee has shown true leadership in state agency coordination between TDOT and TDEC, sharing expertise and building a strong foundation for the state’s EV charging network,” said Executive Director of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, Gabe Klein. “The Joint Office is proud to provide technical support to ensure these 30 fast charging locations provide a frictionless experience for users.”

Over the next year, TDOT will be working with the contracted awardees and hopes to have stations on the ground within two years. For more information about TEVI including the map of EV charging station locations and a list of the selected awards visit https://www.tn.gov/tdot/long-range-planning-home/air-quality-planning/tennessee-electric-vehicle-infrastructure--tevi-.html.