2019 was a productive year for DriveElectricTN

We’ve accomplished a lot in 2019! Thank you for engaging in DriveElectricTN (DET) initiatives and projects with us. We appreciate you seeing the value in this program and are thankful for your ongoing presence and leadership.

Our history began in 2018 where over 40 stakeholders, from various businesses and organizations, met to provide feedback about a new statewide program called DriveElectricTN (DET). By January 2019, The DET Roadmap, a multi-year strategy, was published. Listed below are some of our 2019 accomplishments that are umbrellaed under five sections: Roadmap Strategy, Leadership Development, Communications, Engagement & Electric Vehicle (EV) Experiences and Infrastructure Projects.

As DriveElectricTN advocates, we recognize that electric transportation is our future and that leadership, experience and dedication towards electric vehicle adoption is incredibly important. We also appreciate that you see value in our commitment to advance EV innovative businesses and technology, while also protecting our health and the environment at the local, state and regional levels.  

Our DET vision is straightforward – Together, we will advance the state of Tennessee as the electric transportation leader in the Southeast. We, along with the original stakeholders and many others, have ambitious plans to complete various initiatives and projects over the next several years in order to drive DET to meet its current and future goals.

We’re thankful for our current DET leaders: The Executive Committee, Opportunity Area Working Group Co-Chairs and their stakeholder team members. This includes the DriveElectricTN (TN) staff and the many volunteers who help us with our Ride and Drive EV Experience events!

Be part of the conversation by becoming a DET member today! To receive our free DET monthly news,  sign-up today You can also engage with us on Facebook and Twitter. For more information and to see how you can be involved, please contact DET’s coordinator, Virginia Salazar Buda, at [email protected].  Thanks for being a part of DET!

Roadmap Strategy

In early 2019, we published “A Roadmap for Electric Vehicles in Tennessee.” Over 40 companies and organizations in Tennessee contributed to the Roadmap, which outlines statewide EV promotion strategies under four “Opportunity Areas” or working groups:

  • Charging Infrastructure,
  • EV Awareness,
  • Policies and Programs, and
  • EV Availability, Offerings, and Innovation.  

Within each Opportunity Area there are projects and initiatives that were identified towards increasing EV adoption across multiple Tennessee use cases and sectors. The working groups for each Opportunity Area were developed throughout 2019 and into early 2020, and are now formed and beginning to ramp up their efforts.

Leadership Development

DET Executive Committee meeting in Nashville, Nov 2019.

(L-R): Jonathan Overly, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCleanFuels), Drew Frye, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Virginia Salazar Buda, DriveElectricTN (DET)/ETCleanFuels, Molly Cripps, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Bill Copeland, EPB, Ryan Stanton, TDEC, Mark Finlay, TDEC and Middle West Clean Fuels Coalition (MWCleanFuels), Shauna Basques, TDEC and MWCleanFuels.
Not pictured: Daniel Siksay, ETCleanFuels and Alexa Voytek (TDEC)

In fall 2019, we formed DET’s leadership teams which focus on the overall health of DET and project achievement through our working groups. We also developed a fiscal sustainability strategy that involves grant work, foundation opportunities and a membership program. Read more below about our leaders and organization.

  • Created DET’s organizational and programmatic structure, including:  
    • Developed a DET Executive Committee for fiscal oversight
    • Identified two co-chairs for each Opportunity Area Working Group
    • Communicated with stakeholders to invite their participation in the four Working Groups and developed project teams and 2020 project goals
    • Developed a membership document to support DET’s financial sustainability
    • Began researching grant and foundation opportunities for 2020 and beyond
  • Hired a full-time DET Coordinator, who reached out to over 200 stakeholders about how to get involved during fall and winter 2019. Meet Virginia Salazar Buda!
  • Provided program design feedback on the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust and Tennessee’s implementation of its Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle funding category in order to promote EV charging use cases that will maximize vehicle adoption in the state. 
  • Identified a variety of potential funding sources that could be leveraged to support EV infrastructure development.

Communications

A snapshot of the website homepage.
DET website. Click to expand image.

Throughout 2019, we began developing communication channels for sharing EV news and opportunities, including vehicle owner stories, corporate leadership spotlights, supportive government and utility program summaries, and other EV good news! A number of different platforms were developed, including:

  • The DET website and the “News” section, wherein general news items are included as well as our “TN EV Stories” that are individual stories about EV drivers in Tennessee and their lives, initiatives, what they care about, and how they are acting on getting more EVs in use in Tennessee.
  • Our statewide e-mail list and ConstantContact bi-weekly emails,
  • Social media including
  • Print and Digital materials for multiple purposes and events, and a
  • Statewide public relations media network.

Engagement and EV Experiences

Over 2019, we planned and managed 20 EV Ride & Drive events across Tennessee under the DET “EV Experience” program, an initiative that provides EV Ride & Drives at no cost to workplaces across the state. See photos from many events in the Photo Gallery just below.

Infrastructure Projects  

In late 2019, we wrote and published the Statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Needs Assessment to evaluate the condition of Tennessee’s current EV charging infrastructure and identify charging needs and potential geographic charging locations to support 200,000 EVs in the state.

We developed the first version of a Tennessee Electric Vehicle Charging Opportunity Map to demonstrate how the state’s primary corridors (interstates) and secondary corridors (select U.S. and State highways) connect cities and metropolitan areas with rural areas. The map also highlights the location of Tennessee State Parks and counties that are designated by the Appalachian Regional Commission as economically Distressed or At-Risk. An additional map highlights the location of existing DC Fast Charging sites in Tennessee.

Finally, we identified DET partners to join a new, three-state project that will develop plans for filling in EV DC Fast Charging gaps along I-40 through Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Collaborated with TDOT to submit a nomination of I-81 and I-26 as alternative fuel corridors; should these corridors be designated, they will join I-40, I-65, I-75, and I-24 in TN as FHWA-designated alternative fuel corridors for electricity in TN.”

PHOTO GALLERY

2019 NDEW - Whole Foods

2019 NDEW at Whole Foods in Knoxville, TN with KEVA and ETCleanFuels.

Drive Electric Earth Day (DEED) event at Knoxville's EarthFest

DET and ETCleanFuels held a Drive Electric Earth Day (DEED) event at Knoxville's EarthFest in April 2019. About 10 EVs were on hand with three available for Ride & Drives that day (we had to schedule them we were so busy.)

DET Tennessee "EV Experience" Ride & Drive

DET and ETCleanFuels held a Drive Electric Earth Day (DEED) event at Knoxville's EarthFest in April 2019. About 10 EVs were on hand with three available for Ride & Drives that day (we had to schedule them we were so busy.)

DET Tennessee "EV Experience" Ride & Drive

A DET Tennessee "EV Experience" Ride & Drive was held at Drive Electric Earth Day (DEED) event at Knoxville's EarthFest in April 2019. About 10 EVs where on hand.

Drive Electric Earth Day @ EarthFest

DET and ETCleanFuels held a Drive Electric Earth Day (DEED) event at Knoxville's EarthFest in April 2019. About 10 EVs were on hand with three available for Ride & Drives that day (we had to schedule them we were so busy.)

Tennessee "EV Experience" Workplace Charging Ride & Drive in Knoxville, March 2019.

Short presentation and Q&A session followed by BEV introductions, tours and driving.

Tennessee "EV Experience" Workplace Charging Ride & Drive

Tennessee "EV Experience" Workplace Charging Ride & Drive in Knoxville, March 2019.

2019 NDEW at Whole Foods in Knoxville, TN with KEVA and ETCleanFuels.

ETCleanFuels Co-coordinator Daniel Siksay and his 2017 smart fortwo electric convertible.

Nashville NDEW Ride & Drive
2019 NDEW at Whole Foods in Knoxville, TN with KEVA and ETCleanFuels.

2019 NDEW at Whole Foods in Knoxville, TN with KEVA and ETCleanFuels.

CARTA Electric Buses Tour - Held twice in 2019 to introduce citizens and businesses to the City of Chattanooga's electric mass transit bus fleet.

CARTA Electric Buses Tour - Held twice in 2019 to introduce citizens and businesses to the City of Chattanooga's electric mass transit bus fleet.

CARTA Electric Buses Tour - Held twice in 2019 to introduce citizens and businesses to the City of Chattanooga's electric mass transit bus fleet.

CARTA Electric Buses Tour - Held twice in 2019 to introduce citizens and businesses to the City of Chattanooga's electric mass transit bus fleet.

CARTA Electric Buses Tour - Held twice in 2019 to introduce citizens and businesses to the City of Chattanooga's electric mass transit bus fleet.

CARTA Electric Buses Tour - Held twice in 2019 to introduce citizens and businesses to the City of Chattanooga's electric mass transit bus fleet.

Knoxvxille Areat Transit (KAT) Electric Buses Introduction - Public event to introduce citizens and businesses to the forthcoming fleet of new EV mass transit buses.

Knoxvxille Areat Transit (KAT) Electric Buses Introduction - December 2019 - Public event to introduce citizens and businesses to the forthcoming fleet of new EV mass transit buses.

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