tesla jack and susan

“When we travel, Susan and I usually know where we want to go. And we may or may not mind if we end up somewhere else. Still, we find that we get more out of our trips if we put some effort into planning them. Mostly, Susan plans them.

For this trip, we decided to drive to Seattle. Then we ended up someplace else. A little bit of trip planning led us to choose the Rocky Mountains, particularly Yellowstone National Park, as the place we were going.

Next we had to decide which car to drive. That was easy. In May 2018, Susan took delivery on her Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) Tesla Model 3 with long-range battery. I couldn’t stand having to switch back to my Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car after driving hers. So, using her referral number, I got an All Wheel Drive (AWD) Model 3. Because it was a referral, I got a bonus of 6 months free Tesla Supercharging. That meant we could make the trip with very little cost for energy.

But first, we wanted to know which of the two would get better mileage on a charge, since hers has one motor and mine has two. I set up a small, unscientific, and uncontrolled test. Both cars were set identically with respect to energy consuming features (e.g., AC off). Susan drove her RWD model just over 30 miles to work. I followed in my AWD about 3 car lengths behind matching speed, acceleration, deceleration, lane changes, etc., as best as possible. The route involved a twisty, hilly two-lane road for about 4 miles; a 4-lane highway for about 6 miles; and Interstate highways for about 23 miles.

Upon arriving at the destination, both cars had travelled a distance of 33.3 miles. The RWD car averaged 212 Wh/mi (a measure of efficiency). The AWD car averaged 214 Wh/mi. Lower is better. That very small difference could be noticeable over the expected 5000 miles of the trip, but it would be unlikely to affect the choice of stops for charging. So, the free supercharging won out.

Susan then took the lead on researching the various National Parks, attractions, and lodging that would define our route. I took the lead on researching routing and charging choices.

The keys to the route evolved to become:

Visit friends in Denver
Rocky Mountain National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park
The Black Hills
Badlands National Park
Dayton, Ohio, to see the grandkids
Of course, there would be other things to fill the gaps. “

Read the full story here.

electric transit bus

The local Knoxville community joined Knoxville Area Transit and other city leaders on Monday to see the electric transit buses that are coming to KAT over the next few years. Standing in front of Everly Park late afternoon, Mayor Madeline Rogero spoke at the unveiling ceremony to explain more about the long process of getting the new electric bus and commending all of the hard work that went into finally being able to show off the history making new bus in Knoxville.

According to WBIR, the city had been considering a nearly $5.5 million resolution to purchase up to 25 ‘zero-emission’ electric buses with charging stations over a period of five years. City leaders later reduced that number down to four buses and then approved the measure to execute an agreement with New Flyer of America.

New Flyer was on-hand with an Excelsior CHARGE and let the crowd take a ride after the announcement. During the ride, a spokesperson from New Flyer explained the ins and outs of the electric bus and answered a few questions from curious passengers. Besides running on an alternative green power, the electric bus features better fuel economy, lower fuel costs, lower maintenance costs, and a quieter ride.

KAT has much more to celebrate as they have recently seen an increase in ridership  (12%) which is bucking the national trend. They also currently have hybrids as 33% of their large bus fleet and  the new all-electric buses will have 388 kWh capacity. Which means those all-electric buses will get nearly 200 miles on a full charge, and save between 100-180 metric tonnes of GHG emissions each year. This will significantly help the city towards its 2030 goal of reducing GHG emissions by 50% from all city operations.

The first all-electric KAT bus will operate along the Sutherland Avenue route, which serves downtown, the UT campus, Mechanicsville, Marble City and Bearden.

vw funding

The Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) is requesting feedback for recently released Request for Information (RFI). The RFI is for the Light Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment category under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT).


“Your feedback is valuable and can make a significant impact on the design of the VW EVSE funding opportunity, so we’re asking that you review, complete and submit TDEC’s RFI no later than the December 6, 2019, 4 pm CT deadline,” said Jonathan Overly, Executive Director of East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but collectively, we can ensure that all considerations are met, before the official solicitation for funding is released, by TDEC, sometime in 2020,” said Overly.


“The requested RFI feedback, in combination with the results from the completed Statewide Electric (EV) Charging Infrastructure Needs Assessment will inform the next steps of the solicitation process,” said Ryan Stanton, TDEC Senior Consultant – Strategic Energy Initiatives. “We ask that when compiling RFI feedback, please review this Needs Assessment, which will be published on TDEC’s Drive Electric Tennessee webpage on November 8th, 2019,” concluded Stanton.


Points to remember:


  • Responses to the RFI should be transmitted electronically to OEP@tn.govin PDF format and must be received by 4:00 pm CT on December 6, 2019.
  • Respondents need not answer every question in the RFI. Please answer any questions that you feel you can relevantly address.


  • This RFI is not a solicitation for projects. Information obtained from this RFI will be used solely for planning purposes. Submitting a response to this RFI is voluntary and is not a prerequisite for responding to any future solicitations issued by TDEC with regard to the State’s allocation under the VW Settlement EMT.


  • TDEC will conduct a comprehensive review and evaluation of all responses.


  • TDEC will continue to release solicitations for funding under the VW Settlement EMT in the coming months.




  • Click hereto learn more about TDEC’s project solicitations under the VW Settlement EMT.



Tennessee Clean Fuel’s (TCF) mission is to connect fleets with the information and relationships needed to switch to alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies such as electric vehicles and idle reduction technology. Our vision is to reduce emissions and save money across Tennessee.


Tennessee Clean Fuels (TCF) is the home of the East and Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuel Coalitions. We serve as fleet guides to navigate alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies in the 21st century through data-driven fleet analysis and Return of Investment (ROI) processes. Our years of experience and commitment will help guide and build lasting partnerships for your business. Both coalitions that make up TNCleanFuels are nonprofits, and designated participants in U.S. DOE’s Clean Cities Program. For more information, visit http://www.tncleanfuels.org/

We’re excited to announce that DriveElectricTN has a full-time coordinator! Virginia Salazar Buda was recently hired by and will work in the offices of ETCleanFuels, based out of Knoxville, where she will coordinate and manage Tennessee statewide initiatives that advocate for the use and adoption of electric vehicles. (DriveElectricTN is an initiative of a Tennessee-wide partnership that includes ETCleanFuels.)
Virginia resides in Johnson City, TN with her partner Doug, their children Miles, London, and two cats, Christof and Mister Weasley. Her family lives in an older home where a variety of scuff marks can be discovered on the surfaces of their bright, colorful walls and furniture.
Virginia believes that a home and work environment should be a comfortable place where vibrant, respectfully communicated opinions and scuff marks are welcome. She has an open-minded approach to problem-solving where everyone’s thought processes are valued.
Virginia‘s career and personal experiences, anchored in education, art, culture, and community-building, have brought tremendous personal joy and satisfaction. She’s grateful and determined to be included in the multi-faceted task of coordinating DET!
We’re absolutely thrilled to have Virginia on our team.
If you have questions or would like to speak to Virginia, she can be reached at: virginia@etcleanfuels.org.

Throughout 2018, a core team of stakeholders—including State agencies (TDEC and TDOT), electric utilities, cities, universities, electric vehicle OEMs, businesses, and advocacy groups—worked together on the development of a shared vision for electric transportation in the state, which includes goals and guiding principles for increased electric vehicle adoption over the next 5-10 years. Together, these stakeholders comprise Drive Electric Tennessee, a statewide electric vehicle consortium organized by Navigant Consulting on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

On January 18, 2019, Drive Electric Tennessee released the first edition of its Electric Vehicle Roadmap for the state. The Roadmap identifies projects and initiatives for local stakeholder implementation that will increase electric vehicle adoption across multiple Tennessee use cases and sectors.

Click here to read the Roadmap. Contact DriveElectricTN@navigant.com to submit feedback or get involved.

electric vehicle manufacturing facility

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe along with Volkswagen AG announced today that Chattanooga will be home to the company’s first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in North America. The project represents an investment of $800 million by Volkswagen and the creation of 1,000 jobs in Hamilton County.

“The shift toward electric vehicles is a trend that can be seen worldwide, and Volkswagen’s decision to locate its first North American EV manufacturing facility in Chattanooga underscores Tennessee’s manufacturing strength and highly-skilled workforce,” Haslam said. “As one of Hamilton County’s top employers, these additional 1,000 jobs will have a lasting impact on the region. I thank Volkswagen for its partnership and also applaud the company for its ongoing commitment to education and workforce alignment, which helps Tennessee build a pipeline of talent for years to come.”

“Today’s announcement is a tremendous win for Tennessee as it shows that our state continues to be a prime location for foreign direct investment,” Rolfe said. “With a current workforce of 3,500, nearly 20 percent of Tennesseans employed by German companies are employed by Volkswagen. We appreciate Volkswagen for its continued confidence in our state and for the addition of 1,000 jobs in Hamilton County.”

Chattanooga will be the first manufacturing facility in North America that will produce vehicles using Volkswagen’s modular electric toolkit chassis, or MEB. The first Volkswagen electric vehicle will roll out in 2022. “The U.S. is one of the most important locations for us, and producing electric cars in Chattanooga is a key part of our growth strategy in North America,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “The management team, led by Scott Keogh, is committed to continuing to increase our market share in the coming years. Together with our ongoing investments and this increase in local production, we are strengthening the foundation for sustainable growth of the Volkswagen brand in the U.S.”

In addition to Chattanooga, Volkswagen is building the first dedicated EV production facility in Zwickau, Germany, starting MEB production by the end of 2019. Volkswagen will also add EV production at facilities in Anting and Foshan, in China, in 2020, and in the German cities of Emden and Hanover by 2022.

The VW brand has forecasted selling 150,000 EVs by 2020 worldwide, increasing that number to 1 million by 2025. Volkswagen’s Chattanooga facility is more than 3 million square feet and situated on 1,400 acres. In 2011, the Chattanooga plant became the first and only automobile manufacturing facility in the world to be certified LEED Platinum. The Volkswagen midsize Atlas SUV and Passat sedan are currently built in Chattanooga. More than 100,000 Atlas SUVs and 700,000 Passats have been manufactured at the plant.

In March 2018, Volkswagen announced an additional investment of $340 million in Chattanooga to build the five-seat version of the Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport, which will begin production later this year. The Atlas Cross Sport announcement brought Volkswagen’s total investment at that time to $2.3 billion.

Local leaders and the Tennessee Valley Authority praised Volkswagen for its decision to expand its footprint in Southeast Tennessee. “This is another exciting day for Volkswagen and Hamilton County,” Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said. “Volkswagen has again proven to be a tremendous economic partner with this $800 million expansion that will create another 1,000 jobs for Hamilton County.“

“Volkswagen’s latest investment in Chattanooga is great news for our city. The 1,000 jobs this line will create means wages are growing and our city is stronger,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said. “For more than a decade, Volkswagen has proven time and again that when they invest in Chattanooga, their company and our community succeed together.”

“TVA and EPB are excited to congratulate Volkswagen on its decision to expand operations in Chattanooga,” said TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley. “Helping to facilitate job creation is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service and we are privileged to partner with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County to facilitate impactful new job creation by Volkswagen, one of our region’s major employers.”

Tennessee ranks No. 1 in the nation for automobile manufacturing employment concentration. The state is also home to three major automotive assembly plants and more than 900 suppliers that operate in 88 of the state’s 95 counties.

Chattanooga and Hamilton County are represented by Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R – Chattanooga), Sen. Bo Watson (R – Hixson), Rep. Mike Carter (R – Ooltewah), Rep. Yusuf Hakeem (D – Chattanooga), Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R – Signal Mountain), Rep. Esther Helton (R – East Ridge) and Rep. Robin Smith (R – Hixson) in the Tennessee General Assembly.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc. 
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Atlas, Beetle, Beetle Convertible, e-Golf, Golf, Golf Alltrack, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, and Tiguan Limited vehicles through more than 650 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.

electric vehicle range

Fact of the Week #1064

In model year 2011, there were just three different models of all-electric vehicles (AEV) available and their ranges on a full charge (according to the Environmental Protection Agency) spanned from 63 to 94 miles.  By model year 2018, the number of AEV models increased to 14 and the available ranges expanded as well, from a minimum of 58 miles for the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Coupe to a maximum of 335 miles for the Tesla Model S 100D.  From 2011 to 2018, the median of the AEV ranges increased by 52 miles – from 73 to 125 miles.

Note: Median is based on the models listed in the supporting data spreadsheet; some of these AEV models are available with different battery capacities/body styles, which have shorter ranges.

Source:  U. S. Department of Energy, FuelEconomy.Gov data, accessed December 4, 2018.

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roush cleantech

ROUSH CleanTech unveiled its newest carbon footprint-friendly vehicle — an all-electric Ford F-650. The company, which includes propane autogas and compressed natural gas in its technology portfolio, is expanding its alternative fuel market (ROUSH already offers propane and CNG-powered conversions) with zero-emission electric vehicles.

“An electric battery option for medium-duty trucks and buses is a great fit as there is increasing demand in this gross vehicle weight range (GVWR) with very few OEM solutions,” said Todd Mouw, president of ROUSH CleanTech. “This builds from our robust foundation already in place at ROUSH CleanTech that supports more than 1,200 customers and 19,000 propane and natural gas units on the road.”

Built on the Ford F-650 chassis, ROUSH CleanTech’s new fully electric vehicles will have a lithium ion battery system of up to 225 kilowatt hours and 700 volts. Depending on the vehicle’s GVWR, the average range will be up to 120 miles with a top speed of 75 miles per hour. The AC permanent magnet motor will have a continuous-rated power of 150 kilowatts (200 horsepower), with a peak-rated power of 250 kilowatts (335 horsepower).

“We are excited to leverage the company’s product development, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service expertise to support the expected growth in the medium-duty electric vehicle market,” said Mouw.

ROUSH CleanTech launched its new electric model at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California.

The company is currently participating in Ford’s eQVM process to become an Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier for electrified powertrains for commercial vehicles.

ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Michigan. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses, and compressed natural gas fuel systems for Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America. Learn more at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.

workplace charging installation

Medium- and large-sized companies can take advantage of charging station subsidies and guidance offered by the EV technology innovator

Workplace charging is becoming a more and more attractive option for companies and commuters, as the costs associated with these installations fall and the number of people needing to charge their EVs at work increases. To take advantage of the growing demand, and to support the development of EV charging infrastructure, Tesla is offering impressive funding programs for workplace charging installations.

Tesla will cover up to $3000 for the installation of each charger. They’re offering to cover this for Tesla’s own charger type and for Level 2 (J1172) chargers, so long as the Tesla chargers are at least a 1:1 ratio with the L2’s. As for the charging technology itself, it’ll only set you back $600 for each charger installed (a massive savings compared to MSRP). This is great technology offered at a fantastic price point.

As part of the program, businesses will be required to have a licensed electrician visit the proposed site to conduct a survey and provide a quote to Tesla for the overall installation cost. Tesla will review the quote and, if the quote is good, accept it. From there, work can begin on installing the new charging stations, putting companies well on their way to being able to offer charging to any employee with an EV.

Tesla offers a brochure with more details about their program, or you can start a conversation about getting your business involved by sending a message to workplacecharging@tesla.com.

electric vehicle project

Chattanooga, TN – The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is one of two Chattanooga-based entities to receive accolades in this year’s Smart 50 Awards, which recognize smart cities projects from around the world. CARTA received its Smart 50 Award for its innovative electric vehicle charging and car share project. The Smart 50 Awards are a partnership of Smart Cities Connect, Smart Cities Connect Foundation, and US Ignite to honor the most innovative and influential work in this arena.

CARTA, as the public transportation agency and leader in electric vehicle deployment, developed the Solar Assisted Electric Vehicle Charging and Car Share Project in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, Green Commuter, Prova Group, EPB, and the City of Chattanooga. A new network of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure was deployed across the community to promote transportation choice through integration with traditional transit, Electric Shuttle operations, the Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System, and public parking infrastructure.

“Our over 30 years of experience with electric vehicles made this project a perfect fit,” said Lisa Maragnano, CARTA Executive Director. “Providing the public with the right tools for the right trip is what CARTA is about, now and in the future. Bike, bus, drive, or park, CARTA is there.”

With the construction of 80kW of solar energy production and related power provider agreements, a compensatory amount of clean energy is provided to the electric grid to match vehicle energy use. So far CARTA has installed 64 electric vehicle charging ports across 22 site locations promoting electric vehicle charging access at no cost to the user. CARTA selected Green Commuter, a California-based benefit corporation, to introduce 20 Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicles as part of a new car share program, with vehicles accessible by the hour or day through smart phone technology. This unique ownership model of the electric vehicle supply equipment by CARTA provides for continued maintenance and connectivity of the charging network through revenues produced by solar energy production.

“With 20 Green Commuter vehicles spread throughout the Chattanooga area, we’re giving our community choices when it comes to mobility. We’re seeing that many of our members are becoming car light, reducing the number of vehicles in their household to one and using Green Commuter as their second mode of transportation,” said Mel Honeycutt, Program Manager for Green Commuter in Chattanooga. The expansion of the publicly accessible electric vehicle charging network and the introduction of a new car share program to the city promotes the further use of smart and clean energy transportation choices. Coordination of data collection from these transport systems provides CARTA the opportunity to develop enhanced and integrated transportation bundles to promote consumer choice and better utilize the community’s transportation resources. This new electric vehicle framework will also provide a foundation for the introduction of connected and autonomous vehicle technology as well as mobility on demand solutions.

To date, over 55,000 vehicle miles have been converted to clean energy with related emission reductions. Over 40,000 car share and public charging events have been provided and a new integrated multimodal transportation system introduced. Through the expansion of charging stations, the installation of renewable solar power generation, and the use of plug-in electric vehicles, this project promotes the adoption of clean energy technologies and will reduce engine emissions from vehicle use on a sustained basis. A research component of the project will track the utilization of this system to gather data to support additional development for the Tennessee Valley.

“Chattanooga is honored by this recognition. This project is an example of our community at its most collaborative and creative, with many people working across sectors to make transportation more useful, more efficient, and more environmentally responsible,” says Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. “I’m excited about where this innovative and practical transit work will take us. My thanks and congratulations to CARTA and their partners.”

Chattanooga was also recognized for a project on Underground Infrastructure Sensing by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and The University of Vermont. In the UTC/UVM project,
equipment such as radar and magnetic sensors search underground to document the location and condition of water and sewer pipes, electrical conduits, fiber optic lines and other infrastructure.
“CARTA’s project is an excellent example of how a wide range of Chattanooga area organizations are coming together to innovate in providing ‘Smart City’ solutions for people in our community,” said David Wade, president & CEO of EPB. “As this project demonstrates, technical advancements must be joined with collaborative efforts to provide solutions for people.”

This year, the primary categories for the Smart 50 Awards included governance, mobility, energy, citizen life, and networks. The program recognizes municipal-scale projects that exemplify innovation and demonstrate concrete influence in their community or communities of implementation.