The DriveElectricTN (DET) team looks back at 2020 with a mixture of awe and excitement! We recognize that the COVID-19 global pandemic rocked each and everyone one of us out of our “normal” lives where we quickly learned how to adapt to a new set of work and personal life circumstances. However, we managed to push through and get some great work done in 2020 and 2021!

We celebrate and recognize the work of 76+ stakeholders who carved out time in their personal and business lives to drive our statewide EV initiatives forward with passion and enthusiasm.

We are also thankful for our core team – the EastTNClean Fuels and DriveElectricTN staff, DET members and the Executive Committee whose financial and in-kind support made this statewide and national programming possible. We also appreciate everyone who serves in an advisory capacity to those who “roll up your sleeves” with us and work seamlessly alongside our team.

We’ve accomplished a lot together, and look forward to continuing our work together in 2021.

Virginia Salazar Buda, DriveElectricTN (DET) Coordinator

Thanks DriveElectricTNMembers for your Support!
Join the EV Movement and become a DET Member Today!

DET Working Group INFRASTRUCTURE

The Infrastructure Opportunity Area working group was developed by Co-chairs Drew Frye, TVA and Brad Rains, Seven States Power Corporation. By May 2020, the co-chairs determined the scope of work that would be produced during the year and invited 23 professionals from 18 companies to be a part of the working team.

This working group provides an environment that encourages collaboration and networking opportunities. Members on the team discussed high-level infrastructure activities and projects where four speakers representing Tennessee Valley Authority, Seven States Power Corporation, Tennessee Technological University and Gilbarco Veeder-Root presented their company’s infrastructure development work and specific plans affecting state and regional locations.

The team also worked with Atlas Public Policy to draft a Site Host Guide to be shared with potential charging site hosts and locations that are interested in installing EV infrastructure. The Site Host Guide will have information on charging technology and answer Site-Host related frequently asked questions such as “how much would it cost to install charging stations?” and many others.  

The goal of the Infrastructure team is developing an electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure that enables Tennesseans to drive and charge an EV in their daily lives through home, workplace and public charging opportunities which also includes conversations about accessing electric public transit options. 

This working group’s focal point follow three initiatives:  

  • EV Infrastructure Coordination and Planning
  • EV Infrastructure Build-Out
  • EV Infrastructure Standards and Maintenance

Infrastructure Team:

Drew Frye, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Infrastructure Co-Chair
Brad Rains, Seven States Power Corporation (7SPC) and Infrastructure Co-Chair
Mike Nelson, Nashville Electric Service (NES)
Chasity Hobby, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB)
Sam Ford, BrightRidge
Lance Irwin, EPB
Becky Williamson, Memphis Light, Gas & Water (MLGW)
Michael Taylor, MLGW
Brian Blackmon, City of Knoxville
Molly Cripps, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Office of Energy Program (TDEC, OEP)
Ryan Stanton, TDEC, OEP
Casey Lanford, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)
Rashad Pinckeny, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)
Susan Steffenhagen, TDOT
Mark Bentley, Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition
Jonathan Overly, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition
Mike McCabe, Nissan North America
Raven Hernandez, Earth Rides
Julian Lile, EVGO
Allen Goetz, Gilbarco Veeder-Root
Kira Costanza, Cape Electric
Dr. Pingen Chen, Tennessee Technological University (TNTech)
Stephen Canfield, TNTech

DET Working Group AWARENESS

Daniel Siksay & Shauna Basques, Co-Chairs

Despite some struggles due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 ended up being a stellar year for the DET Awareness Working Group. Throughout the year, we held ten virtual meetings of our Working Group, selected our priority projects from Wave 1 of the DET EV Roadmap, and divided our team into five Task Forces to target specific deliverables:

  • EV Chapter Development
    • From Jonathan Overly, Task Force Leader:
      “In December and January, the task force worked through some revisions of a ~70% completed version of DET Chapter Development Guide. We wrote baseline sections (and along the way created a format for DET reports) and then provided edits and ideas. The next step is to develop the subsequent version that the team will review during the February and March Zooms with a hope of having our internally completed version by April.”
  • Educator Training Programs
    • From Shauna Basques, Task Force Leader:
      “We went for a two-pronged approach to developing resources and curriculum for EV educator training programs in Tennessee. First, we developed and launched an EV Ride and Drive Event Guide that includes tips on running a safe and smooth EV demonstration event, measuring event success, and maximizing the experience for attendees and partners. Second, we began working to develop engagement materials for auto dealers on common EV customer questions and sales best practices, to help dealers less familiar with the cars learn about EV and charging basics, EV misconceptions, and other details that can improve dealer confidence with the new vehicle technologies. We look forward to finalizing and implementing these resources via EV-focused training programs in 2021.”
  • Digital EV Marketing
    • From Daniel Siksay, Task Force Leader:
      “2020 saw DET’s digital media presence accelerate fast from 0-60. We launched DriveElectricTN.org, our primary presence on the web, and put significant effort into developing our presence on Facebook. In particular, our DriveElectricTN Facebook Discussion Group grew to over 500 members and is poised to grow rapidly in 2021. We reached nearly 200,000 Tennesseeans through organic and paid promotion campaigns about EVs and DET, and gleaned valuable data that will enable us to push our message even further to residents of our state in 2021.”
  • EV Station Signage
    • From Eric Cardwell, Task Force Leader:
      • Researched the best/existing practices for EV signage that had been done in other states around the country.
      • Implemented a collaborative drop box to house all the documents related to this research which includes sign designs and images of existing charging station signage. 
      • Created graphics to convey our EV signage requirements.
      • Created a document to hand to all TN Corridor Fast Charging site hosts that details how they should properly implement EV signage to meet our minimum requirements.
  • Fleet EV Case Studies
    • From Virginia Salazar Buda, Task Force Leader:
      Creating a pilot program where East Tennessee State University’s (E.T.S.U.) Master of Business Administration students could work on a DriveElectricTN (DET) Roadmap Strategy project. Once the E.T.S.U. program and students were vetted with Dr. Bill Heise, E.T.S.U. M.B.A. Program Director, the DET Fleet EV Case team developed. Chase Milner, Regional Planner – RPO Coordinator, First Tennessee Development District and Kevin Couturier, Business Development Manager, General Motors agreed to be a part of the EV Fleet Case work team where we determined what EV Fleet Case study would be studied. Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) and the Washington County EV School bus – the first EV school bus in Tennessee – were selected. Because of COVID-19 and supply chain challenges, the Washington County School Bus case study work has been temporarily delayed. What was added, in lieu of the Washington County EV school bus, was studying Metro Nashville municipality’s car share program. The E.T.S.U. students producing the EV Fleet case study are Project Lead Taylor Townley, Justin Russell and Caleb Vrzak.

In addition to the work completed within our Task Forces, our Working Group also came together to assist in the development of our EV License Plate campaign. Poised to launch in May 2021, the Awareness team helped develop plate design and marketing ideas, as well as strategizing the best platforms and partners to work with as we launch the campaign and start asking Tennesseans to sign up.

Awareness Team:

Shauna Basques, Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition and and Awareness Co-Chair 
Daniel Siksay, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition and and Infrastructure Co-Chair
Dave Hrivnak, EV Pioneer
Kent Minault, Sierra Club
Joe Ozegovich, Sierra Club
Marty Young, Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association
Robert Lipe, Tesla Owners Club of TN
Eric Cardwell, Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association
Becky Williamson, Memphis Light Gas Water  
Philip Pugliese, Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority
Erik Schmidt, City of Chattanooga
Chase Milner, First Tennessee Development District
Dory Larsen, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Jonathan Overly, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition
Virginia Salazar Buda, DriveElectricTN/East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition
Kevin Courturier. General Motors
Yvonne Porter, Nissan of North America
Simon Kinderknecht (replacing Yvonne Porter)* Nissan – USA
Spencer Leornard, BMW of North America 
Peter Smith, Earth Rides
Don Francis, Clipper Creek
Libby Bittman, Chargepoint
Tony Orlando
Bill Williams, Envision, AESC
Ainsley Kelso, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition         

DET Working Group POLICIES & PROGRAMS

The Policies and Programs Opportunity Area working group was developed by Co-chairs Alexa Voytek, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and Laurel Creech, Metro-Nashville Department of General Services. The goal of the Policies & Program working groups is to create consistent, innovative, and supportive policies across Tennessee at the state, county, city, and utility levels, inclusive of incentives, electricity rates, planning standards, and other policies and programs.

This Opportunity Area is focused on the following five initiatives:

• State Government Relations

• Standardized Local Policies

• Corporate Policies

• Coordinated Utility Programs

• EV / EVSE Incentives

By May 2020, Voytek and Creech determined the scope of work that would be produced during the year and formed a working group, which is comprised of 26 professionals representing over 23 public, non-profit, and private organizations. The Co-chairs selected three projects from the DriveElectricTN (DET) Roadmap, listed below, and committees were developed for each initiative to complete the work. Over the course of the year, each committee met on a recurring basis to work through various action items and to provide a touchpoint for updates.

  • E-VIP / EV Tourism / Destination Charging – Alexa Voytek, Project Lead

As envisioned within the Roadmap, this project seeks to build a program around prioritized EV parking spaces (“VIP” parking) and convenient destination charging stations in order to help EV drivers to realize additional lifestyle benefits from driving an EV and raise awareness of the perks of being an EV driver.

During the year, committee members participated in a call with Travel Oregon, Travel Colorado, Forth, and the Oregon Department of Transportation to better understand tourism marketing and branding components for their electric byway programs and to discuss destination charging and lessons learned that could be applied to Tennessee. Throughout the year, committee members worked to identify existing routes or destination chargers that can be promoted from a tourism perspective and built out draft blog posts on these routes; an EV tourism and destination charging blog, which will feature this content, is expected to be finalized and published to the DET website in early 2021.

Committee members also coordinated with the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development (TDTD) to discuss the various ways in which TDTD can help promote and integrate their efforts with the DET E-VIP / EV Tourism Program. In particular, committee members worked with TDTD to evaluate the potential incorporation of EV charger information onto the TNvacation.com trails and byways webpage; the committee plans to compile a statement of purpose for the effort in 2021 for TDTD to route internally for approval.

  • Location Action Playbook – Laurel Creech, Project Lead

The Local Government Action Plan or Local Action Playbook will serve as a guide on how to design EV-specific policies and goals that cities and other local players can enact to encourage EV adoption and coordinate with other local policy projects. It will also provide helpful information to cities in evaluating and pursuing municipal fleet electrification. The Local Action Playbook will feature a variety of topics to assist local governments large and small, no matter where they are along the journey toward electrification.

After identifying and reviewing related resources, the group decided to build out interactive video content to articulate best practices and/or options for local government implementation. A proposed outline, with nine different sections, was built out. The working group began to flesh out talking points for the first three video modules, “Overview and Introduction to the Local Government Action Plan Video Series,” “Working with Your Local Utility,” and “Creation of a Transportation Electrification Plan.” These videos are expected to be filmed in early 2021.

  • Workplace EV Policy Charging Guide – Mark Finlay, Project Lead

Throughout 2020, the Policy and Programs Opportunity Area committee worked on the development of a guide for workplace charging and employee incentives related to EVs. This guide, which seeks to inform Tennessee-based employers on all of the key considerations tied to workplace charging in Tennessee, addresses topics such as the benefits of workplace charging, the basics of EVs and EV charging, internal planning, installation considerations, operational details, and real-world case studies. During the year, the group met to identify the most important topics and considerations to be included within the guide and subsequently split into smaller teams to research, collaborate, and draft each section of the document. Currently, the completed draft of the Workplace Charging Best Practices Guide is under internal review and DET anticipates publication in early 2021.

Policies & Programs Team:

Alexa Voytek, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Office of Energy Programs (TDEC, OEP) and Policies & Programs Co-Chair
Laurel Creech, Metro-Nashville Department of General Services and Policies & Programs Co-Chair
Mark Finley, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Office of Energy Programs (TDEC, OEP)
Molly Cripps, TDEC, OEP
Brianna Benson, Tennessee Department of Transportation Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)
Bob Williams, Tennessee Department of General Services
Carly Laddusaw, TDOT
Abbie Gristy, Tennessee Department of Tourism Development (member of the EVIP/EV Tourism Sub-Committee)
Mike Bolin, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB)
Tony Richman, Nashville Electric Service (NES)
Brian Solsbee, Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association (TNMEPA)
Tim Suddoth, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative (MTEMC)
Nick Ramos, Bridgestone
Tony Johnson, Schneider Electric
Vivian Ekstrom, City of Memphis
Carlye Sommers, City of Clarksville
Bob Harris, Blackbear Solar Institute
Anne Blair, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)
Stan Cross, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE)
Donald Davidson, Volkswagen Group of America
Annie Gilleo, Greenlots
Andrew Dick, Electrify America
Carine Dumit, EVGO
Michael Briggs, Vanderbilt
Jennifer Weis, Duke Nicholas Institute
Chien-fei Chen, University of TN, Knoxville

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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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