The Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation have partnered to develop a statewide fast charging network. The plan is to add approximately 50 new charging locations, one every 50 miles, along Tennessee’s interstates and major highways. There are currently about 24 public fast charging locations in the state that support both the CCS and CHAdeMO charging standards.
TVA says it will work with local power companies to deploy charging stations close to major highways, with access to amenities that drivers expect.
Ryan Stanton, a spokesman for the state of Tennessee, told Electrek that the first chargers should be operational by 2022, and the state hopes to complete the entire project by 2023-2024.
The project is expected to cost about $20 million. Approximately $5 million will come from the state’s Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation allocation, and the remainder will be funded by TVA, other program partners, and program participant cost shares.
TVA, a federally owned corporation, is the country’s largest power provider, serving 10 million customers in 7 states. The company is not exactly considered an environmental leader. The Sierra Club recently listed TVA among many utilities that are “trying to greenwash their climate commitments,” and gave the company an F grade for its climate pledges. According to the Sierra Club, TVA has only committed to retire 17% of its coal plants by 2030, and is planning to add large amounts of new fossil fuel generation, including 3,748 megawatts of new gas capacity by 2030.
However, we’ll take our victories where we can get them—the Sierra Club expressed support for TVA’s EV charging project. “It’s vital for the electric utility sector to invest in EV programs, so TVA’s commitment is an important first step to moving EVs into the fast lane of adoption, especially in a region that’s quickly becoming an important electric vehicle manufacturing hub,” said the Sierra Club’s Jonathan Levenshus.
“Innovative partnerships with state agencies like TDEC and our local power companies are essential in developing one of the nation’s most comprehensive EV fast charging networks, starting in Tennessee,” TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash said. “Through this partnership, TVA is positioned to be a national leader in electric transportation by making it easier for local power companies to install fast charging stations, which make electric vehicles an easy choice for consumers to make.”