Driving Electric in Tennessee Just Got Easier

Thursday June 15, 2023

As automakers retool their factories to build electric vehicles (EVs), many more EVs will be on the roadways in the next decade. Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) is helping to make sure that Tennessee is ready with charging infrastructure.

On Thursday, June 15, BTES cut the ribbon on its newly installed fast chargers at the Pinnacle Shopping Center as part of Fast Charge TN, a partnership between the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and Seven States Power Corporation. This Fast Charge TN installation is part of the regional Fast Charge Network that covers major travel corridors across TVA’s seven-state service area and complements the broader efforts of the National Electric Highway Coalition, which seeks to enable long-distance EV travel by placing fast chargers along interstates and major highways throughout the United States.

“We are participating in Fast Charge TN because we want to help eliminate range anxiety for people who want to own and drive electric vehicles,” said BTES CEO Clayton Dowell. “The funding from TVA and TDEC makes it possible to add fast chargers in our community by providing 80% of the project cost.”

“This charging location does more than charge cars -- it connects Bristol, Tennessee to the Fast Charge Network and plays an important role in putting our region on the leading edge of the new electric economy,” said BTES Board Chair Erin Downs.  

TVA and TDEC have brought together local power companies, state, and local government partners, and others to pave the way for over 200,000 EVs on Tennessee Valley roads by 2028. The benefits that these EVs bring to the Tennessee Valley region are significant:

  • Attracting good jobs -- $13.8 billion in EV and battery manufacturing have helped create over 10,000 EV-related jobs.
  • Reducing carbon emissions from gasoline vehicles by almost 1 million metric tons per year or the equivalent of the carbon sequestered by 1 million acres of US forests in one year.
  • Reinvesting $120 million in the local economy every year from electric refueling.
  • Saving drivers up to $1,000 in fuel and maintenance costs every year.

“Taking a leadership role with our local power company partners and TDEC to create charging infrastructure ensures that we are ready to power these new cars with clean, low-cost, reliable electricity and in turn save drivers money and attract good jobs and tourism– all powered by electricity from TVA and your local power company,” said Ray Knotts, TVA Senior Manager, Energy Services and Programs. “Transportation is the region’s largest source of air pollution, so using TVA’s ever-cleaner power to fuel cars is our biggest opportunity for better air quality. Plus, our region is able to capitalize on this new technology and has become one of the nation’s leading areas for EV manufacturing."

“Tennessee’s air is cleaner as measured by federal air quality standards than it has been in generations, and a clean environment helps drive economic development,” TDEC Deputy Commissioner Greg Young. “TDEC is partnering with TVA and BTES on these charging stations to continue Tennessee’s environmental and economic momentum while further entrenching our state as the epicenter of the electric vehicle transition.”

“As the go-to technology partner for local power companies across the Tennessee Valley, Seven States is proud to support the growing demand for EV charging infrastructure,” said Betsey Kirk McCall, President and CEO of Seven States Power Corporation. “This project is the latest example of how partnerships between private, public, and nonprofit entities can produce lasting real-world impacts on our economy and environment.”

To learn more about the Fast Charge Network, calculate how much money an EV could save you or locate EV charging stations on your travel route, check out https://energyright.com/ev/.

Learn more about Fast Charge TN here: www.tn.gov/EVFastCharge.

Photo (L-R): Seven States Power Corporation Vice President of Partnerships & Project Development Lance Irwin, BTES CEO Clayton Dowell, City of Bristol TN Mayor Vince Turner, BTES Board Chair Erin Downs, Sullivan County TN Mayor Richard Venable, and TVA Senior Manager of Energy Services and Programs Ray Knotts prepare to cut the ribbon.

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