Nashville Electric Service (NES) is supporting a new initiative that will help bring 200,000 electric vehicles to Tennessee by 2028. The new endeavor is led by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).
The plan involves building a charging network along Tennessee’s interstates and highways that will include charging stations every 50 miles, adding nearly 50 stations to the state.
According to the TVA, current electric vehicle ownership is at about 11,000, and the majority of those electric cars are located in Middle Tennessee. With NES serving as a major utility provider in the region, the utility will play a vital role in helping customers navigate the transition to electric transportation.
“We have heard from our customers for years that ‘range anxiety’ is a big concern with electric vehicle battery life,” says Decosta Jenkins, NES President and CEO. “By partnering with TVA, investing resources and supporting policies to remove obstacles, we will be part of the solution to overcome the perceived problems of owning an electric vehicle.”
Tennessee currently ranks third in the U.S. for electric vehicle production. TVA says the anticipated addition of 200,000 electric vehicles would bring a $120 million economic benefit to the state, with consumers saving about $200 million per year on fuel costs.
The new initiative also comes with several environmental benefits for Tennessee. Electric cars would reduce carbon emissions by nearly 1 million metric tons per year and decrease the state’s reliance on imported fuels.
The network is expected to cost about $20 million. TDEC is allocating $5 million to the project, while the TVA has committed to raising the remaining $15 million.
The project is expected to be complete in the next three to five years.