Electric Vehicles Becoming a Reality
The Department of Energy has selected Tennessee as one of five states participating in what is being described as "the largest deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure ever undertaken."
Tennessee's role in the project is an outgrowth of Governor Phil Bredesen's conversations with Nissan North America, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and other public and private partners committed to promoting the use of zero-emission vehicles, including electric vehicles. DOE's announcement of the electric vehicle project involving Nissan and the state of Tennessee is one of 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects that will receive $2.4 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"Our clean-energy future depends on the adoption of new technologies," Bredesen says. "It's gratifying to see Tennessee joining other top clean-energy states at the leading edge of this exciting new project."
The multistate project will be funded through a $99.8 million DOE grant to Electric Transportation Engineering Corp. (eTec), a subsidiary of ECOtality, Inc., a Phoenix, Arizona-based leader in electric transportation and storage technologies. eTec, in partnership with Nissan, will take advantage of the early availability of the Nissan Leaf, a newly unveiled zero-emission electric vehicle, to develop, implement and study techniques for optimizing the effectiveness of charging infrastructure that will support widespread electric vehicle deployment.
In its news release, DOE cited the project as an initiative that will help "establish American leadership in creating the next generation of advanced vehicles."
The project will install electric vehicle charging infrastructure and deploy up to 5,000 Nissan battery electric vehicles in strategic markets in five states: Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington. In the Volunteer State, the initial investments will focus on Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville. Approximately 2,500 charging stations will be installed to support as many as 1,000 cars that are expected to be purchased for use in commercial and government fleets and by individual consumers.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory will assist the project by studying the interaction of the charging stations, some of which will be solar powered, with TVA's electric grid.
Web site provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Communications and External Relations