TDEC and TVA partner in push to get more electric vehicles on Tennessee roads

2_9 Tennessee Electric Car Push pkg.transfer_frame_1264.jpeg
Posted at 7:04 AM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 08:18:47-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new statewide effort aims to drive more Tennesseans into electric cars.

Last week, state leaders announced a partnership with the TVA to build vehicle charging stations every 50 miles along the state's interstates and major highways, hoping to make electric cars more practical for drivers.

"My first reaction was yeah, I'm glad they're doing it," Vanderbilt researcher Jack barkenbus said. Barkenbus has been studying electric vehicles for more than a decade. "I wrote back in 2010 that the transition to electric vehicles is coming."

He said now that transition is in its early stages, and the state and TVA partnership is a good start to help the transition along, but it shouldn't be the end.

"I think its a positive thing... now is it going to be enough to meet the full blown needs of a transition that we envision now? No."

Barkenbus said the transition will need help from the private sector, like car companies, adding that one of the biggest roadblocks for electric vehicle is the type and cost of the cars currently on the market.

"If you want to get the big transition coming, the automakers are going to have to produce different vehicles at a price range that people can afford, so that's the challenge."

State leaders say they want 200,000 electric cars on Tennessee roadways by 2028. As of December, 2020, there were about 11,000.