Electricity Laws and Incentives in Tennessee

The list below contains summaries of all Tennessee laws and incentives related to electricity.

Laws and Regulations

Alternative Fuel and Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Acquisition and Use Requirements

The Tennessee Department of General Services must ensure that at least 25% of newly purchased passenger motor vehicles procured for use in areas designated as ozone nonattainment areas are all-electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), natural gas vehicles (NGVs), or propane powered vehicles, provided that such vehicles are available at the time of procurement. If these vehicles are not available, conventional gasoline vehicles achieving an average fuel economy of at least 25 miles per gallon (mpg) may satisfy the requirement. In areas not designated as ozone nonattainment areas, at least 25% of newly purchased passenger motor vehicles must be EVs, HEVs, NGVs, propane powered vehicles, or conventional gasoline vehicles achieving an average fuel economy of at least 25 mpg. For non-passenger vehicles, state fleets must make a reasonable effort to purchase at least 5% of these vehicles as natural gas or propane vehicles.

State fleets must make every effort to ensure that 100% of newly purchased motor vehicles are energy-efficient vehicles. Energy-efficient vehicles are defined as passenger vehicles that use alternative fuels, as defined by the Energy Policy Act of 1992; HEVs; conventional gasoline vehicles achieving an average fuel economy of at least 25 mpg; or vehicles powered by ultra-low sulfur diesel achieving an average fuel economy of at least 30 mpg. Additionally, state agencies should use ethanol and biodiesel in appropriate state-owned vehicles whenever possible and support the development of biofuels fueling infrastructure.

The Tennessee Department of General Services must inventory the state’s passenger vehicle fleet and prepare annual progress reports that outline the fleet’s cost savings, pollution avoidance, and petroleum displacement.

(Reference Tennessee Code 4-3-1109)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Fee

In addition to standard registration fees, EV owners must pay an annual fee of $100. Low-speed and medium-speed vehicles are exempt from the fee.

(Reference Tennessee Code 55-4-116)

Utility/Private Incentives

Commercial Time-of-Use Rate (TOU) – Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

TVA offers a commercial TOU rate for customers with direct current fast chargers (DCFC). TOU rates are available through TVA Local Power Company partners. For more information on eligible power companies, see TVA’s Local Power Company Partners website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Knoxville Utility Board (KUB)

KUB offers residential customers rebate up to $400 for the purchase and installation of a Level 2 EV charging station. For more information, including the application, please visit the KUB Electric Vehicle website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Rebate – Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and TVA will establish and fund a network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations every 50 miles along Tennessee’s interstates and major highways through the Fast Charge TN Network Program (Program). The Program offers funding for public DCFC stations along EV corridor gaps, up to $150,000 per DCFC station. Eligible applicants include TVA Local Power Companies, and eligible projects must include a minimum of two DCFC ports per location. Program participants must identify suitable host sites and agree to own, operate, and maintain Program-funded DCFC stations for a minimum of five years. For more information, including guidelines and additional eligibility requirements, see the TVA Fast Charge TN Network website.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Support

Tennessee utilities joined the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC), committing to create a network of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific of the United States. NEHC utility members agree to ensure efficient and effective fast charging deployment plans that enable long distance EV travel, avoiding duplication among coalition utilities, and complement existing corridor DCFC sites. For more information, including a list of participating utilities and states, see the NEHC website.

State Incentives

Tennessee's National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Planning

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) NEVI Formula Program requires the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) to the DOT and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Office by August 1, 2022, describing how the state intends to distribute NEVI funds. Plans must be established according to NEVI guidance.

For more information about Tennessee’s NEVI planning process, see the TDOT Plan website. For more information about Tennessee’s NEVI plan, see the Joint Office’s State Plans for EV Charging website.

Vehicle Emissions Reduction and Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Project Funding

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) provides funding for the repower or replacement of Class 4-8 school, shuttle and transit buses, Class 4-7 local freight trucks, and Class 8 local freight trucks and port drayage trucks, with alternative fuel or all-electric models. Alternative fuels include, but are not limited to, compressed natural gas, propane, and hybrid electric technologies. Funding is also available for light-duty EV charging stations. Private, public, and non-profit organizations, including state, local, and tribal governments, are eligible for funding. This grant program is funded by Tennessee’s portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including funding availability, see the TDEC Project Solicitations website.

More Laws and Incentives

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