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. Beginning January 1, 2024, annual EV registration fees increase according to the following schedule:
|Years||Annual EV Fee|
|2024 to 2026||$200|
|2028 and later||$274, adjusted for annual inflation|
Beginning January 1, 2024, in addition to standard registration fees, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owners will be subject to the following annual fees:
|Years||Annual EV Fee|
|2024 to 2028||$100|
|2028 and later||$100, adjusted for annual inflation|
Low-speed and medium-speed vehicles are exempt from the fee.
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 a 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.
Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) and Electric Vehicle (EV) Weight Exemption
NGVs and EVs may exceed the state’s gross and axle vehicle weight limits by up to 2,000 pounds (lbs.). The NGV and EV maximum gross vehicle weight may not exceed 82,000 lbs. This exemption applies on all interstate highways.
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 annual EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan (Plan) to the DOT and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), describing how the state intends to distribute NEVI funds. The submitted plans must be established according to NEVI guidance.
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. Private, public, and non-profit organizations, including state, local, and tribal governments, are eligible for funding.
In partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), TDEC also provides funding for the Fast Charge TN Network, which supports the deployment of direct current (DC) fast charging stations. Eligible applicants include TVA-served Local Power Companies whose service territory is located along corridors.
The grant programs are funded in part by Tennessee’s portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including funding availability, see the TDEC Project Solicitations and Fast Charge TN Network websites.
More Laws and Incentives
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