Expired, Repealed, and Archived Tennessee Incentives and Laws
The following is a list of expired, repealed, and archived incentives, laws, regulations, funding opportunities, or other initiatives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, advanced technologies, or air quality.
Vehicles that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines as Inherently Low Emission Vehicles or Low Emission and Energy-Efficient Vehicles and have gross vehicle weight ratings of 26,000 pounds or less are permitted use of HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants. Such vehicles must display a Tennessee Department of Revenue decal. This exemption expires September 30, 2019. For more information, see the Department of Revenue HOV Smart Pass website. (Reference Tennessee Code 55-8-188)
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Office of Energy Programs administers the Natural Gas and Propane Vehicle Grant Program (Program). The Program provides fleets with grants to cover up to 70% of the incremental purchase cost, up to $25,000 per vehicle, for new original equipment manufacturer dedicated natural gas or propane vehicles, or for the cost of natural gas or propane vehicle conversions. Natural gas or propane bi-fuel vehicles used for emergency response purposes are also eligible for funding. Public, non-profit, and private Tennessee-based fleets are eligible to apply for funding and must intend to operate vehicles in Tennessee for a minimum of six years. Grant applications are limited to one per applicant, must include at least one vehicle, and are not to exceed $250,000.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's (TDEC) School Bus Replacement Grant program provides funding for the replacement of model year 2009 or older Class 4-8 school buses with new diesel, alternative fuel, or all-electric school buses. 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. This grant program is funded by Tennessee's portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including how to apply, see the TDEC School Bus Replacement Grant website.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) engages in public-private partnerships with transportation fuel providers to install biofuel fueling facilities. Fueling facilities include storage tanks and fuel pumps dedicated to dispensing E85 and biodiesel blends of 20% (B20). TDOT administers the Biofuel Green Island Corridor Grant Project (Project) to provide financial assistance for purchasing, preparing, and installing fueling facilities at private sector fuel stations. The goal of the Project is to help establish biofuel stations within 100 miles of each other along Tennessee's interstate system and major highways. (Reference Tennessee Code 54-1-136)
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) offers a rebate for qualifying PEVs purchased or leased after June 15, 2015. PEV dealerships will distribute rebates to consumers in the amount of $2,500 for all-electric vehicles, and $1,500 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. To qualify, leased PEVs must have a minimum of a three-year lease. Rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis, until all funds are exhausted.
In 2013, Tennessee joined Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to stimulate the production and demand for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) NGVs. The MOU aims to encourage OEMs to offer functional and affordable light- and medium-duty NGVs, aggregate state vehicle procurement through a joint request for proposals (RFP), boost private investment in natural gas fueling infrastructure, and encourage greater coordination between state and local agencies. In 2012, National Association of State Procurement Officials coordinated the solicitation of a joint RFP, which the Oklahoma Department of Central Services (DCS) issued on behalf of the MOU signatories and additional states. As a result, state fleets have access to more affordable NGVs through dealerships now included in state vehicle purchasing bids. For more information, including awarded vehicles by state and vehicle purchase information for state fleets, see the DCS Statewide Contract for NGVs solicitation page.
Private fleets with three or more vehicles are eligible for $1,000 toward each new propane vehicle or qualified propane vehicle conversions. Additionally, an incentive up to $1,000 is available for each new or converted propane commercial mower operated by landscapers, parks departments, school districts, universities, businesses, or farmers. TPERC will award incentives on a first-come, first-served basis. Incentives are available through participating dealers and may be reserved with proof of valid sales or purchase order. All systems for vehicles and mowers must be certified through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the California Air Resources Board. All vehicles and mowers must be registered and operated in Tennessee. Additional terms and conditions apply. For more information, see the TNPGA Incentive Programs website.
The state legislature supports the Federal "25 x 25" initiative, under which 25% of the total energy consumed in the United States by 2025 would be produced from domestic agriculture. (Reference Senate Joint Resolution 728, 2008)
The Governor's Task Force on Energy Policy developed a state energy plan to facilitate energy efficiency and the use of alternative and renewable fuels in Tennessee. The energy plan provided a summary of opportunities for the state government to use an energy-efficient approach to purchasing and managing the state vehicle fleet; prospective policies, legislation, and incentives to encourage energy efficiency; possible public-private partnerships to encourage research and development of clean energy technologies; and strategies for expanding the use of alternative and renewable fuels. A final report was published in February 2009. (Reference Executive Order 54, 2008)
The Tennessee Department of Revenue administers the biodiesel manufacturers' incentive fund, which provides Tennessee biodiesel producers with payments for biodiesel fuel produced and sold to Tennessee distributors. Each manufacturer may receive incentives for up to 10 million gallons of biodiesel produced annually. This incentive is available through June 30, 2013, and funding must be appropriated each year. (Reference Tennessee Code 67-3-103 and 67-3-423)
Through the EV Project, ECOtality offers EVSE at no cost to individuals in the Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, and Chattanooga metropolitan areas. To be eligible for free home charging stations, individuals living within the specified areas must purchase a qualified plug-in electric vehicle (PEV). Individuals purchasing an eligible PEV should apply at the dealership at the time of vehicle purchase. The EV Project incentive program will also cover most, if not all, of the costs of EVSE installation. All participants in the EV Project incentive program must agree to anonymous data collection after installation. Additional restrictions may apply.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation administers a grant program to support local government and public university use of E85 and biodiesel blends of at least 20% (B20). Eligible projects include incremental fuel costs; engine maintenance; conversion or installation of infrastructure; and promotional materials.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture may develop and implement an alternative fuel research program to stimulate public and private research in fuel-related conversion technology. This research should address converting Tennessee agricultural products, such as soybeans, switchgrass, and other biomass, into alternative fuels, as well as the production capabilities needed to deliver such alternative fuels to consumers. (Reference Tennessee Code 54-1-136)
The Governor's Interagency Alternative Fuels Working Group, supported administratively by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, was established to develop a comprehensive state alternative fuels strategy to make Tennessee a leader in the production, distribution, and use of biofuels. The Working Group developed BioTENN, a comprehensive, statewide public education and outreach campaign to increase public awareness and understanding of alternative fuels, particularly biofuels. (Reference Executive Order 33, 2006)
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development will disperse loans of up to $500,000 for projects that increase Tennessee farm income and production of alternative fuel feedstock. Eligible facilities include those that process more than 200,000 bushels each year.
The Tennessee State Energy Office, Department of Economic and Community Development, Energy Division offers grants to county governments for the installation of biodiesel infrastructure, including biodiesel tanks, pumps, and card readers, that can be used to provide biodiesel fuel for county and city owned vehicles, including school buses, maintenance vehicles, heavy equipment, and other vehicles powered by diesel fuel. Grant funding is available for up to 50% of total project costs, but not more than $12,000 may be awarded per individual grant. Grants are limited to one per county and are available through June 2010.
The Tennessee legislature recommends that a study committee be created to research renewable energy resources and their potential uses by private entities and state and local agencies, and encourages the use of renewable energy from biomass or bio-based products, including biodiesel. (Reference Senate Joint Resolution 251, 2005)
The Tennessee Department of Transportation is urged to: study implementation of a policy exempting low emission and energy-efficient vehicles from the requirements of the HOV lane and implementing federal regulations; consult with the Federal Highway Administration regarding the proper implementation of such a policy; and report its findings and recommendations to the transportation committees of the state General Assembly. (Reference Senate Bill 2932, 2006)