Tuesday, January 22, 2019

New Plan Pushes Electric Vehicles in Tennessee

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 11:04 AM

click to enlarge The 2019 Nissan Leaf. - NISSAN ELECTRIC/FACEBOOK
  • Nissan Electric/Facebook
  • The 2019 Nissan Leaf.

A group hopes to see thousands of new electric vehicles on Tennessee roads in the next 10 years and recently published a roadmap to guide them there.

The Drive Electric Tennessee Roadmap was devised by 30 organizations across the state, including Memphis, Light, Gas & Water. Leaders from the cities of Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga participated in the project but not Memphis, according to the report. But the report notes that being on the contributors list “does not constitute an endorsement of the roadmap.”

The report says that while Tennessee is an automobile manufacturing hub, including two companies — Nissan and Volkswagen — that do or will make electric vehicles here, consumers hear haven’t yet bought in.

The state’s electric vehicle population in 2017 was less than 5,000, the report says, less than 0.1 percent of the overall light-duty vehicle market.

“Drive Electric Tennessee aims to increase this number to at least 200,000 (electric vehicles) by 2028,” the report says. “This is an ambitious but achievable options goal based not he projections outlined in this roadmap.”

click to enlarge A graph shows the projected electric vehicle consumption over the next 10 years. - DRIVE ELECTRIC TENNESSEE ROADMAP
  • Drive Electric Tennessee Roadmap
  • A graph shows the projected electric vehicle consumption over the next 10 years.

To get there, the plan suggests adding to the state’s electric-vehicle-charging infrastructure, which currently includes 800 stations. “Range anxiety,” the group says, can be barrier to adoption. So, the group says charging stations should be located at homes, apartment buildings, workplaces, parking garages, restaurants, malls, and more.

“It is important for Tennessee drivers to feel comfortable when they are going about their everyday personal and business lives in an (electric vehicle), whether they are driving across Memphis or making the trip from Nashville to Knoxville,” reads the report.

The group says “most people have still never ridden in or driven” an electric vehicle. So, they want to push a public awareness campaign to change customer perceptions about them. That campaign would include “ride and drive” promotions, educating fleet owners, and consumer education. 
click to enlarge 1350577229-0405_fedex_630x420.jpg

State and local governments, utilities, and corporations could pitch in to establish and promote electric vehicle best practices and policies across the state, reads the report.

The group also hopes Tennessee auto dealers will expand their offerings to meet customer here where they are. For example, the report says the Ford F Series truck is the top registered vehicle type in the state. However, most of the electric vehicles offered here are small-large passenger vehicles like the BMWi3, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model S.

The project is slated to get underway this year and continue to 2028.

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