Alternative Fuel Financing, Updates and News

In 2013, the State of Tennessee ranked 14th in the U.S. based on the total number of vehicle miles traveled.[1]  That year, according to the EIA, a hefty 71,067 million miles were traveled within Tennessee. These millions of miles present a unique opportunity, as we find ways to advance sustainable transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the State.

Below you will find a collection of updates on opportunities for alternative fuel financing and accessibility:

Propane Funding

Thanks to funding from the Tennessee Propane Education and Research Council, private Tennessee fleets (with three or more vehicles) can now apply for up to $1,000 per vehicle for new, factory-direct propane-powered vehicles and up to $1,000 for the purchase of engines converted to run on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). The conversion systems may be bi-fuel and/or dedicated conversion systems. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit: http://www.etcleanfuels.org/docs/Propane-Vehicle-Incentives-for-Businesses_8-1-14.pdf.

Alternative Fuel Aggregate Purchasing Models

The U.S. DOE announced on June 8, 2015 up to $2 million in competitive funding to support models for aggregate purchasing of plug-in electric or other alternative fuel vehicles, alternative fuels, and/or refueling/charging infrastructure. In particular, DOE seeks proposals for ways to coordinate customers in order to maximize collective buying power and to lower costs. Applications are due by August 31, 2015. For more information, and for access to the full funding opportunity announcement, visit: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=277098.

Electric Vehicle Rebates

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Energy Programs will offer a two-tiered rebate on qualifying electric vehicles that are purchased or leased and registered after June 15, 2015 in the State of Tennessee.

Electric vehicle dealerships will be responsible for providing the rebate to consumers after such funds are received from the State. The State will rebate $2,500 on zero-emission battery electric vehicles and $1,500 on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles sold or leased (with a three-year minimum lease term) by a Tennessee dealership to Tennessee residents, after a claim is filed by the dealership.

For the purposes of this rebate, battery electric vehicles are defined as fully electric, zero-emission vehicles that have an on-board electrical energy storage device that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have zero-emission vehicle range capability and an onboard electrical energy storage device that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. In general, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can be driven using electricity, gasoline or both.

There is currently $682,500 available for this second iteration of the electric vehicle rebate program. The rebate program will go into effect for vehicle purchases or leases made after June 15, 2015. Rebates will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis, and the program will remain active until funds are exhausted.

For more information, visit: http://www.tn.gov/environment/energy_rebates.shtml.

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

The U.S. DOE’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator, which provides up-to-date information on biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electricity, E85, hydrogen, liquefied natural gas, and propane refueling/recharging locations, has recently logged over 20,000 stations to its list. Users can filter their search results based on specific queries, and can even tailor a search for electric charging stations, for instance, down to the type of charger that they are seeking to hook up to.

For those drivers who are searching for a station while on the road, the Station Locator also exists as a mobile website and iPhone app.

CNG Rally Across Tennessee

Grand opening of the Gibson County Utility District in Trenton, TN. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Overly with the East TN Clean Fuels Coalition.

Grand opening of the Gibson County Utility District in Trenton, TN. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Overly with the East TN Clean Fuels Coalition.

The Tennessee Gas Association (TGA) hosted the 2015 TGA Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Across Tennessee Rally during the week of May 18-22, with stops in Memphis, Trenton, Nashville, Athens and Sevier County.  This five stop tour visited public natural gas refueling stations along Tennessee’s CNG highway, serving to educate the public about the benefits of natural gas as a vehicle fuel.

On May 19th, the Gibson County Utility District natural gas refueling station held its grand opening ceremony in Trenton. This refueling station served as the second stop on the CNG Across Tennessee Rally. The Trenton “green” station utilizes a Kohler gas generator to produce power for the station from natural gas and Andalay solar panels to keep the station off the grid.

“Our public CNG infrastructure is one of our state’s best kept secrets,” said Lynette DiMeola, Executive Director of the Tennessee Gas Association.  “This statewide effort serves to promote this growing industry and inform the public that a natural gas vehicle, fleet or semi-truck can drive across the state of Tennessee refueling with domestic natural gas as vehicle fuel.”

For more information on the individual rally stops, visit http://www.tngas.org/NewsArticles.aspx?ID=72.

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