general motors

Report ranks Tennessee 20th for transportation electrification (UPDATED)

Gov. Bill Lee attends a groundbreaking ceremony for an electric vehicle expansion of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga on November 13, 2019. (Image credit: State of Tennessee)

While automakers with assembly plants in Tennessee are ramping up plans to churn out more electric vehicles, the state is receiving middling grades for policies promoting zero-emissions transportation.

According to the report released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Tennessee ranks 20th in the country. Top-rated California received 91 out of 100 possible points, followed by New York (64.5 points), the District of Columbia (59 points), Maryland (56 points) and Massachusetts (54.5 points).

Tennessee received 30.5 points on the group’s scale, placing it behind Virginia (36 points) and North Carolina (31.5 points) in the Southeast.

Tennessee was awarded seven of 17 possible points for planning an goals, 9.5 of 30 for incentives for electric vehicle deployment, one of 12 for transportation system efficiency, 5.5 of 10 for electric grid organization, two of 10 for equity, and 5.5 of 21 for outcomes.

UPDATE: The state and the Tennessee Valley Authority on Wednesday announced a partnership to develop a statewide electric vehicle fast-charging network. Under the agreement, charging stations will be located every 50 miles along interstates and major highways.

The full release follows.

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UAW workers at GM plant in Spring Hill narrowly reject deal

United Auto Workers union members at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill have narrowly rejected a tentative national agreement for a new contract. Workers have been on strike for more than a month.

The vote was 1,673 against the deal and 1,666 in favor. The ratification of the deal will be determined by the total UAW membership around the country. Voting is expected to be completed by Friday.

GM plants in Spring Hill and Lansing, Mich., would be in line to make a next generation midsize SUV under the deal. Making the new vehicle is projected to cost $1 billion and create 5,000 jobs.

UAW-covered workers would receive a $11,000 signing bonus upon ratification of the contract, while temporary workers would get $4,500.

Workers would receive 4% lump sum payments in the first and third years of the contract, and 3% wage hikes in the second and fourth years. The agreement also envisions an accelerated path for temporary workers to become employees.