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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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Volkswagen chooses Chattanooga for electric vehicle production

Volkswagen has chosen its lone U.S. assembly plant in Chattanooga to build electric vehicles for the North American market. The German automaker said it will invest $800 million and create 1,000 jobs. The first electric vehicle is schedule to be produced in Chattanooga by 2022.

Here is a release from Gov. Bill Haslam’s office:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe along with Volkswagen AG announced today that Chattanooga will be home to the company’s first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in North America.

The project represents an investment of $800 million by Volkswagen and the creation of 1,000 jobs in Hamilton County.

“The shift toward electric vehicles is a trend that can be seen worldwide, and Volkswagen’s decision to locate its first North American EV manufacturing facility in Chattanooga underscores Tennessee’s manufacturing strength and highly-skilled workforce,” Haslam said. “As one of Hamilton County’s top employers, these additional 1,000 jobs will have a lasting impact on the region. I thank Volkswagen for its partnership and also applaud the company for its ongoing commitment to education and workforce alignment, which helps Tennessee build a pipeline of talent for years to come.”

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