Carter County site among 31 to get funding for EV charging stations

Published 12:37 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

By Robert Sorrell
Star Correspondent
A Carter County site has been selected by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to receive funding for an electric vehicle fast-charging station.
Last week, the TDOT, in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, awarded $21 million in federal funds for stations across the state. Thirty-one EV fast-charging locations are needed to fill gaps along the state’s designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, which includes interstate routes and U.S. 64, according to a news release.
Three sites have been selected in the Tri-Cities region, including one off Exit 27 along Interstate 26 in Carter County. The south Johnson City site would be located at the BP KenJo market in the Okolona community.
The project at BP will cost a total of $980,000. The federal government will cover $636,580 and the company will cover $344,205, according to TDOT.
Other area projects include one at a gas station in Erwin at Exit 44 along Interstate 26 and another on Jearoldstown Road off Interstate 81.
Stations are required to be located at least every 50 miles along the routes, according to TDOT.
“Tennessee has been home to the automotive industry since the 1980s and those automakers are growing electric vehicle manufacturing,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley. “With these federal dollars, Tennessee is investing in its future and paving the way to lead the nation as an EV epicenter. We want to ensure that drivers in any vehicle can safely get across the state from Mountain City to Memphis.”
Federal funding through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program allocated $88 million for Tennessee over five years from 2022 to 2026, the release states. TDOT and TDEC developed a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to solicit applications for the grant funding.
TDOT said 167 applications were received from 23 different applicants, comprised of both public and private entities. Ten of those applicants will be awarded contracts to establish 30 new charging locations throughout the state, including the Okolona site.
The awardees will purchase, install, own, operate, maintain and report on the program-funded EV charging infrastructure.
The state formula funding requires a match of at least 20% of the federal funds. BP is matching 35%.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in the fall, according to TDOT.

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