It wasn’t long ago that electric vehicles (EVs) felt as futuristic as George Jetson. Fast forward to the present and demand for EVs has sparked an uptick in manufacturing from local companies like Volkswagen and Novonix.
The zeitgeist has turned in favor of electric transportation thanks to many factors including a decline in vehicle prices, unpredictable fuel costs, innovations that have increased EV drive-ranges, and a desire to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.
The future of transportation looks electric. Still, to reach mass appeal, drivers need convenient and worry-free ways for their EVs to reach full charge.
Chattanooga companies are stepping up to meet the needs of EV drivers and offer commuters more opportunities to access low-carbon transportation.
EV mobile app, PlugShare, reveals there are at least 166 charging stations in the Greater Chattanooga area – compared to 195 in Knoxville and 158 in Memphis, Tennessee. This number is rising rapidly in Chattanooga thanks to local service providers including CARTA, TVA and EPB.
As part of its Earth Month celebration, EPB added 13 charging stations to its downtown parking garage. The utility provider also launched three new incentives for local companies looking to deploy additional EV charging options. Additionally, they’ve partnered with TVA, the State of Tennessee and others to add electric fast-charging stations every 50 miles along major Interstate highway corridors.
EPB’s parking garage joins downtown staples like Chattanooga ChooChoo that offer free charging for EVs. While charging EVs is free, 10th Street garage is pay to park with rates starting at $1 and a daily maximum of $8.
Finley Stadium could also see potential charging stations in the future. With crowds rushing back to support UTC football and Chattanooga Football Club, the stadium may see EV charging stations as an added revenue stream.
Tesla has considered adding charging ports near the dog park on a vacant property owned by Finley Stadium. The Volkswagen-owned charging network, Electrify America, received approval by stadium board to add six new charging stations on location – per Chattanoogan.
Adding to the list, Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is also looking to grow its ChargePoint and Tesla Supercharger stations.
It’s no secret that conservation efforts, drive companies to the Scenic City. In fact, members consistently say Chattanooga and Hamilton County’s natural resources are a primary benefit of doing business and living here.
This healthy business environment mindset, combined with support from local companies, help pave the way for an EV boom in Chattanooga while nurturing the battery manufacturing industries in town.