Tennessee Laws and Incentives for EVs
The list below contains summaries of all Tennessee laws and incentives related to EVs.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Exemption
Vehicles that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines as Inherently Low Emission Vehicles or Low Emission and Energy-Efficient Vehicles and have gross vehicle weight ratings of 26,000 pounds or less are permitted use of HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants. Such vehicles must display a Tennessee Department of Revenue decal. For more information, see the Department of Revenue Smart Pass FAQs website. (Reference Tennessee Code 55-8-188)
Laws and Regulations
Alternative Fuel and Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Acquisition and Use Requirements
The Tennessee Department of General Services must ensure that at least 25% of newly purchased passenger motor vehicles procured for use in areas designated as ozone nonattainment areas are hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) or natural gas vehicles (NGVs), provided that such vehicles are available at the time of procurement. If HEVs or NGVs are not available, conventional gasoline vehicles achieving an average fuel economy of at least 25 miles per gallon (mpg) may satisfy the requirement. In areas not designated as ozone nonattainment areas, at least 25% of newly purchased passenger motor vehicles must be HEVs, NGVs, or conventional gasoline vehicles achieving an average fuel economy of at least 25 mpg.
State fleets must make every effort to ensure that 100% of newly purchased motor vehicles are energy-efficient vehicles. Energy-efficient vehicles are defined as passenger vehicles that are alternative fuel vehicles using alternative fuels, as defined by the Energy Policy Act of 1992; HEVs; conventional gasoline vehicles achieving an average fuel economy of at least 25 mpg; or vehicles powered by ultra-low sulfur diesel achieving an average fuel economy of at least 30 mpg. Additionally, state agencies should strive to use ethanol and biodiesel in appropriate state-owned vehicles whenever possible and should support the development of biofuels fueling infrastructure.
The Tennessee Department of Health and Conservation must inventory the state's passenger vehicle fleet and prepare annual progress reports that outline cost savings, pollution avoidance, and petroleum displacement of the fleet
Energy Task Force
The Governor's Task Force on Energy Policy is developing a state energy plan to facilitate energy efficiency and the use of alternative and renewable fuels in Tennessee. The energy plan will include a summary of opportunities for the state government to use an energy-efficient approach to purchasing and managing the state vehicle fleet; prospective policies, legislation, and incentives to encourage energy efficiency; possible public-private partnerships to encourage research and development of clean energy technologies; and strategies for expanding the use of alternative and renewable fuels. (Reference Executive Order 54, 2008)