Electric Transportation

Electric vehicles are here, and TVA is working hard to make sure that battery technology continues to advance, the infrastructure is robust and charging stations are prepared for a future of clean transportation.

TVA is conducting research to make sure this system is a success, including:

  • Developing ways for the various types of electric cars and charging stations to work more efficiently together
  • Dealing with the impact of charging stations on the power grid
  • Finding ways, such as solar-assisted charging and distributed energy storage, to minimize demands on the grid
  • Refining power-system control processes to maximize energy efficiency and take advantage of the environmental benefits of electric transportation
  • Developing smart charging strategies to help TVA and regional power distributors maximize the potential of electricity to replace petroleum as the transportation fuel of choice

TVA is working with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, local power distributors and regional stakeholders to develop fast, efficient stations where drivers can recharge their cars. TVA is also working with industry to research the recycling of car batteries to help meet demand placed on the power grid by the charging stations.

Building the Stations

The TVA SMART Station deployment, powered in part by solar energy, will supplement the network of charging stations developed by ECOtality North America and regional stakeholders across Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn.

The design for the first prototype, known as the Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal, or SMART station, features power generation by solar photovoltaic panels, stationary battery storage of power and key elements of smart grid technology.

TVA and its partners are making the SMART station design public at no charge so that communities and developers across the country can take advantage of best practices developed through the program.