Seven States Power Corp. is drawing attention for its efforts in the electric-vehicle (EV) arena. Over the last few months, they have assisted numerous members and partners with EV charger installations to help grow the EV charger infrastructure in the Tennessee Valley. This week they received news that they, along with a group of their strategic partners, won an EV-related grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to add even more chargers to the EV network.

Seven States- and strategic partners Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Nissan and ChargePoint- were joined by Tennessee Technological University, the University of Texas at Austin, Lighting Systems, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency and Lyft in applying for the DOE grant.

The DOE project seeks to provide an alternative-fuel proof of concept in regions where those alternative fuels are not yet in play. The terms of the grant shared by the Seven States group call for Tennessee Technological University to receive $780,000 from the DOE; that money will be combined with additional matching funds, making the total value of the project $1.56 million. The grant funds will be used to develop an EV testbed in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland region. This testbed will significantly grow the number of EV chargers available to owners of electric vehicles in the TN Valley.

As car dealerships introduce electric vehicles that are increasingly attractive and more affordable, sales are growing. The “Electric Vehicle Sales Forecast and the Charging Infrastructure Required Through 2030” report published by the Edison Electric Institute projects that the number of electric vehicles on US roads by 2030 will reach 18.7 million up from 1 million at the end of 2018. With the increasing number of plug-in vehicles on the road, the need to build an EV charging infrastructure becomes more and more necessary.

“Seven States’ role is to provide the charging equipment and help facilitate installation of charging infrastructure,” said Seven States Vice President Betsey Kirk McCall. “We’re pleased to play a part in bringing EVs to the Upper Cumberland.

“As the energy-services landscape continues to shift, so does Seven States continue to grow. Sharing this DOE grant is an important milestone in Seven States’ development,” McCall said.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory will play host to Seven States Power’s annual meeting Oct. 3, while ChargePoint and Seven States are partnering on a number of installations of EV chargers throughout the Valley.