Drive Electric TN Chapters

Members of the Appalachian Highlands DET Chapter at Drive Electric Earth Day event

Drive Electric TN (DET) Chapters are regional or local collections of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) drivers and other partners who wish to expand the use of EVs in their community. DET cannot meet its goal of having 200,000 EVs on Tennessee roads without the successful work of these very important, local citizens. No one can do the outreach and education to area citizens and businesses like people from those communities.  

DET started working on Chapter development in earnest in 2020… and it takes some time to bring together such members and form a working team. Our current Chapters are:

Four chapters are more fully developed while the remaining chapters are still in the formative stages of establishment. The below map (click on it to see a larger version) provides a visual example of how Chapter development in Tennessee is proceeding but know that we are excited to work with any group of folks to develop a Chapter in your city or community! We hope that at least six Chapters are operational by the end of 2022.

If YOU want to help advance tailpipe-free driving in Tennessee, we invite you to join YOUR LOCAL Chapter – or start a Chapter – and see how you can get involved to make a difference for our beautiful state!

Drive Electric Appalachian Highlands

Northeast region of Tennessee, County map
Drive Electric Appalachian Highlands
People seeing electric vehicles at Drive Electric Earth Day Event
DE Appalachian Highlands at the summer 2022 "Cars & Coffee After Dark" in Johnson City.
DE Appalachian Highlands leadership including 2nd from left Victor Sherwood and far right David Hrivnak.

DE Appalachian Highlands Members

    Chris Bress – Tesla Model X
    Kenny Dick – Tesla Model 3
    Mark DiLuciano – Chevy Bolt
    Wes Franklin – Nissan Leaf
    John Frey – Nissan Leaf
    Adam Gray – Tesla Model 3
    Derek Guske – Mercedes-Benz B250e
    Keith Halberg – Chevy Volt
    Bill Horton – Ford Mustang MachE
    Brenda Hrivnak – RAV4 Prime
    David Hrivnak – Tesla Model 3
    Marti Morenings – Tesla Model Y
    Jacob Ratliff – Tesla Model 3
    David Riggs – Nissan Leaf
    Ken Roberts – BMW i3 REx
    Victor Sherwood – Kia EV6
    Michael & Karen Trepiccione – Tesla Model 3
    Tim Henley, City of Johnson City
    Clayton Dowell, Bristol TN Essential Services
    Jeff Dykes, BrightRidge
    Sam Ford, BrightRidge
    Ted Jackson, Green Interfaith Network
    Jodi Jones, Washington County Commissioner
    Chris Quillen, TVA
    Jason Smith, Appalachian Electric Power
    Paul Sutton, Renewable Energy
    Brandy Lemieux

DE Appalachian Highlands Info

Area: Northeast Tennessee, including the surrounding communities in southwest Virginia and northwestern North Carolina.

Counties covered: Hancock, Hawkins, Cocke, Greene, Washington, Sullivan, Carter, Unicoi, Johnson

Story: In early 2021, multiple partners stepped up to help form this Chapter. Jan Compton of TDEC’s Johnson City Environmental Field Office, Bonnie Donnolly of BrightRidge and David Hrivnak – a stalwart EV advocate from Kingsport – helped bring together others to support the Chapter’s development. In 2022, Victor Sherwood started getting heavily involved developing event opportunities in the area, acquired a Kia EV6 GT Line, and became a co-chair – thanks Victor!

Facebook Group: Drive Electric Appalachian Highlands (join now!)

Media/Event links: Cars & Coffee After Dark (Johnson City, 6/22), DEED 2021 Bristol, DEED 2021 Kingsport

Drive Electric Scenic City

DE Scenic City chapter counties
DE Scenic City logo
DE Scenic City - showing a Tesla to EPA conference attendees
DE Scenic City - letting community citizens test drive Arcomotos
DE Scenic City - EV education at the "Chattanooga Green Prix"

DE Scenic City Members

  • Co-chair - Tyler Farmer
  • Co-chair - David (Dave) Graham
    TVA, retired
    Lynn Dixon – Tesla Model 3 LR
    Tyler Farmer – Energica ESSE 9
    Eric Gershman – Chevy Spark
    Dave Graham – VW ID.4
    Ji Heo – Tesla Model Y
    Bella Jarrett – Tesla Model S P85
    Tyler Marks – Tesla Model 3
    Ken Neal – Fusion Energi
    Chris Wright – Tesla Model S P85

    Mountain View Chevrolet

DE Scenic City Info

Area: The southeastern corner of Tennessee.

Counties covered: Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Rhea, Sequatchie

Story: An EAA chapter existed here many moons ago, but fell into inactivity. Thanks to Tyler Farmer and David Graham, this chapter has a new start! They began ramping up activities and getting a website and social media presence started in early summer 2022. 

Website: https://www.driveelectricsceniccity.org 

Facebook Group: Drive Electric Scenic City (join now!)

Media/Event links: EVs at the Chattanooga Green Prix (Fall 2021)

Drive Electric Smoky Mountains

DE Smoky Mountains Chapter counties
KEVA hosting one of the most successful events to date at the Dogwood Arts Festival
Drive Electric Festival - September 2021
Knoxville Ride & Drive event

DE Smoky Mountains Members

    Eric Cardwell, Chevy Volt
    Susan & Jack Goodwin, 2 Tesla Model 3s
    Kent Minault, Nissan Leaf
    Stephen Jake Mounger, Zero SR/S motorcycle
    Bill Williams, Tesla Model S
    Russell Kennedy, Chevy Bolt
    Marty Young, Chevy Volt
    Kevin Hart, Tesla Model X
    Jamie Russell, Nissan Leaf
    Robert Finn, Tesla Model 3 Performance

    Brian Blackmon, City of Knoxville Office of Sustainability
    Chasity Hobby, Knoxville Utilities Board
    Reeder Chevrolet

DE Smoky Mountains Info

Area: The central area of the eastern “grand division” of Tennessee.

Counties covered: Scott, Morgan, Roane, Loudon, Blount, Knox, Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Union, Sevier, Jefferson, Hamblen, Grainger

Story: KEVA has been operating in the greater Knoxville area for over a decade and is the core group that holds Ride & Drives in the area. To boot, they have been growing over the last few years and are currently the strongest group of EV owners in Tennessee that works on educating others. However, the Knoxville community has all kinds of active participants in the process of advocating for and furthering EV adoption, none the least of which is Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB). KUB released a incentive program – the first in Tennessee – that provides $400 if you purchase an EV and install a home charging unit. Additionally, if you want to thank someone for all the EV charging spots that are located in downtown parking garages, at city parks, and in other locations, thank Brian Blackmon and the staff in the Office of Sustainability for the City of Knoxville.

Website: https://www.knoxev.org/

Facebook Group: Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association (join now!)

Media/Event links:

Drive Electric Upper Cumberland

County map of Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee
UCC photo Crossville NDEW
DE Upper Cumberland Ride& Drive in Fall 2021
Photo of UC meeting on charging locations

DE Upper Cumberland Members

    Mike Allen – Mini Cooper SE
    Dr. Pingen Chen – Mustang Mach-E
    Evan Dake – Tesla Model 3
    Gerald Gannon – Tesla Model 3
    Mike Gotcher – Nissan Leaf
    Will Hoffert – BMW i3
    Linda Lee – Tesla Model 3
    DeLayne Miller – Nissan Leaf
    Joey Other – Nissan Leaf
    Tara Wohlgemuth – Nissan Leaf

    Tara Wohlgemuth, TDEC

DE Upper Cumberland Info

Area: The upper-middle section of Tennessee that abuts Kentucky and is centered in Cookeville.

Counties covered: Macon, Smith, DeKalb, Cannon, Warren, Van Buren, White, Putnam, Jackson, Clay, Pickett, Overton, Fentress, Cumberland 

Story: In 2019, a DOE-funded project was begun that Tennessee Technological University (TNTech) created and won called “Developing an EV Demonstration Testbed in the Upper Cumberland (UC) Region of Tennessee.” Dr. Pingen Chen started that project, and it led into the kickoff of the Upper Cumberland Chapter. In 2022, Silas Stoddart of the Rural Planning Organization located in the Upper Cumberland Development District decided to join and help as a communications and event leader, and we are thankful for it!

Media/Event links:

Drive Electric Nashville

Drive Electric Nashville logo

Drive Electric Nashville (DEN) Members

    Ben Boyles – VW ID.4
    Joe Castagnaro – Tesla Model 3
    Alex Curtis – Tesla Model 3
    Justin Davidson – Hyundai Ioniq 5
    Casey Fleser – Kia EV6
    Curtis Gabriel – Ford F-150 Lightning
    Ademola Ogunnaike – Tesla Model 3
    Ryan Stanton – Rivian R1T
    Jean-Pierre White – Tesla Model 3


    Greater Nashville Technology Council
    LightWave Solar
    TN Dept. of Environment, Office of Energy Programs
    JE Dunn Construction

DEN Information

Area: Davidson and surrounding counties on the north side of Davidson

Counties covered: Davidson, Cheatham, Robertson, Sumner, Trousdale, Wilson

Story: Justin D. and Justin H. came out of the woodwork quickly in Summer ’22 with interest in helping develop the chapter and more public events. Ben Boyles and TVA’s Ryan Stanton are providing start-up assistance as is DET’s Chapter Advisor Jack Goodwin. 

Media/Event links: NDEW 2022 Nashville

Clarksville Area Chapter

Drive Electric Clarksville chapter counties

Clarksville Area Chapter (CAC) Members

    Charlie Weaver – Tesla Model 3
    JoAnn McIntosh – Nissan Leaf


CAC Information

Area: The northwestern corner of Middle Tennessee.

Counties covered: Montgomery, Stewart, Houston 

Story: Carlye and JoAnn started showing interest in events in the area in 2021, and DET collaborated with them for a Ride & Drive in Clarksville in September that included about five EVs including Nissan Leafs, a Mustang Mach-E, several Teslas and two Arcimoto vehicles. Carlye nd JoAnn bring strong organizational capabilities to the team and are looking forward to pulling together area EV drivers into a functioning chapter!

Media/Event links: NDEW 2021 Clarksville

The History of Electric Vehicles

Forms of electric vehicles (EVs) have been around since the early 1800s and have gained major traction within the vehicle industry in the last 10 to 15 years. Around 1832, Robert Anderson, from Scotland, created the first crude electric…