Working Groups and Participants

hands stacked over each other in black and white, blue background, 'Join one of our working groups today'

During the 2017 and 2018 Drive Electric TN (DET) Roadmap development process, participants forged four “Opportunity Areas” of work focus that were of paramount importance if we are going to achieve our primary goal of reaching 200,000 EVs driving on Tennessee roads by 2028. Additionally, many secondary needed work efforts could be categorized into these Opportunity Areas, which we are now mostly calling our “Working Groups”.  They are:

Information for each Working Group is provided below with a listing the Group co-chairs, all the current members, and a summary for each “Task Force” or “Committee” that is tackling a specific work task.

If YOU want to help advance tailpipe-free driving in Tennessee, we invite you to join a Working Group and see how you can get involved to make a difference for our beautiful state!


TN Level 2 Chargers and DC Fast Charging sites - Dec 2020; Tennessee map
Map of Electric Vehicle charging corridors in Tennessee
Opportunities for EV chargers in distressed and at risk counties, Tennessee map
TN Tech DC Fast Charge unit with people standing in front of Nissan Leaf

Working Group Members

  • Drew Frye headshot
    Co-chair - Drew Frye
    Senior Power Utilization Engineer, TVA
  • Kent-Minault_headshot
    Co-chair - Kent Minault
    Transportation Committee Co-chair, Sierra Club TN Chapter
  • Mark Bentley, Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition
    Brian Blackmon, City of Knoxville Office of Sustainability
    Mike Brown, Nissan North America
    Dr. Stephen Canfield, Tennessee Tech. University
    Emily Carpenter, Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition
    Dr. Pingen Chen, Tennessee Tech. University
    Molly Cripps, TDEC
    Lance Erwin, Seven States Power Corp.
    Sam Ford, BrightRidge
    Allen Goetz, Gilbarco
  • Raven Hernandez, Earth Rides
    Chasity Hobby, KUB
    Matt Kiesow, OATI
    Julian Lile, Tritium
    Mike McCabe, Nissan North America
    Mike Nelson, Nashville Electric Service
    Jonathan Overly, East Tennessee Clean Fuels
    Brian Solsbee, TEMPA
    Ryan Stanton, TVA
    Susan Steffenhagen, Milepost Consulting
    Becky Williamson, MLGW


  • Statement: Clear guidance for a Tennessee audience for best practices surrounding siting and operating DCFC units along corridors and in urban areas.
  • Goal or Output: Site Host Guide Report
  • Deadline: Summer 2021
  • Team: TVA and Atlas Public Policy


Young people registering for Ride & Drive Experiences at booth
Ride and Drive: People standing near Tesla Model 3 and SMART EV car
Ride and Drive, man and child holding sign in front of Chevrolet Volt: 'Knox Vegas Sweet! DET"
Ride and Drive - test driving an Audi
Ride and Drive, two men holding sign: "I drove a Tesla!"

Working Group Members

  • Conseulo Capshaw, Blink Charging
    Eric Cardwell, Knoxville Electric Vehicle Assoc. (KEVA)
    Kevin Couturier, General Motors
    Don Francis, Clipper Creek
    Dave Hrivnak, Ecological Energy Systems LLC
    Kris Kentera, Blink Charging
    Simon Kinderknecht, Nissan USA
    Dory Larsen, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE)
    Robert Lipe, Tesla Owners Club of TN
    Chase Milner, First Tennessee Development District (FTDD)
    Terry Manies, Orange EV
  • Kent Minault, Sierra Club
    Jonathan Overly, East Tennessee Clean Fuels
    Joe Ozegovich, Sierra Club
    Philip Pugliese, Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA)
    Travis Reid, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
    Erik Schmidt, City of Chattanooga
    Peter Smith, Earth Rides
    Becky Williamson, Memphis Light Gas Water (MGLW)
    Marty Young, Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association (KEVA)


  • Statement:  Local or regional chapters that are a collection of EV-interested citizens and businesses from that area can have a powerful impact on raising awareness of EVs through holding Ride & Drives, as well as helping develop utility incentives or potentially local policy. 
  • Goal or Output:  Craft a “Chapter Development Guide” that will provide the necessary background for the need and shine a light on pathways to developing strong local chapters as well as strong local chapter leaders.
  • Deadline:  Spring 2021
  • Team:


  • Statement: Electric vehicle Ride & Drives are one of the best ways to educate citizens and fleet managers about the benefits of EVs. Being able to see all the features, hear how quite they are, see that there is no tailpipe for many can be an eye-opening experience. This TF will develop a R&D event guide that will include keys to running a successful event and how to maximize the experience for the attendee while effectively garnering useful data for your drive electric teams.
  • Goal or Output: PDF-based guide
  • Deadline: Spring 2021
  • Team: 


  • Statement: To ensure that DriveElectricTN develops digital platforms, including a website and social media, to raise awareness about EVs and provide resources to interested parties about the benefits of EVs and how to purchase them.
  • Goal or Output:
  • Deadline: 
  • Team:


  • Statement: Effective signage programs can help improve public knowledge on where charging stations are located, how they are to be utilized, and what limitations might exist around their use. Also, signage can help clarify any penalties for the misuse of charging stations that are only for either parking for PEVs or charging of PEVs.
  • Goal or Output:  Researching current sign use throughout the USA and building a best-practice guide for the state of Tennessee. After Working Group review, this completed guide will be presented to TDEC and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for consideration. 
  • Deadline:  March 2021
  • Team:
    • Eric Cardwell – President, KEVA (Chair)
    • Don Francis – Clipper Creek
    • Philip Pugliese – General Manager, Planning & Grants, CARTA


  • Statement:  Developing multiple case studies that show examples of fleet conversions to EVs can help other fleets better understand some of the eccentricities of such advance, and connect those fleets for better information sharing and networking. 
  • Goal or Output:  Develop three example cast studies utilizing various kinds of electric vehicle types. Students seeking an East Tennessee State University MBA, within the one-year accelerated program, have agreed to work with our team. Three to four students will participate in this project from August 2020-May 2021. 
  • Deadline:  June 2021
  • Team:
    • Virginia Buda – Coordinator, DET (Chair)
    • Chase Milner – Rural Planning Organization Coordinator, FTDD
    • Kevin Couturier – Business Dev. Manager, GM Fleet & Commercial

Policies & Programs

Working Group Members

  • Anne Blair, Electrification Coalition
    Mike Bolin, Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB)
    Michael Briggs, Vanderbilt
    Chien-fei Chen, University of TN, Knoxville
    Molly Cripps, TDEC
    Stan Cross, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE)
    Donald Davidson, Volkswagen Group of America
    Andrew Dick, Electrify America
    Carine Dumit, EVgo
    Vivian Ekstrom, City of Memphis
    Mark Finlay, TDEC
    Annie Gilleo, Greenlots
    Abbie Gristy, TN Dept. of Tourism Development
  • Bob Harris, Black Bear Solar Institute
    Tony Johnson, Schneider Electric
    Carly Laddusaw, TDOT
    Todd Lawrence, Urban Green Lab
    Nick Ramos, Bridgestone
    Tony Richman, Nashville Electric Service (NES)
    Brian Solsbee, Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association (TMEPA)
    Carlye Sommers, City of Clarksville
    Tim Suddoth, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative (MTEMC)
    Jennifer Weis, Duke Nicholas Institute
    Bob Williams, Tennessee Department of General Services


  • Statement: The Local Government Action Plan or Local Action Playbook will serve as a guide on how to design EV-specific policies and goals that cities and other local players can enact to encourage EV adoption and coordinate with other local policy projects. It will also provide helpful information to cities in evaluating and pursuing municipal fleet electrification. The Local Action Playbook will feature a variety of topics to assist local governments large and small, no matter where they are along the journey toward electrification.
    After identifying and reviewing related resources, the group decided to build out interactive video content to articulate best practices and/or options for local government implementation. A proposed outline, with nine different sections, was built out. The working group began to flesh out talking points for the first three video modules, “Overview and Introduction to the Local Government Action Plan Video Series,” “Working with Your Local Utility,” and “Creation of a Transportation Electrification Plan.” These videos are expected to be filmed in early 2021.
  • Goal or Output: “Local Action Playbook” and interactive video content covering these topics:
    1. Working with your Local Utility
    2. Creation of a Transportation Electrification Plan
    3. Promoting Charger Access and Infrastructure Development
    4. Municipal Targets
    5. Equity and Access
    6. Education & Outreach
    7. Incentives
  • Deadline: End of 2021
  • Team: Laurel Creech as Lead, working with the entire Policies & Programs Working Group


  • Statement: Throughout 2020, the Policies and Programs Opportunity Area committee worked on the development of a guide for workplace charging and employee incentives related to EVs. This guide, which seeks to inform Tennessee-based employers on all of the key considerations tied to workplace charging in Tennessee, addresses topics such as the benefits of workplace charging, the basics of EVs and EV charging, internal planning, installation considerations, operational details, and real-world case studies. During the year, the group met to identify the most important topics and considerations to be included within the guide and subsequently split into smaller teams to research, collaborate, and draft each section of the document.
  • Goal or Output: Workplace Charging Guide
  • Deadline: Spring 2021
  • Team: Mark Finlay (TDEC & MWTCF) as Lead, working with entire P&P Working Group


  • Statement: As envisioned within the Roadmap, this project seeks to build a program around prioritized EV parking spaces (“VIP” parking) and convenient destination charging stations in order to help EV drivers to realize additional lifestyle benefits from driving an EV and raise awareness of the perks of being an EV driver.
    During the year, committee members participated in a call with Travel Oregon, Travel Colorado, Forth, and the Oregon Department of Transportation to better understand tourism marketing and branding components for their electric byway programs and to discuss destination charging and lessons learned that could be applied to Tennessee. Throughout the year, committee members worked to identify existing routes or destination chargers that can be promoted from a tourism perspective and built out draft blog posts on these routes; an EV tourism and destination charging blog, which will feature this content, is expected to be finalized and published to the DET website in early 2021.
    Committee members also coordinated with the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development (TDTD) to discuss the various ways in which TDTD can help promote and integrate their efforts with the DET E-VIP / EV Tourism Program. In particular, committee members worked with TDTD to evaluate the potential incorporation of EV charger information onto the TNvacation.com trails and byways webpage; the committee plans to compile a statement of purpose for the effort in 2021 for TDTD to route internally for approval.
  • Goal or Output:
    1. Publishing blog posts on EV Tourism; and
    2. Communicating with the department about adding EV charging locations to the many maps and tourism routes that they publicize.
  • Deadline:  TBD
  • Team:  Alexa Voytek (TDEC & MWTCleanFuels) as Lead, working with the entire P&P Working Group

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