Electric Vehicles to be Displayed May 1-3 at Baker Center

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Electric vehicles will be on display May 1 through 3 at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy while a conference is under way for industry professionals, government agencies, and communities to discuss planning for the growing electric-drive vehicle market.

The display, which is free and open to the public, will be on the plaza in front of the Baker Center. Cars are on loan from the Tennessee Valley Authority and GM.

The conference, which is not open to the public, will consist of two workshops involving automobile manufacturers, state energy offices, metropolitan and regional planning organizations, and academic institutions.

Plug-in vehicle sales reached record numbers last year but still fell short of manufacturer and government expectations. The conference will look at what’s being done to build the market for plug-in vehicles, what works, what doesn’t, and what more should be done.

The first workshop, on Wednesday, May 1, features leaders of the sixteen Electric Vehicle Community Readiness projects, a program funded by the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program to advance the use of electric vehicles.

The second workshop, “Electrifying the Vehicle Market in the Southeast,” on Thursday and Friday, May 2 and 3, will bring together industry leaders, policy makers, researchers, stakeholders, and practitioners to review the costs and challenges, as well as current and future policy initiatives, electric vehicles present. This program is hosted by the Baker Center, with sponsorship from the Tennessee Energy Education Initiative, Nissan, TNSCORE, FedEx, and several UT entities, including the College of Engineering, the Office of Research and Engagement, the Center for Transportation Research, the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Chris Cherry, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will be among the participants and will discuss market barriers in supply and infrastructure of electric vehicles.

“The success of electric vehicles depends on improvements in technology and improved policies to enable adoption. This conference brings together policy makers, industry, and researchers to assist in development of policy that can move the Southeast toward more sustainable transportation systems,” Cherry said.

The Baker Center is a nonpartisan institute devoted to education and research concerning public policy and civic engagement. For more information, visit the Baker Center website.

C O N T A C T :

Nissa Dahlin-Brown (865-974-8681, nissa@utk.edu)

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