TN Cities Push Forward with Zero-Emission Priorities

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Nashville is one of several Tennessee cities pushing ahead with more sustainable transportation.

Livable Nashville has a goal of reducing vehicle emissions citywide 70 percent by 2050, with even higher goals for the city's transportation fleet. Nashville Mayor David Briley is a member of the Climate Mayors group; and his sustainability manager, Mary Beth Ikard, said while Music City is pushing ahead with electric vehicle priorities, the climate in Washington could have an impact.

"We do depend on the federal government for things like that," Ikard said. "And so a shift in priorities by the administration might impact our ability to get federal funding for the transit authority, which is obviously something that we would prefer not to see."

Ikard added the city also is looking at partners to help launch an all-electric car-share service, similar to one created in Chattanooga, and is encouraging transportation companies to shift over to E.V. fleets. Recently Climate Mayors announced a purchasing collaborative to make it easier for cities to afford electric vehicle infrastructure.

Twenty-six cities, states and businesses in the U.S. and other countries also announced commitments to 100 percent zero-emission vehicle targets, joining dozens of others in the Z.E.V. challenge. Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Climate Group, said the group represents a population of more than 237 million people and businesses with a combined revenue of more than $470 billion dollars.

"And when you aggregate that, put it all together, you really get a strong market signal to the automotive companies to say that this is what your customers want and to ask them to start signaling when they're going to start the endgame of the combustion engine," Clarkson said.

Ikard said it's important for cities and consumers to consider the reduced long-term costs of electric vehicles, as opposed to just the initial investment.

"There are all the time oil changes, replacing of parts," she said. "So you might have a larger upfront investment for your electric bus or your electric sedan, but the maintenance and operation costs on those vehicles over time save money. "

Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga mayors are all part of the Climate Mayors group. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero is a founding member.

Manchester currently has 2 charging stations for electric vehicles, with multiple outlets at each location.

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