Sun to power Knoxville charging stations

knoxville-s-power-chargeSolar-powered EV charging stations will arrive in the Knoxville, Tenn. area this fall.

Nissan LEAF Representatives from the City of Knoxville, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville Utilities Board, Tennessee Valley Authority and Knox County have been working with ECOtality to determine where to locate roughly 350 publicly-accessible charging stations in Knoxville and the surrounding area – including 10 solar-powered stations in downtown Knoxville.

Through the EV Project Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga are all test markets for the Nissan LEAF and the charging infrastructure, along with Washington D.C. and a handful of cities in Oregon, Washington, Arizona and California.

Knoxville is particularly excited about hosting two pods of solar-powered stations which each contain five charging stations. Solar panels attached to the charging station will provide clean energy to the electric vehicles pulled in at the site.

“We’re probably going to put them in two different garages in the downtown area,” said Susanna Bass, Knoxville’s Sustainability Program Manager.

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After decisions about the solar-powered charging stations are made, the next step will be determining the locations for the non-solar charging stations, added Bass.

The charging stations resemble small box-like structures that resemble convention gasoline pumps and cars plug into them to recharge. Most owners of the new cars will receive home charging stations to “fuel up” at home, but having a network of public stations will be necessary to allow EV drivers more flexibility and freedom.

“Everyone is very excited to see electric vehicles come to Knoxville and happy to work together on this project,” Bass said.

For more information about the EV Project, or to participate in the project, go to

If you are interested in learning more about the Nissan LEAF or how to buy one, go to

The EV Project is scheduled to last for three years.

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