Tennessee Home to Just Over 1,000 Plug-In Vehicles


Nissan Worker Assembles LEAF Battery in Tennessee

Nissan Worker Assembles LEAF Battery in Tennessee

The elusive regional sales data that we so cherish has once again come our way.

We Assume That the Majority of Plug-Ins in Tennessee Have This Unique Front End

We Assume That the Majority of Plug-Ins in Tennessee Have This Unique Front End

Tennessee, birthplace of all US-bound Nissan LEAFs, seems to be lagging behind in adoption of plug-in vehicles.

The state of Tennessee has 309 public chargers, according to data posted by the DoE.  That’s significantly higher than most states surrounding Tennessee.

Yet, Tennessee is home to just barely over 1,000 plug-in vehicles.

For the record, Hawaii is home to more plug-ins than Tennessee, despite Hawaii having high rates for electricity.

Even Long Island, New York has more plug-ins than the entire state of Tennessee.

The date further shows that, in Tennessee, plug-in vehicles represent roughly .05 percent of the state’s 2.7 million registered vehicles.  This is a figure that we rarely see broken out, so we don’t have comparative data on this one.

What’s holding back plug-in sales in Tennessee?  Any Tennesseans out there that want to take a stab at answering this one?

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14 Comments on "Tennessee Home to Just Over 1,000 Plug-In Vehicles"

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This is interesting because Tennessee has the best public QC infrastructure this side of the Mississippi River. Yet it’s still not enough to convince people to switch to electric. If infrastructure is a roadblock, it must be in terms of going out of state. Which brings me to my next point – Long Island and Hawaii are both islands. Obviously Long Island has bridges, but you still have everything you need on the island itself. This reduces the number of trips which would exceed today’s EVs’ range.

Let’s compare the average number of teeth to the number of plugins in the state. There will likely be a correlation. 😉

I feel bad for laughing at that. 😀

Tennessee only made $2.5 million available in $2,500 rebates, enough for only 1,000 Nissan Leafs or Chevy Volts, the only cars that qualified.

CA only offered $2500 for Volts and Leafs too, and they have a way higher take rate. Admittedly, that program is ongoing and not limited to the first 1K sales.

Correction, $2,500 for LEAF and $1,500 for Volt in CA.

Volt owner in Nashville here. The only reason I could think of for lagging behind is the very spread out nature here. People are further apart, and further from work. I don’t know the average commute here (I know the national average is 40 miles). I myself am only 7 miles from my office (driving distance). I do see a lot of Leafs here, but then again, Nissan headquarters just moved here too. However, a trip to downtown Nashville from my home and back could be well over 40 miles. EV Parking spots are popping up all over though. Almost every Crackle Barrel has one. There are spot at the football stadium.

I would think that urban and suburban commuters could use them. I know, there is a lot of rural country but there are also ordinary commuters too. I suspect there is a bit more of a cultural issue than lack of utility. And Tennessee should be a great place for PV panels.

Give it some time… Nissan reports strong Leaf sales there, but that only started in March 2013 once the Tennessee production kicked in. Before March 2013 TN was probably no different from other Middle America states, i.e., weak EV sales and predominantly Volts (I presume).

Eric, how recent is this Tennessee registration data? Is it current as of October 2013? or an earlier month?


My plan to get a used LEAF in Nashville and use the plentiful QC’s to drive it home to my state will not be hampered by competition for charging slots, I see. Now if I could figure out which years/trims actually have QC ports standard.

SV and SL have QC standard. S can be ordered/found with QC upgrade.

Is the 1,000 PEVs in the headline based on Tennessee’s $2,500 rebate for the first 1,000 buyers, or based on current TN PEV registrations? A reference source would be great? From EV Project (as of Jun 2013) there were 986* … Leafs (854) & Volts (132) in TN. – Nashville, TN Metro: 645 Leafs, 54 Volts – Knoxville, TN Metro: 96 Leafs, 33 Volts – Memphis, TN Metro: 54 Leafs, 31 Volts – Chattanooga, TN Metro: 59 Leafs, 14 Volts *Note: these June numbers don’t include Leaf & Volt not enrolled in the EV Project; nor do they include Tennessee registrations for other PEVs: Ford Focus EV & C-Max, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Smart ED, Tesla Model S & Roadster, Toyota Prius Plugin. Comparing Tennessee EV numbers to Hawaii and Long Island numbers is not very good as they have very different demographics. Tennessee is the opposite of an island environment with very different standard of living & lifestyle. From EV Project data, we see Nashville had ~70% of PEVs being the metro area. Nashville metro region is also interesting as it is where 9 of the states 20 DC Quick Chargers are located. The remaining DCQC connect Nashville to Chattanooga and… Read more »

Wow, that makes me even more disappointed in my own province’s EV uptake than I already was.

Here in British Columbia, we have 3.2 million registered vehicles, and about 700 electric vehicles. And we’re considered a “success story” in Canada, with 43% of all Canadian EVs registered here. The government is partly to blame, since they’re the ones installing quick chargers at a less-than-stellar rate, and so are the car companies, who charge a premium on all cars sold here, made even more apparent on top of the usual EV premium.

And if you compare it to the numbers in Washington State, it’s even more embarassing by a wide margin.

I am a East TN resident and no dealerships in the Tri-Cities except Nissan sell EV’s (that I have found and I have looked). Dealers are slow to promote and offer them.