NASHVILLE, TN - Leaders from federal, state, and local governments, the automotive industry, and electric utilities recently met in Tennessee at the Fuel Solutions Forum — soon to host what is believed to be one of the nation's largest electric vehicle charging networks — to discuss a national transition to electric transportation, according to a news release.

Sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a public utility and electricity provider, the forum addressed electricity as a transportation fuel, with an emphasis on education and strategy to help consumers, communities, and industry achieve "plug-in readiness."

A major focus for forum was the plan for Tennessee to have one of the nation's largest systems for this technology by 2013. This is largely due to TVA's key role in The EV Project, an approximately $230 million public-private initiative established last year with a $114.8 million grant from the Department of Energy, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project involves 16 cities in six states and the District of Columbia and is the largest electric vehicle rollout to date.

Under the EV Project, managed by ECOtality North America, the Nashville-Knoxville-Chattanooga corridor will serve as a national pilot for connecting three metropolitan areas with an electric vehicle charging network. The Tennessee project also will include infrastructure for 1,000 Nissan Leaf plug-in electric cars, more than 2,200 standard charging stations, 60 fast-charging stations and 125 solar-assisted charging stations — more than any other area in the nation to date, according to the release.