After Ford announced multi-billion dollar investment in EV’s, Tennessee advanced energy business leaders, higher education partners and energy experts share information about East Tennessee’s advanced energy economy

Contact: Hannah Whitson,, (423) 408-4203

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) held its third Advanced Energy Virtual Business Roundtable today with a focus on East Tennessee. The roundtable brought business leaders, entrepreneurs and higher education partners together for a discussion about the electric vehicle supply chain, advanced energy jobs and how to further energize economic development in the Volunteer State. 

“Tennessee has gained significant ground in the development of its advanced energy business sector,” said Cortney Piper, TAEBC Executive Director. “Recent electric vehicle announcements from several large automotive manufacturers such as Ford, GM and Volkswagen signal major progress towards making Tennessee the number one state in the country for the electric vehicle supply chain.”

Earlier this year TAEBC released an updated economic impact report that measured the scope and scale of the state’s advanced energy economy, which includes the electric vehicle supply chain. Altogether, Tennessee’s advanced energy industry grew at a faster pace than the state’s overall economy and employs nearly 394,000 Tennesseans in more than 20,000 businesses that contribute almost $46 billion to the state’s GDP. For more information on that report, click here.

Director of eMobility North America at Volkswagen of America, Dustin Krause, contributed to the business leader perspective of the program by sharing vehicle electrification goals. Krause highlighted Volkwagen’s plans to invest $4.3 billion into the Chattanooga Assembly Plant, which includes the $800 million MEB (Modular Electric Drive Matrix) platform and battery assembly line expansions.

Flora Tydings, Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, shared significant insights into the development of Tennessee’s advanced energy workforce including enrollment of over 41,000 students in advanced energy programs with a total of 161 programs available in East Tennessee’s community colleges and colleges of applied technology campuses. Tydings also mentioned a new technical college will be built in West Tennessee to support the additional 27,000 jobs created by the Ford electric vehicle manufacturing complex.  

Business leaders and entrepreneurs also heard from Dr. Deborah Crawofrd, University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Vice Chancellor for Research; Dr. Claude Pressnell, Jr., President of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA); Dr. Flora Tydings, Chancellor for the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR); Jesse Smith, Manager of Industrial and Economic Development Partnerships at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Heath Jones, Managing Director at Hitachi Zosen Inova USA (HZIU) and Tom Rogers, President and CEO of UT Research Park.

To view a recording of today’s Advanced Energy Virtual Business Roundtable click here

About Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council

TAEBC champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. Advanced energy is technology neutral and includes electricity and transportation. Anything that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure or more efficient is in the tent. No other entity in the state concentrates specifically on this robust sector. We educate public officials and business leaders about Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, establish strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and inform policy that expands and strengthens the industry. For more information, visit: