EV Charging at National Parks in the US

A 2017 BMW i3 electric vehicle and 1914 Detroit Electric Model 47 owned by Thomas Edison and their charging stations inside of Thomas Edison’s Glenmont garage at Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, NJ.

The BMW Group announced the successful completion of its project, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and Department of Energy, to donate 100 electric vehicle charging stations in and near to national parks throughout the United States. Additionally, to date, more than 90 of the charging stations have been installed, with the remainder on course to open this month.

“We can’t think of a better way to enjoy the summer than visiting one of America’s beautiful national parks. In making electric vehicle charging more widely available for everyone, this joint effort serves to make America’s national parks more accessible to drivers of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,” said Bernhard Kuhnt, president and CEO, BMW of North America.

“Thanks to public-private partnership, electric vehicle drivers can enjoy a quintessential national park road trip,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “Not only will drivers benefit, but also the businesses and communities at the doorstep of our treasured national parks.”

When identifying site locations, the team considered factors such as proximity and strength of EV markets, distance from nearby charging locations, and natural and cultural landscape considerations. The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office has provided technical assistance that supports innovative energy saving transportation projects at national park sites. These projects educate visitors on the benefits of advanced and alternative fuel vehicles and can help the National Park Service meet their energy, economic, and environmental goals. The benefits of these projects have the opportunity to reach far beyond the boundaries of the national parks.

“The automobile has long been central to the great American vacation in national parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “While our treasured landscapes offer familiar vistas time after time, the automobile has changed greatly, and parks want to meet the needs of our visitors who electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. This partnership with BMW, the Department of Energy and the National Park Foundation offers electric car drivers a place to charge the car while recharging themselves with nature and parks.”

 

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