BMW announced today the completion of a project in collaboration with the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and Department of Energy. The goal was to install 100 electric vehicle charging stations across the country, in and near various parks, to make sure visitors can drive their electric vehicles to and from the locations chosen. So far, BMW North America reports, more than 90 of these stations have already been installed, with the remainder to become functional by the end of the month.
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The locations weren’t picked at random. BMW in collaboration with its partners decided on the perfect placement taking into consideration 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.
“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.”
The partnership between BMW and the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service and the Department of Energy kicked off in April 2017, only to be completed this month. “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,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith.