BMW 3i electric car plugged into chargeacilo/iStock
The BMW Group announced yesterday the successful completion of a collaborative project with the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and U.S. Department of Energy.
The project saw BMW donate 100 electric vehicle charging stations in and near to national parks throughout the United States. More than 90 of the stations have already been installed, with the remainder to open this month.
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Making national parks more accessible
In a press statement, Bernhard Kuhnt, President and CEO of BMW of North America said:
“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.”
Identifying station locations
In order to identify the best possible locations for the charging stations, BMW's team considered several factors. Proximity and strength of EV markets, distance from nearby charging locations, and natural and cultural landscape considerations were all taken into account.
The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office has also worked on projects aimed at educating visitors to the park on the way that alternative fuel vehicles can benefit the environment, and the parks themselves.
“The automobile has long been central to the great American vacation in national parks,” National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith said in the press release.
“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.”