BMW says that it’s now on the verge of completing a project it announced a little more than two years ago — installing 100 EV chargers at US national parks.
BMW says more than 90 of the charging stations have already been installed, with the rest set to open by the end of the month. The chargers are located “in or near to” national parks across the US.
We were there for the initial announcement at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, N.J. in April 2017. At the time, we noted the irony in installing an AC charger at DC proponent Thomas Edison’s historical site.
When we asked, officials said they’d consider installing DC chargers at other sites. It’s unclear if BMW has actually done so, but we’ve reached out for further details on the charging stations themselves. We’ll update if we hear back.
Regarding those locations, BMW’s release notes:
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.
National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith said of the project,
“The automobile has long been central to the great American vacation in national parks. 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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