BMW North America and the U.S. National Park Service have announced the German automaker will install 100 electric vehicle charging stations at national parks across the United States.
The charging stations are designed to supplement the existing electric vehicle charging ports that are already at many of the country’s parks. BMW says its charging stations can be used by any vehicle that uses a plug-in port and won’t be solely for owners of electric or hybrid BMW vehicles such as 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid or i3.
The first of the charging stations was installed Wednesday morning at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange, New Jersey. It might seem like BMW chose that site due to the Thomas Edison relation – but the automaker is actually choosing where to pop up the charge ports based on driving distances to the park from major metropolitan areas, visitor demand and the strength of EV sales locally.
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The project also involved the non-profit National Park Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy. BMW says it and its partners’ goal with the charging stations is to make electric vehicles a viable travel option to and from national parks, which will in turn reduce air pollution and help preserve U.S. national parks for years to come.
“Electric vehicles have come a long way since Thomas Edison plugged his first electric car into a charging station in his own garage,” National Park Service director Michael T. Reynolds said in a statement. “Today’s EVs are clean, quiet, energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions which help to reduce air pollution in parks and local communities. That benefits the visitor experience and helps us preserve parks for future generations to enjoy.”
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