BMW Sets Up EV Charging Stations In National Parks

2 months ago by Sebastian Blanco 18

National Park Service BMW i3 Charging

National Park Service BMW i3 Charging

Plug Into History In New Jersey

National Park Service BMW i3

National Park Service BMW i3

Busy population centers are typically where you’d expect to see plug-in vehicles and EV charging stations. But amidst the beauty of a national park is a good place to refill your electric ride, too. That’s why BMW has just announced a partnership with the National Park Service,¬†National Park Foundation,¬†and the Department of Energy to install up to 100 EV charging stations at parks and “nearby communities” across the U.S. The first plug have been installed at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in New Jersey. As Motorweek pointed out last year, Edison himself built charging stations there a century ago. That’s one reason why the park has been a place for EV advocates to come together to and talk about Edison’s EV and their own, more modern creations in the recent past.

BMW isn’t the only automaker with an electric eye on the National Parks. Tesla has Superchargers near Crater Lake National Park, for example, and there are dozens more across the country. BMW’s goal with this new partnership, of course, is to encourage people to consider buying an electric vehicle. Or, as it says in the press release, driving an EV to the park for recharging, “will help reduce air pollution in parks and gateway communities and allow drivers to channel their inner Thomas Edison as they perhaps choose an electric vehicle for the first time.”

Future EV chargers will be located where BMW and the park service thinks it will make the most sense. A team from the automaker and the governmental groups, “will look at factors such as proximity and strength of EV markets, distance from nearby charging locations, and natural and cultural landscape considerations. Dozens of parks have already expressed interest and are exploring site options.” Stay tuned.

Source: BMW

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18 responses to "BMW Sets Up EV Charging Stations In National Parks"

  1. bro1999 says:

    EVs + national parks seems like a perfect fit. Who wants to experience nature while spewing toxic emissions into the air?

    1. TP says:

      Agreed. I think that zoo’s would also make a great place.

      1. WARREN says:

        LA Zoo has D QC and L2 chargers

    2. Charles Bonville says:

      I still recall fondly my adventure to Crater Lake in my 2013 LEAF, in August 2014, well ahead of the deployment of EV chargers near the south entrance in later 2015. My portable eMotorWerks JuiceBox EVSE came in handy at Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect, OR.

  2. Bsweet says:

    Sounds awesome is there anyway to get a list of where they’re at and we’re gonna put them next

    1. CLIVE says:

      Chargepoint & plug share

  3. Robert says:

    I`m sorry but really our national parks. They should be a after thought. Why don`t we plug in our national highway system first like the Tesla network. Then maybe in 5 to 10 years we plug in our parks.

    1. CLIVE says:

      Right !

      You seriously just nailed it.

      1. Tom says:

        The benefits of placing them at national parks goes well beyond the actual charging. Most of the general public is completely ignorant about electric cars. I’d bet half don’t even know such a thing exists. The number of non-ev owners who have witnessed a car being charged is small. And additionally for any given charger, the number of people that pass by is not only limited but it’s largely the same people every day. As an example let’s say we put a charging station in a grocery store parking lot. Most of the people using that store will be people who come there often so there’s not much in the way of that charger being exposed to large numbers of new/unique people each day. By putting them in national parks, you are guaranteeing that 10s of millions of visitors see it and it sparks their thought process. And these visitors on average are going to be higher income people as compared to the general population. And each week the people seeing that park installed charger will turn over and be a new group of people vs the high proportion of repetitive visitation in the grocery store example. In short, it isn’t about the charging but rather marketing.

    2. vdiv says:

      We need both. Cars spend hours parked at parks, why not charge while there? Also many parks are far off the interstate and most plugins need help getting there and back.

      1. DJ says:

        What this guy said.

        I agree that we need charging on the main corridors but also off of them and national parks that have a large amount of visitors frankly make a lot of sense.

  4. AlanSqB says:

    Fairly sure Tesla would give the NPS as many free destination chargers as they would care to install.

    Still, good on BMW. National Parks are a great place to reconnect with nature and the environment and understand our impact. How powerful to see an EV plugged in and sipping hydro or solar while in that mindset as you walk back to your ICE. Could change some hearts and minds.

  5. TM says:

    Finally. Hope they can do this quickly and others jump on the bandwagon.

  6. SteveSeattle says:

    I was just in Arches, Canyonlands, Zion and Mesa Verde NPs last week. The visitor centers and parking areas there would be ideal for high power charger + solar combos.

    I saw a couple of Teslas, but no short range EVs.

    1. abasile says:

      The main visitor center at Zion NP has two charging stations, and some of the nearby hotels have them as well. Thanks to the visitor center EVSEs, we were able to add enough charge to easily make a day trip from Zion to Bryce Canyon and back.

  7. CLIVE says:

    ?… Destination Charging

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I support this as long as they are powered by solar/wind/geothermal.

    Many of the National Parks are powered by diesel generators especially those in remote areas. Powering EVs that way wouldn’t be good.

    We should fund solar panels on every National Park building (okay, some of them are shaded so those can be exempted).

    But seriously, go to Death Valley and Joshua Tree and there are tons of sun but no solar panels.

  9. ClarksonCote says:

    On Plugshare, the only station nearby the Thomas Edison park is a Level 2 station.

    Maybe it’s not updated?

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