BMW switched on a new charging station at Thomas Edison National Historical Park, the site of Edison’s New Jersey laboratory and home, the symbolic first step of a project that will install up to 100 stations in national parks and nearby communities across the country.
The project is a partnership that includes BMW, the National Park Foundation, National Park Service and the DOE, with the goal of reducing air pollution in parks and gateway communities and allowing drivers to channel their inner Thomas Edison.
The partnership will now identify locations for additional charging stations, looking at factors such as the 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.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the next 100 years of the National Park Service than by making America’s national parks more accessible to drivers of electric vehicles,” said Ludwig Willisch, Head of BMW Group Region Americas. “I hope that we can channel a little of Edison’s spirit and, in the same way that he made electric power widely available, make electric vehicle charging more widely available for everyone.”
Michael T. Reynolds, Acting National Park Service Director, said, “Electric vehicles have come a long way since Thomas Edison plugged his first electric car into a charging station in his own garage. 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.”