Calling on the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship of Thomas Edison, the first of up to 100 electric vehicle charging stations in national parks and nearby communities across the country was switched on today during a press conference at Thomas Edison National Historical Park, site of Edison’s West Orange, N.J., laboratory and home. BMW of North America has partnered with the National Park Foundation, National Park Service and Department of Energy to make electric vehicles a feasible option for travel to national parks.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the next 100 years of both the BMW Group and National Park Service than by making America’s national parks more accessible to drivers of electric vehicles,” remarked Ludwig Willisch, Head of BMW Group Region Americas. “Together with our partners, 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.”
The availability of electric vehicle chargers will help reduce air pollution in parks and gateway communities as well as demonstrate the viability of electric vehicles in everyday life. With the installation of the first charging stations at Thomas Edison National Historical Park complete, an integrated team from this public-private partnership will continue to identify park locations for additional charging stations. The team 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.