Caverns' Vehicles Getting Greener
Contact: Bridget Litten, 575.785.3024
With gas prices going nowhere but up, Carlsbad Caverns National Park’s fleet of white vehicles is getting a little bit greener! The park recently purchased two fully electric vehicles and a hybrid car to go along with a small hybrid SUV the park purchased last year.
The “greening” of the park’s vehicle fleet began last year with the purchase of a Ford Escape hybrid, which gets up to 34 miles per gallon. “It gets far better gas mileage than the Ford Expedition, which the Escape replaced,” said park superintendent John Benjamin. “As stewards of park lands, we need to lead by example—we need to use recycled paper and we need to drive fuel-efficient cars. It just makes sense.”
While the Escape is being used primarily by field-going park staff, the park’s 2008 Toyota Prius will be used by the park’s administrative staff in the city of Carlsbad, where the Prius will get an estimated 48 miles per gallon.
Getting 48 mpg is exciting, but the park’s all-electric vehicles won’t have to worry about gas at all. The two low speed e-ride Industries vehicles are lightweight, consume very little energy, and can go up to 55 miles on a full charge. Both vehicles will be used primarily by the park’s maintenance and custodial staff.
As the park’s fleet of vehicles ages, park management will consider replacing additional vehicles with other hybrid or electric vehicles as well.
For more information, contact public affairs specialist Bridget Litten at 575.785.3024.
Did You Know?
In 2003, a park employee found a piece of a stone scraper within view of Carlsbad Cavern's entrance that goes back to Ice Age Indian hunters. In 2004, archeologists found fragments of two spear points of the Midland-style Paleo Indian projectile points of some 10,000 years ago.