Partnerships add a Charge to your Travel Plans

Modern electric vehicle manufactured by BMW (2017 i3) and Thomas Edison's 1917 Detroit Electric Model 47 and their charging stations inside Edison's Glenmont garage at Thomas Edison National Historical Park.
Modern electric vehicle (BMW i3 from 2017) and Edison owned early electric vehicle (Detroit Electric Model 47 from 1914) and their charging stations inside Edison's Glenmont garage at Thomas Edison National Historical Park.

Photo credit: David Rose for BMW of North America

A Donation from BMW and the National Park Foundation Recharges Travel to Several National Parks

The National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, BMW of North America, the U.S. Department of Energy, concessioners, and gateway communities have collaborated to provide new technologies for travel options to and around national parks. As part of this public-private partnership, BMW of North America, working through the National Park Foundation, donated and arranged for the installation of 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports in and around national parks.

The automobile has long been central to the great American vacation in national parks. While our treasured landscapes offer familiar vistas time after time, the automobile has changed greatly, and parks want to meet the needs of visitors who use electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Through this joint effort, electric vehicle drivers will have more places to charge the car while recharging themselves with nature and parks.

Expanding EV access also minimizes greenhouse gas contributions and reduces the car’s overall carbon footprint, helping the NPS fulfill its mission to preserve natural, historic, and cultural resources unimpaired for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

BMW of North America installed the first of these stations in April 2017 at Thomas Edison National Historical Park in New Jersey. More than 90 EV charging ports (with AC and DC fast chargers) are now available in or near more than a dozen national parks across the United States.

Let’s go for a little drive across the country to check them out...

State Park Location
Massachusetts Cape Cod National Seashore Town of Wellfleet Town Hall
New Jersey Thomas Edison National Historical Park Visitor Center
Pennsylvania Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Roost Deli and Market
Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
Florida Biscayne National Park Dante Fascell Visitor Center
Everglades National Park Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center
Flamingo
Shark Valley
Big Cypress National Preserve Oasis Visitor Center
Arizona Grand Canyon National Park Maswick North Lodge
Yavapai Lodge Market
The Grand Hotel
Grand Canyon Railway Hotel
California

Death Valley National Park The Inn at Death Valley
(part of the Oasis at Death Valley)
The Ranch at Death Valley
(part of the Oasis at Death Valley)
Channel Island National Park Island Packers Cruises
Golden Gate National Recreation Area Fort Mason Center
Washington Mount Rainier National Park Longmire Inn
Paradise Inn
Olympic National Park Sol Duc Hot Springs Lodge
Lake Crescent Lodge
Kalaloch Lodge
In addition to these locations, charging stations in other areas were donated for use by NPS fleet vehicles as part of our effort to minimize fuel costs and reduce our own carbon footprint.

We know that people are creatures of convenience and habit. Adding new EV charging ports in these places helps link people to parks in a different way and increases the likelihood of EV drivers driving longer distances and finding a more convenient way to make their outdoor recreation plans a reality.

Public-private partnerships like this one help the National Park Service address opportunities and challenges as we begin our second century of stewardship of America’s iconic historic, cultural, and natural resources. This is a perfect opportunity for more people to disconnect from the daily routine and plug into an outdoor experience of a lifetime.

Last updated: July 5, 2019