BMW i3 electric vehicle
BMW i3 electric vehicle at Thomas Edison's Glenmont Garage at Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey; photo credit: David Rose for BMW of North America

BMW Electrifies National Parks With 100 EV Charging Stations

Both BMW and park officials believe the hybrid and electric vehicle charging stations will increase park visitation across the country.

BMW of North America donated 100 new electric vehicle charging stations in and near U.S. national parks, the culmination of an idea more than 2 years in the making. The Bavarian automaker today announced it completed installation of more than 90 stations, with the remainder to be completed this month.

“We can’t think of a better way to enjoy the summer than visiting one of America’s beautiful national parks,” BMW of North America CEO Bernhard Kuhnt said. “In making electric vehicle charging more widely available for everyone, this joint effort serves to make America’s national parks more accessible to drivers of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.”

BMW partnered with the National Park Foundation (NPF), National Park Service (NPS), and Department of Energy (DoE) to make the project a reality. The public-private partnership project aims to not only make America’s national parks accessible to electric vehicle owners, but also reduce the environmental impact of automobiles in the parks.

BMW Donates 100 EV Charging Stations to National Parks

BMW charging station Thomas Edison National Park

According to the NPF, BMW and parks officials considered factors like “proximity and strength of EV markets, distance from nearby charging locations, and natural and cultural landscape considerations.” Among the parks that received charging stations were Death Valley National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Cape Cod National Seashore, and Thomas Edison National Historical Park.

“While our treasured landscapes offer familiar vistas time after time, the automobile has changed greatly, and parks want to meet the needs of our visitors who drive electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,” P. Daniel Smith, National Park Service deputy director, said in a statement.

This project should have a positive impact both for parks and BMW. BMW earns some positive press and prime logo placements across the country, and the rest of us get cleaner air and less noise in our national parks.

Plus, we’ll enjoy a farther-reaching EV charging station infrastructure system, which should enable us to travel longer and more remotely in our electric vehicles.

Bryon Dorr

Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist, and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full-time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by 4x4, adventure motorcycle, or sports car while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike, and kayak. Bryon now has a home base in Portland, OR with his wife and young daughter.