BMW has announced that it has partnered with the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service and the Department of Energy to install 100 EV charging stations in or around America’s National Parks. The first charging station was switched on today at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, site of Edison’s West Orange, N.J., laboratory and home.

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“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.”

Now that the first charging station is on line, the team is now deciding which other parks to install them at. 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.

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“Electric vehicles have come a long way since Thomas Edison plugged his first electric car into a charging station in his own garage,” stated Michael T. Reynolds, Acting National Park Service Director. “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.”

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