There’s an unsettling paradox inherent to visiting National Parks.
America’s public lands are beautiful because they’re removed from civilization. We want to keep them that way, obviously. But all those long, backcountry trips to reach them only release more pollutants in proximity to their ecosystems, which then directly affects their long-term health.
Think about it: “Yosemite traffic” is a real thing. I was stuck in it for over an hour last month. Most of the larger parks have massive convenience stores with fresh fruit and bottled water for sale. It can’t be efficient (or inexpensive) to bring those goods in. You look around in the parking lot of a National Park, and it’s populated with trucks, coach buses, RVs and SUVs.
Here’s a step in the right direction, though. BMW recently teamed up with the National Park Service and the National Parks Foundation, to donate and install 100 electric vehicle charging ports across 13 of America’s National Parks. Sites from Cape Cod National Seashore to Death Valley National Park now have the infrastructure to juice a rapidly growing fleet of American electric and hybrid electric plug-in vehicles, while possibly inspiring other park-goers to jump on the EV train.
Before those ports become a hot item (though hopefully, many more will eventually be added through this public-private partnership), we recommend driving to your local park and trying one out for yourself. Some states, like California and Washington, actually have multiple parks with ports, giving mindful adventurers the opportunity to stage a little electric road trip.
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