MAMMOTH CAVE, KY - The Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities/National Park Initiative awarded $505,000 to Mammoth Cave National Park for the purchase of high-efficiency vehicles to replace older models. The park purchased four new propane buses, replacing four aging propane buses (three 1990 models and a 1977 model), two propane pickups replacing two gasoline pickup trucks, and a new electric powered GEM (Global Electric Motorcar) vehicle replacing a gasoline-powered golf cart, according to a release from the National Park Service (NPS).
The Clean Cities/National Park Initiative replaces older vehicles with new, more efficient ones that are less reliant on petroleum-based fuels like gasoline and diesel. Mammoth Cave National Park already had a strong alternative fuel vehicle fleet, fueled by propane, ethanol, biodiesel, and electricity.
Mammoth Cave was selected as one of the first NPS areas to kick off the Initiative because of its good track record with past Clean Cities alternative-fuel projects and its high visibility impact with park visitors. Forever Resorts, the park concessioner, also converted its bus fleet to propane. The partnership recognizes the park’s long collaborative history with the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, which was instrumental in the installation of an alternative-fuel filling station at the park.
The Initiative also aims to educate the public about the benefits of alternative and renewable fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. The park has marked its vehicles with a “flowering flame” emblem to draw attention to alternative fuels.
In 2010, DOE-Clean Cities and the NPS signed a five-year interagency agreement to create the Initiative. The agreement allows up to $5 million each year to be used for demonstration projects that educate park visitors on the benefits of reducing dependence on petroleum, cutting greenhouse gases, and helping NPS ease traffic congestion. Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park will unveil their programs later this year, the release stated.