WASHINGTON – The National Parks Service is partnering with the U.S. Energy Department via the Clean Cities program to deploy fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles in five national parks across the U.S. The parks deploying new vehicles including the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia; the Blue Ridge Parkway, also in Virginia; the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas; the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California; and the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.
The Shenandoah National Park plans to partner with Virginia Clean Cities to deploy an all-electric vehicle (EV), a plug-in hybrid EV, and 12 propane lawn mowers. The park also plans to install three EV chargers, two of which park visitors will be able to access. At the Blue Ridge Parkway, the park plans to partner with Virginia Clean Cities to replacing vehicles from 1989 with eight new hybrid vehicles.
At the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, the park plans to partner with Alamo Area Clean Cities to deploy a propane-powered truck and an electric utility truck. The park also plans to install two publicly available EV chargers. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area plans to partner with San Francisco Clean Cities to install five EV chargers, which will serve both the public and the park's five new electric vehicles. The park also plans to upgrade its heavy-duty maintenance equipment to run on a biodiesel blend and the fueling infrastructure to support it.
Lastly, at the Mesa Verde National Park, the organization there plans to partner with the Southern Colorado and Philadelphia Clean Cities coalitions to deploy a new propane bus, shuttle van, truck, and lawnmower, and two propane fueling stations. Mesa Verde is also launching a park-wide initiative to educate the public about the benefits of reducing vehicle idling.
Clean Cities said these new projects follow three pilot projects launched in 2011 at Grand Teton National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. The parks predict their combined projects will save more than 13,000 equivalent gallons of gasoline and roughly 100 tons of greenhouse gases annually, the organization stated.