In what seems like a perfect match, the United States’ Department of Energy recently announced $1.1 million in funding for fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles at five national parks (listed below) through its Clean Cities program. This latest measure extends the relationship between the two government entities, which dates back to 1999.
By the numbers, the effort is expected to save $250,000, reduce fuel consumption by 16,000 gallons, and prevent 83 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. These savings and the partnerships with the DOE help the National Park Service achieve its “Green our Rides” goal, one of nine steps they are taking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Here are the five parks and a brief summary of the vehicles they will receive as part of the joint venture:
- Shenandoah National Park, Virginia: 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 will be accessible to park visitors.
- Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia: Blue Ridge Parkway plans to partner with Virginia Clean Cities to improve its fleet’s efficiency by replacing vehicles dating back to 1989 with eight new hybrid vehicles.
- San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Texas: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park plans to partner with Alamo Area Clean Cities to deploy a propane-powered truck and an electric utility truck, and to install two EV chargers that will be available to the public.
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California: 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.
- Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado: Mesa Verde National Park plans to partner with both the Southern Colorado and Philadelphia (PA) Clean Cities coalitions to deploy a new propane bus, shuttle van, truck, and lawnmower, along with two propane fueling stations. Mesa Verde is also launching a park-wide initiative to educate the public about the benefits of idle reduction.
These five venues are in addition to three pilot locations (Grand Teton National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, and Yellowstone National Park) that benefited from retrofits to their existing fleets the previous year.