National Parks are leading the transition to all-electric federal fleets

The US government has announced plans to transition all federal fleet vehicles to electric models and what better place to start than the country’s most valuable natural spaces: National Parks. 

Zion National Park has officially received a federal grant to transition all of its shuttle buses to electric models and even install a state-of-the-art charging station inside the park. The $33 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation will make Zion’s fleet one of the first in the nation to get an EV makeover, but it’s not the only park getting a green upgrade. 

Glacier National Park is also replacing their shuttle buses with hybrid models, taking advantage of their mountainous terrain to charge vehicles on downhill slopes. They plan to launch their new fleet this year. 

National Parks hope that visitors will also be incentivized to choose electric options for their road trips, especially after a 2017 donation from BMW facilitated the installation of 100 new charging stations in National Parks including Everglades, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, and Mount Rainier. 

Electric vehicles are not just critical for their contribution to reduced emissions. They’re also making parks more enjoyable and reducing human disruptions to sensitive habitats. Amanda Rowland, Public Information Officer for Zion National Park told Outside, “Right now, you can hear the buses from trails in the park, including Angels Landing. The improvements in soundscapes should be noticeable to park visitors, birds, and other wildlife in Zion Canyon.”

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