Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Park Service announced that they are expanding their partnership by deploying alternative fuel vehicles in five national parks. Clean Cities coalitions across the U.S. will play an integral role in assisting each national park select alternative fuel vehicles that will best suit their needs.

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia will partner with Virginia Clean Cities to deploy an all electric vehicle, a plug-in electric vehicle, and supporting charging infrastructure that will be available for public use. In addition to these vehicles, 12 propane-fueled lawn mowers will also be adopted

Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia will also partner with Virginia Clean Cities to replace old, inefficient vehicles with eight new hybrid electric vehicles.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas will partner with Alamo Area Clean Cities to deploy a propane fueled truck, a electric utility truck, and two public electric vehicle charging stations.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California will work with San Francisco Clean Cities to install five public electric vehicle chargers, upgrade heavy-duty maintenance equipment to run on biodiesel, and install supporting biodiesel fueling infrastructure.

Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado will partner with Southern Colorado and Philadelphia Clean Cities to deploy a propane bus, shuttle van, truck, and lawnmower. Two propane fueling stations will also be installed to support these new vehicles. In addition to clean vehicles, the park will launch an initiative to educate the public about idle reduction.

“Changing to alternative fuel vehicles and technologies aligns with our commitment to demonstrate that resource stewardship and sustainability are connected. And there are multiple benefits—we use less petroleum which saves money and reduces air pollution in America’s national parks,” said Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of National Park Services. “Some of these alternative fuel vehicles are multi-passenger rides devoted to park visitors and that means even greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. When visitors park their vehicles to enjoy the park by shuttle or bicycle, they can experience even more of the scenery, history and wildlife.”

The adoption of these alternative fuel vehicles also helps the National Park Service meet one of the goals in their Green Parks Plan- a strategy developed to reduce their carbon footprint. It is projected that these vehicles will reduce the parks’ fuel consumption by 16,000 gasoline gallon equivalents, which equates to a cost savings of $250,000. For more information, visit the National Park Service website or the Clean Cities website.