National Parks Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) partners with the National Park Service (NPS) through the Clean Cities National Parks Initiative. The initiative supports transportation projects that educate park visitors on the benefits of shifting to affordable, domestic alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and fuel-saving technologies and strategies. Since 2010, VTO and Clean Cities coalitions have partnered with NPS on 35 projects to put alternative fuel and fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, reduce vehicle idling, and improve vehicle efficiency. These actions support and coincide with NPS's efforts to reduce vehicle congestion, air pollution, and resource degradation, and to preserve the long-term quality of the parks.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Fall colors are reflected outside of Noah "Bud" Ogle's log house, a historic homestead built in in the late 19th-century. Courtesy of NPS
Great Smoky Mountains National Park worked with East Tennessee Clean Fuels and the Land of Sky Clean Vehicles coalition to shift to domestic fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. In 2013, the park replaced three gasoline pickup trucks with all-electric vehicles, converted five gasoline mowers to operate on propane, and installed four publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations. In 2015, the park added four propane pickup trucks and installed two propane refueling stations. These activities are estimated to help the park reduce its annual emissions by almost 40 million tons of CO2 and displace the use of nearly 8,900 gasoline-gallon equivalents of petroleum per year. Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to operate one propane pickup truck and three all-electric vehicles funded by the National Parks Initiative.