With the exponential growth of demand for electric cars, which already account for 14.5% of new car sales in the UK, pressure on the limited recharging networks in the national parks is growing, the company said. Under the Recharge in Nature project, BMW will enhance the recharging network across all 15 National Parks, which are visited over 100 million times each year, with 90% of these visits made by car.
The company will install Pod Point recharging posts at key locations across these parks, starting with the Lake District National Park, the most visited of all the national parks. The project has the potential to support local communities as well as to increase travel choices for tourists, the company said.
“Enhancing the EV recharging network in the UK’s national parks will help to make these favourite destinations more accessible for the increasing numbers of drivers who choose an electric car, as well as to support local communities in their shift to the new technology,” said Chris Brownridge, CEO, BMW UK.
The CEO said the company will support a range of local projects within the parks to help preserve these precious landscapes for the future. Over the next three years, BMW UK will also work with National Parks UK to support locally delivered initiatives, focussed on enabling more sustainable tourism, nature restoration, biodiversity and wellbeing through the Recharge In Nature Fund, the company said.
The first Recharge In Nature Fund grant will support the restoration of dew ponds in the South Downs National Park. It will then roll out to support projects within Snowdonia, Dartmoor and Loch Lomond & The Trossachs in 2023, with projects at the other 11 national parks to be confirmed.
“In the Lake District, we are aiming to be a net zero National Park by 2037 and one of the best ways to achieve this is by reducing carbon emissions from visitor travel,” said Richard Leafe, CEO, Lake District National Park. “Our partnership with BMW is a significant step towards this.”
The BMW Group is aiming to halve the CO2 emissions per vehicle by 2030 from 2019 levels.