Green Car Guide has been bringing cars and the environment together for over 16 years, and with 30 years of the work of our main business specialising in the communication of environmental, nature and biodiversity issues, we’re pleased to see a car manufacturer taking action in this area.
BMW UK and National Parks UK have announced a new three-year partnership, called Recharge in Nature, that will help to make the 15 National Parks more accessible for electric cars. The partnership will also support nature restoration, biodiversity, sustainability and well-being projects across the Parks.
The UK’s 15 National Parks are visited over 100 million times each year and 90 per cent of these visits are made by car. With the exponential growth of demand for electric cars, which already account for 14 per cent of new car sales in the UK, pressure on the limited recharging networks in the National Parks is growing. BMW’s Recharge in Nature project will enhance this network with the installation of Pod Point recharging posts at key locations across the 15 UK National Parks, helping to enable access to these beauty spots for the lowest emitting and quietest vehicles.
The Lake District National Park is the first location (the Coniston chargers are now live), where the installation of recharging posts has already started. It was chosen because it is the most visited of all the National Parks and because the enhanced recharging network has the potential to support local communities as well as to increase travel choices for tourists.
BMW says that the speeds of charge points will vary based on local requirements and advice from Pod Point, the EV charging provider, on what is suitable within the infrastructure of each location; due to remote locations, charging infrastructure is limited by the electricity supply available in these areas. All chargers will be an enhancement of what is currently available and are being chosen, and located, in such a way to assist visitors and locals to travel more sustainably around the parks.
Costs for using BMW chargers is decided by each local National Park and the revenue from each goes back to the Parks. Pod Point customers can use the app or for those without a smartphone, visit their user guide on the website, to book ahead of visiting and view which chargers are available.
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. These supported projects will enable the National Parks to promote more sustainable UK tourism, enhance wellbeing and to restore nature and biodiversity, helping the National Parks to progress faster and with greater impact in these priority areas.
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.
Chris Brownridge, CEO, BMW UK, commented, “Sustainability is at the heart of our business and 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. With biodiversity and the health of UK nature more important than ever before, we are also pleased to support a range of local projects within the Parks to help preserve these precious landscapes for the future.”
Richard Leafe, CEO, Lake District National Park, said, “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. Our partnership with BMW is a significant step towards this, giving visitors and communities a wider choice of sustainable travel options, meaning we can all play a part in continuing to protect and enhance this special place.”
The BMW Group has set clear CO2 reduction targets across the lifecycle of every vehicle and is constantly seeking new ways to cut emissions. By 2030, the CO2 emissions per vehicle will be at least halved from 2019 levels. BMW Group is the first German carmaker to join the Business Ambition for 1.5°C as part of the Paris Climate Agreement – the most robust commitment to the goal of full climate neutrality, over the entire value-added chain, by 2050 at the latest. By doing so, the company is also part of the Race to Zero.