Donors like you have supported electric charging stations currently in operation at Byrd Visitor Center.
Over 1.5 million people visit Shenandoah each year simply to take in the sweeping views of our region as they drive down Skyline Drive. Electric cars offer more than just environmental benefits, they also reduce noise pollution – making for a more pleasant park experience for all.
Despite the 6-week closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the park saw a 15.4 % increase in visitation during FY2020 which undoubtedly resulted in an increase in use of the EV Charging Station.
The Electric Vehicle Charging Station is located at Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51 on Skyline Drive) in the Big Meadows area. This is a very popular visitor center at the center of the 105 mile long Skyline Drive. There are only two electric vehicle charging stations in the park. One at Skyland Lodge and one at Byrd Visitor Center. Electric powered vehicles are a new technology that is becoming popular and the park is happy to be able to offer this service to visitors who drive electric cars. The Trust has agreed to pay for the electricity that we provide to the visitors because the park service is not allowed to give the electricity away for free. This arrangement is temporary while the park researches a mechanism to charge visitors for the electricity they draw while charging their car.
This electric vehicle charging station is a new technology that the park service fully supports. Without this charging station, visitors who own electric cars would not be able to drive them to the park. The Trust is helping us provide this service until we can implement a way to charge visitors for their electrical use. We applaud the Trust for being the bridge that helps us make this technology available to the public now rather than waiting until we have our payment methodology worked out.
The Electric Vehicle Charging Station was installed with funds from a grant we received from the Department of Energy and Virginia Clean Cities.