ST. GEORGE- Two women driving coast-to-coast made a pit stop in Zion National Park on Tuesday to discuss electric vehicles and the range anxiety common to those considering the switch to electric vehicles. .
The three-week, 4,350-mile EV Road Trip campaign is designed to drive increased adoption of EVs in the United States.
Their journey spans from Fairfield, Connecticut to Sacramento, California. And Alyssa Murphy and Daphne Dixon drive a Ford Mustang Mach-E to showcase the growing network of charging stations and the enduring power of electric vehicles across America.
“Studies show that 50 percent of potential electric vehicle drivers are unsure if they can charge their vehicle when they need it,” said Dixon, executive director of Live Green and Connecticut, Southwestern Area Clean Cities. “So potential drivers may not buy electric vehicles because of this range anxiety.”
Travelers chose an itinerary that highlights the National Parks Initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technology, the National Park Service and Clean Cities. Dixon said the initiative supports transportation projects that educate park visitors about the benefits of switching to affordable alternative fuels.
Dixon said their route runs alongside electric vehicle charging stations set up from the initiative in national parks and was an easy part of their trip. In Zion National Park, they stayed at Zion Lodge and used the electric vehicle charging stations out front.
Visitors to Zion National Park can learn more about the park’s charging stations on the website, said Jonathan Shafer, public affairs specialist for Zion National Park.
“Zion is happy to welcome all visitors to the park. We provide a limited number of charging stations for those using electric vehicles,” Shaffer said. “As for the future of the Zion Canyon shuttle system, we are in the process of completely replacing our current shuttle fleet with battery electric buses. The delivery of the new battery electric buses will take place periodically over the next few years. »
According to the website, the National Park Service (NPS) recognizes the importance of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and using alternative transportation in as many parks as possible. The National Park Service and the Department of Energy (DOE) have partnered to create the Clean Cities National Park Initiativewhich also has the environmental benefits of reducing dependence on oil.
Dixon said Live Green is a Connecticut-based environmental education nonprofit. They are involved in Clean Cities, a national network of coalitions working to educate municipal fleets, commercial fleets and community members about alternative fuels. They try to help places, businesses and municipalities make the transition to alternative fuels. They also hope to educate the public that electric vehicles are a viable alternative to commuting.
“I can even get range anxiety if I drive a regular car long distances,” Dixon said. “So that’s something that I think people have had regardless of what they’re driving. Then you add in the electric vehicle aspect, which makes it worse.
Women, in particular, may have children and worry about finding somewhere to recharge or getting fuel from a safe place. Dixon said there hasn’t been enough public information or demonstrations to show you can charge an electric vehicle across a wide range of land. Dixon and Murphy, director of Connecticut’s Southwestern Area Clean Cities program, wanted to show people that it could be safe to drive an electric vehicle across the country.
Dixon said there are plenty of apps for finding charging stations along a route. The pair also discovered that if one buys a Ford, there is a charging network provided that helps identify charging stations.
She explained that if one drives about 300 miles, there is usually at least one stop to charge an electric vehicle. The mileage varies if there are steep hills or mountains. On this trip, they drove from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to Zion National Park without needing to pay.
“It’s pretty easy to find a place to stop“People keep asking us if it takes a long time to sit down and recharge, but 100% of the time we’ve gone to recharge the cars, it’s always ready before us. ”
She charges the vehicle for the time it takes to stretch her legs and get away from the road. The women have covered nearly 4,000 miles so far and never had to wait very long. Depending on the battery charge level, charging times will be affected. It can take up to 45 minutes to fully charge a battery, according to Ford’s website.
Other charging stations were found at Walmart and a Nissan car dealership while on the road, Dixon said. Ford also has its own charging network in North America, according to its website. The BlueOval charging network includes DC fast chargers to power a Mustang Mach-E in minutes. Additionally, the FordPass Power My Trip takes into account the car’s current charge level and incorporates convenient charging locations into the itinerary.
Dixon said Zion National Park was the most beautiful place on the trip. She noted that the EV charger was installed by the National Park Service as part of a program with Clean Cities to install all of these chargers in national parks across the country.
“It’s absolutely breathtaking. And we’re so grateful to have this amazing level two charger to charge our car so we’re ready for our next step tomorrow,” Dixon said. “It has been an amazing experience being here at Zion Lodge.”
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