I’ve been a longtime promoter of green transport to our parks. The “Transit to Trails” movement is a favorite of mine, and I’ve been encouraged by the increasing number of opportunities to travel to parks and trailheads by public transit.
I also think it’s great to see the large increase in ZEVs (Zero Emission Vehicles) traveling to parks–even remote ones now. I first started noticing ZEVs in the parking lots at trailheads around Los Angeles such as Griffith Park, the Hollywood Hills and Eaton Canyon. And trailheads in the Santa Monica Mountains, especially in California State Parks: Topanga State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Leo Carrillo State Park.
ZEVs are common all over the San Francisco Bay Area. You’re likely to spot many of them in parks in the South Bay and lots of them in the East Bay—particularly at parks in the Oakland-Berkeley Hills such as Tilden, Wildcat Canyon, and Redwood Regional Parks.
The latest generation of cars are capable of going longer distances between charges. Teslas have a range of 265 miles. The Chevrolet Bolt EV gets 238 miles of range on a full charge. And what that means is drivers are able to overcome “range anxiety” and visit more remote parks.
In 2014, California State Parks started a modest pilot program to put charge stations in the parks. I’ve spotted a few of them in my trips around the state, and hope the “Adopt a Charger” program expands to many more parks.
My prediction is that we’re going to see many more ZEVs in ever more remote parks as the range of these vehicles increases and a widespread system of charge stations is put in place.
Not surprisingly, it is California and Californians leading the way with new ways and green ways to travel to our favorite parklands and trailheads.