Employees at Craters of the Moon National Monument can now cruise the park tour road in near silence thanks to two new Gem e2 electric vehicles recently acquired by the park.
The 25 mile per hour speed limit on the tour road is ideal for these vehicles and their quiet zero emission operation keeps the air clean and natural sounds audible. Interpreters utilize one of the electric vehicles to present interpretive programs at sites on the tour road. Visitor use assistants with the fee program use theirs to access the entrance station and campground. Employees have already dubbed the odd looking vehicles the “Moon Buggies”.
Other big changes at Craters of the Moon will significantly lessen future carbon emissions from park operations. A 50 KW photovoltaic solar array, currently under construction, will provide almost a third of the electricity used by the park (which includes almost all heating) and new water conservation practices and water lines installed in 2009 have already cut annual water use in half.