West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) has launched what it claims to be the ‘UK’s first’ fully electric emergency ambulance.
A zero-emission powertrain technology, developed by the vehicle conversion specialist VCS, will see the e-ambulance powered by lithium-ion batteries.
The 96kW battery pack, which will be fitted in the underside of the ambulance floor pan, will provide the vehicle with a top speed of 75mph.
The team behind the development of the vehicle note the electric ambulance can achieve a range of between 105 and 110 miles with a recharging time of four hours.
Project partners now aim to work on the next phase of the project which will be reducing the charging time to two-hours.
WMAS Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh said: “Working with industry specialists like VCS, we have used aircraft-style technology and design to create the most hi-tech and lightest ambulances in the country. This has continually reduced our impact on the environment by lowering our carbon dioxide levels and ensured that patients receive the highest standards of safety and comfort.
“It is therefore a logical next step for us to be the first ambulance service in our country to introduce a fully electric emergency ambulance. Given Birmingham is introducing a clean air zone, this is a sensible and advantageous step forward for so many reasons.”
Mark Kerrigan, Managing Director at VCS, said: “As the world moves away from fossil fuels and towards a zero-carbon future, it’s important that the emergency services sector keeps pace.”