West Midlands Ambulance Service has launched the UK’s first all-electric emergency ambulance, which features Woodway’s brand new half sized lightbar, the 2250.
The brand new 2250 half lightbar offers a bright, full length, slimline profile solution. With the weight being just a fraction of the 4500, installation is quicker, together with a total weight saving across the vehicle.
The lightweight ambulance design has a low centre of gravity and is powered by a 96kW battery pack which delivers a top speed of 75 mph and can achieve a range of 105-110 miles with a current recharge time of four hours. Further developments to the vehicle will be introduced to increase its capability, including a two-hour charge time.
The e-Ambulance is part of a trial project with the aim of ultimately having a fleet of zero emission ambulances. The ambulance service said it reflects emergency services operators’ commitment to bringing the sector in line with the global demand for zero emission transport.
The first zero emissions e-Ambulance to be used on UK roads was developed in partnership with conversion specialist, VCS of Bradford. VCS utilised the expert capabilities available within its parent company, Woodall Nicholson Group, to develop the EV powertrain technology. It sees the vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries sited in the underside of the ambulance floor pan.
West Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service has been at the forefront of developing ambulance technology and operating a modern fleet for the last ten years. 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. “
Mr Marsh added: “This has continually reduced our impact on the environment by lowering our CO2 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. VCS has always been at the forefront of emergency service vehicle innovation, so we saw it as our duty to bring the pioneering electric ambulance to market.
“The vehicle launched today is a strong first step on the path to electrification and we’re confident that by working with outstanding operators, such as West Midlands Ambulance Service, we can continue to innovate and improve our zero emissions offering.”
The new e-Ambulance includes a number of design elements and features that ensure it is as versatile and usable as possible.
Tony Page, the ambulance service’s general manager for fleet and facilities management, said: “The aerospace-type technology on board provides enhanced crash structures, which will improve safety while also enhancing the design of the saloon, which will benefit operational staff and patients alike. This vehicle will allow us to develop this technology rapidly so that we can develop a zero emissions fleet over the coming years.”