Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust will be the first to trial a Vauxhall Ampera, the extended-range electric vehicle, as part of its emergency fleet.
Over the next few months the Ampera will operate as a rapid response vehicle in the York area to see how low carbon vehicles might be incorporated into the Trust’s fleet of more than 900 vehicles (emergency and Patient Transport Service).
Yorkshire Ambulance Service is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 30% by 2015, as well as reducing its spending on fuel.
The E-REV technology in the Ampera, which won European Car of the Year 2012, makes it a good option for use in the emergency services as it benefits from both an electric motor and a petrol engine – so there isn’t any concern about range anxiety.
The Vauxhall Ampera is the first electric vehicle to be trialled by an ambulance service on a long-term basis.
Richard Smith, fleet manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “We are very excited to be the first ambulance service to trial an electric vehicle that will respond to incidents, reduce our emissions and provide significant savings on fuel costs. As it has both electric and petrol power we are confident that it is a viable alternative.”
City of York Council has agreed to support the trial by making plug-in electric charging points available across the city.
Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “I very much welcome Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s move to introducing lower emission vehicles to its fleet. This is a first for the UK and an initiative I hope other emergency services will adopt.”