The UK’s first zero emissions, all-electric ambulance is due to begin trials this month (October 2020) with the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Developed by Bradford-based ambulance conversion specialist, VCS, the so-called Electric Dual Crewed Ambulance (E-DCA) marks the first step towards an ambulance service vision of running a fleet of zero-emissions vehicles.
Powered by lithium-ion batteries situated in the underside of the all-electric ambulance floor pan in a specifically designed and compliant enclosure, and a low centre of gravity, the E-DCA has a power output of 129bhp (96kW). It has a top speed of 75mph and can achieve a range of 105-110 miles with a recharge time of 4.25 hours.
VCS managing director Mark Kerrigan 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 E-DCA 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.”
Anthony Marsh, Chief Executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service has been at the forefront of developing ambulance technology along with our partner VCS.
“By using aircraft assembly techniques during the construction of our ambulances, we have created the most hi-tech and lightest ambulances in the country which reduces our impact on the environment by reducing CO2 levels and ensures 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 the country to introduce a fully electric ambulance.”