A fully-electric ambulance has been launched by a UK specialist – and the West Midlands Ambulance Service will begin front-line trials this month.
Bradford’s VCS says the Fiat Ducato-based vehicle is the first 100% zero emissions ambulance to be used on UK roads.
Called an Electric Dual Crewed Ambulance, or E-DCA, the vehicle has a 75mph top speed and a range of up to 110 miles.
It can be recharged in 4 hours 15 minutes.
Batteries are mounted beneath the vehicle, giving a low centre of gravity that aids handling and stability.
VCS says the development is part of a desire to bring emergency services operators in line with the global demand for zero emission transport.
West Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “Given we operate in a clean air zone like Birmingham, this is a sensible and advantageous step forward for so many reasons.
“We look forward to working with our staff to integrate the vehicle into frontline operations, while using it as a test bed to develop even more advanced vehicles.”
VCS MD Mark Kerrigan said the vehicle is a “strong first step on the path to electrification.
“We’re confident that by working with the West Midlands Ambulance Service, we can continue to innovate and improve our zero emissions offering.”
VCS is Britain’s largest emergency service vehicle producer, and commands a 40 percent market share of all ambulances currently operating in the UK.