Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust will be the first to trial a Vauxhall Ampera, the revolutionary extended-range electric vehicle, as part of its emergency fleet, as part of a commitment to reduce its carbon emissions.
Over the next few months the Ampera will operate as a rapid response vehicle in the York area as part of the NHS Trust’s emergency fleet, 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.
“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,” commented Richard Smith, Fleet Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
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.”
It’s an interesting choice and one that confirms my opinion that range-extender electric vehicles like the Ampera — which has an on-board petrol generator to power the motors when the batteries are flat — represent a far more viable, near-term future for electric vehicles than pure electric models.
A car like the Ampera can be your only car — in town, you get the benefits of emission-free, silent operation, while out of town, you get a ‘normal’ petrol car driving experience, with no range limitations, as you can just keep filling up with petrol until you can next plug the car in to charge — remember, you can find the cheapest petrol in your area on our Petrol Prices page.