Fully electric ambulances made by Ford enter UK emergency services

The first fully electric ambulance in London entered service on NYE. The London Ambulance Service (LAS) expects four custom-made emergency EVs this year ahead of expanding the fleet.

Image: London Ambulance Service

The new zero-emission vehicles are bespoke ambulances made by Ford. LAS said the manufacturer is the first original equipment manufacturer to provide the NHS with a base vehicle that enabled specialist converters, WAS, to build a fully electric ambulance with unique features. The transporter can power the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and auxiliary supplies that a traditional ambulance requires while maintaining an entire 12-hour shift operation. 

Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive at London Ambulance Service, called the new vehicles a “game changer for ambulance designs across the world.”

LAS also listed lightweight and more accessible features among the advantages for the crews. First responders can now convey patients with a powered trolley bed system, a powered carry chair and an integrated scanning system that scans the vehicle and informs the crews whether the ambulance is fully stocked after each patient they’ve treated.

Emergency Medical Technician Taylor Forde, who was on the first mission on New Year’s Eve, also found, “There’s a lot more space in the back, it drives a lot more smoothly, and it really helped us get patients in and out of the ambulance more efficiently. The new features, especially the trolley bed system, enabled us to manage patient care better.”

The first four are part of an order of twelve fully electric ambulances piloted by NHS England’s Net Zero Travel and Transport team in partnership with LAS and four other ambulance trusts. These will help the emergency services collect real-life data to inform the future rollout of zero-emission emergency ambulances.

The new ambulances grow the already largest emergency fleet of fully electric vehicles in the country, with 42 electric fast-response cars and three electric motorcycles. In total, the fleet has 160 vehicles capable of zero-emission. 

LAS also now has 56 charging stations at ambulance stations for their electric vehicles.

“We’ve had electric patient transport vehicles and support vehicles, but until now, we haven’t had an electric ambulance responding to life-threatening emergencies in London,” added Elkeles. “Not only will these ambulances help us deliver outstanding care to our patients, they are critical to our efforts to cut our environmental impact and play our part improving London’s air quality.”



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