London Ambulance Service (LAS) welcomed the debut of its first fully electric ambulance on New Year’s Eve.
These cutting-edge electric vehicles form a crucial part of LAS’s commitment to achieving a net-zero fleet, aiming to reduce operational costs associated with fuel and maintenance.
The initiative also seeks to enhance air quality in London, contributing to the reduction of major diseases in the capital.
The ambulances feature a powered trolley bed system, a powered carry chair, and an integrated scanning system, streamlining patient care management for the emergency crews.
Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive at LAS, declared the electric units as a “game-changer for ambulance designs worldwide,” emphasizing their role in providing outstanding patient care while reducing the environmental impact.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, commended LAS’s leadership in adopting London’s first fully electric emergency ambulance.
Khan also praised the vehicle for enabling paramedics to deliver top-tier care while contributing to improved air quality and reduced emissions in the city.
As part of LAS’s broader initiative to green its fleet, the service collaborates with hospitals in London, such as Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital and Kings College Hospital, to install high-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging ports for ambulance crews.
Currently, LAS boasts 56 charging stations at ambulance stations.
The new electric units join the largest emergency fleet of fully EVs in the UK, totaling 42 fast-response cars and three electric motorcycles.
In total, LAS operates 160 zero-emission capable vehicles.
The ambitious plan includes the delivery of four more fully electric ambulances to LAS this year, with plans to expand the fleet from April 2024.
Ford is recognized as the first original equipment manufacturer to provide a base vehicle for the NHS, facilitating the creation of fully electric ambulances that can operate efficiently throughout a 12-hour shift.
These groundbreaking vehicles mark the beginning of a pilot program, with twelve fully electric ambulances to be deployed by NHS England’s Net Zero Travel and Transport team in collaboration with LAS and four other units trusts.
The real-life data collected will inform the broader rollout of zero-emission emergency units in the future.