New electric-powered ambulances being trialled in Peterborough ahead of nationwide roll-out

The electric rapid response vehicles will join the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust fleet as part of the NHS’s move towards zero emissions vehicles

By Adam Barker
Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 5:00 am

Three new electric rapid response emergency service vehicles are currently being trialled in Peterborough by the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST).

Two electric Skoda all-wheel drive cars and an electric Vauxhall van have been converted to emergency response vehicles as part of the NHS’s move towards zero emissions vehicles.

One of the Skoda Enyaq iV 80x vehicles will be used as a standard rapid response vehicle – used for paramedics to get to patients quickly, but not to transport patients.

The new EEAST electric rapid response vehicles

The second Skoda will be used in a similar role, but will be used in conjunction with NHS blue-light partners the RAF, fire service and police.

The Vauxhall Vicaro-E van will be trialled in various roles, including a falls response vehicle and a mental health response vehicle.

NHS commits to ‘net-zero’ carbon emissions by 2045

Tom Abell, chief executive of EEAST, said: “The NHS has committed to being net-zero of carbon emissions by 2045. As a healthcare service that travels to our patients, the implications for that will be wide-ranging as our entire fleet will have to eventually move away from internal combustion engines.“Initial trials have shown that with the right vehicles, infrastructure and systems, electric vehicles can be used without impacting on operational performance – or, most importantly, patient safety.

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“We are therefore very pleased to take part in this pathfinder scheme, which will not only help us trial the latest electric vehicles, but also enable us to start installing the electrical infrastructure that will ensure we are ready for the future.”

The NHS’s carbon reduction target is 80 per cent reduction by 2028-2032. It hopes that 90 per cent of the NHS fleet will use low, ultra-low and zero-emission vehicles by 2028.

The £250,000 of NHS England funding for the trial includes money to install charging infrastructure.

There are nine existing 7kw charging locations across the country – including a site in Peterborough.

EEAST also has a payment card system that allows charging at commercial charging sites.