The first pilot test of fully electrical ambulances in the United Kingdom has been launched, and the West Midlands Ambulance Service is going to be the pioneer.
The vehicles have been converted from regular ambulances to EVs by a Bradford-based specialist, VCS. The result is a 96 kW car that can reach a top speed of 75 miles per hour (120 kph) and has a range of 105 to 110 miles (175 km).
The recharging time is only 4.25 hours, so there should be no service interruptions or range trouble as long as the truck is plugged on an outlet when it’s parked outside the hospital, waiting for the next call.
Obviously, with a relatively large car like an ambulance, VCS could add more cells and increase that range, but the benefits of having a lighter car outweigh that of a longer range. After all, from a practical perspective, it is not that an ambulance has to spend much time away from its base.
VCS has used a safe and compliant enclosure where they stored the batteries, while the fact that the weight is on the vehicle’s floor is very beneficial for trucks of this height. Operators can now drive the EV ambulances even more aggressively without fearing to tip. Other benefits include the reduction of CO2 emissions in cities where ambulances move, the absence of engine noise when the siren is not needed, and maximum comfort for the patients.
If that pilot test goes well, the “E-DCA” as the car model is called will be launched in the market, and the UK roads may be filled with electric ambulances soon. The team has paid great attention to the detail, even including intelligent locks, an OLED HMI keypad, a rear door damp assist system, and more. That said, the E-DCA looks pretty much already set to save lives across the country.