The UK NHS (National Health Service) plans to purchase a fleet of all electric ambulances. To this end, the NHS has collaborated with Ford and the Venari Group to develop related vehicles based on the Ford Transit.
According to a report in Daily Mail, the e-rescue vehicle will be unveiled at the Emergency Services Show in Birmingham next month. Accordingly, ambulances should be designed for a crew of two and offer a range of 250 miles, or approximately 400 kilometers. Production is scheduled to start in 2022.
However, it is unclear whether the drive will be one from the e-Transit that Ford presented in November 2020 – or an in-house development for the NHS. For Europe, Ford last year talked about a WLTP range of up to 350 km.
According to the report, criticism of the infrastructure in Great Britain being inadequate for the use of electric vehicles in rescue service is “unfounded”. “The vehicle will be able to travel more than enough miles on a single charge to meet the needs of a typical shift,” North said. “We believe it will most commonly be used in urban environments, where it can only travel 70 miles and has lots of stops and starts at traffic and intersections.”
Ford and special vehicle supplier Venari announced a strategic collaboration in early July 2021. The jointly developed ambulance based on the Ford Transit is to be assembled at Ford in Dagenham from 2022. An existing location will be used where no vehicles have been built so far – 100 jobs are to be created during this time.
Ford and Venari only hinted at the fact that the ambulance collaboration also includes electric vehicles – with the message emphasizing lightweight construction solutions, user-friendliness for paramedics in patient treatment, and enhanced connectivity of the vehicles. Only at the end of the message was it stated: “The lightweight construction was also developed to offer a future proof solution for ambulance operators who wish to switch to an emissions-free fleet”.
As you know, the British government has decided to allow only emission-free cars and vans from 2030. According to the Daily Mail, the NHS, which accounts for four per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions (not just from its fleet), aims to hit a net-zero target by 2040. In July itself, NHS 500 ordered another Nissan Leaf (up from 350 vehicles last year) and 700 Jaguar I-Pace were also ordered in 2020.
Dailymail.co.uk, ford.com (Information on Venari collaboration from July)
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