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Vauxhall Ampera put to test in EV first for ambulance service

The trial forms part of the ambulance service's commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and will see it run the Ampera extended-range EV as a rapid response vehicle in the York area over the next few months. The pilot will allow it to assess how low-carbon vehicles might be incorporated into the Trust’s fleet of more than 900 vehicles for emergency and Patient Transport Service.

The Trust is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 30% by 2015, as well as reducing its spending on fuel. In addition, the E-REV technology in the Ampera – which offers both an electric motor and a petrol engine – removes any concerns about range anxiety.

Richard Smith, fleet manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: ‘We are very excited to be the first ambulance service to trial an electric vehicle that will respond to incidents, reduce our emissions and provide significant savings on fuel costs. As it has both electric and petrol power we are confident that it is a viable alternative.’

City of York Council has agreed to support the trial by making plug-in electric charging points available across the city. Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: ‘I very much welcome Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s move to introducing lower-emission vehicles to its fleet. This is a first for the UK and an initiative I hope other emergency services will adopt.’

Dick Ellam, manager, Vauxhall Special Vehicles, added: ‘We are delighted that the Ampera was chosen to be the first electric vehicle to be trialled as a frontline ambulance vehicle by the NHS Trust, and we are confident that the Yorkshire Ambulance Service will be impressed by the Ampera’s durability, performance and economy.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.