North East Ambulance Service is trialling a new electric rapid response car.
Following in the footsteps of our colleagues at Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), the free trial of BMW’s i3 model will allow NEAS to see how electric vehicles might fit into the fleet in future.
The vehicle, which is mainly electric powered with a back-up petrol engine, is smaller than the Trust’s current rapid response vehicles, with no back seats.
It is currently based at Wideopen station and is being trialled by the Emergency Care Clinical Managers in the Backworth ECCM cluster until the end of March.
David Parkin, Assistant Operations Support Manager Fleet, said: “This isn’t about replacing what we’ve already got – we’re not talking about replacing double crewed ambulance or a rapid response vehicle with these vehicles – it’s about enhancing what we’ve got, seeing if they can be trialled within the new integrated care and transport model, and supports the Trust’s Carbon Management Plan in reducing diesel usage.
“They are already used by the Metropolitan Police and both SAS and NWAS have gone on to purchase them as rapid response vehicles in an urban environment.
“It offers a range of around 200 miles and uses both an electric fuel card and petrol fuel card, but neither SAS nor NWAS ever had to use the petrol fuel card during their trials.”