Electric Vehicles and the Emergency Services

Flashing emergency vehicle lights

The UK’s emergency services are leading the way for the public, by beginning to roll out fleets of electric emergency service vehicles. Police forces, Ambulance trusts and Fire and Rescue services across the country are putting electric versions of their transport on the road. Let’s take a look at what they’re doing, and how you can follow suit.

Police Force

Police forces in the UK now have a total of 430 electric vehicles across the country, and 808 chargers. Right now, the electric vehicles are not evenly spread among the forces. For example, the Metropolitan Police (London) have 99 electric vehicles in their fleet, whilst Durham Constabulary doesn’t have any.

The most popular electric vehicles used within the police force are the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3. Whilst most electric vehicles used by the police force are cars, there have been reports that some forces are using electric vans and motorcycles as well. 

Police car with flashing lights

Fire and Rescue Service

In 2022, the London Fire Brigade was the first to deploy an electric fire engine. Right now, electric fire engines are still only being trialled. This is due to the fact that fire engines are heavy, specialist machines and are expected to respond to incidents as quickly as possible. 

Whilst this vehicle does have a small petrol engine to extend battery life, the vehicle operates almost exclusively on electricity. The engine was reported to have a range of 200 miles and is able to continuously pump water out for four hours. 

Fire engine

Ambulance Service 

Electric ambulances are also currently being trialled in the UK. As with fire engines, ambulances are expected to respond to incidents as quickly as possible, transfer patients to hospital and transport specialist equipment.

Right now, the electric vehicles are being used as specialist mental health response vehicles. They are also being used as response vehicles to attend less severe emergencies and to transfer seriously ill patients between medical units. 

Back of an ambulance

The future of electronic patient transport 

Right now, the NHS is focusing on making their care in the community greener, by utilising electric vehicles, and will then shift their focus to hospital care. The next step is to have electric ambulances shadow diesel ambulances. This is so the effect of driving patterns during a normal shift can be monitored.

After these observations have been carried out, electric ambulances will be rolled out to emergency situations, but shadowed by a diesel ambulance. Work has already begun at 18 trusts across the UK to ensure suitable charging infrastructure is installed in preparation for the new vehicles. 

Hospital signs

Conclusion

At EVision, we are really looking forward to seeing how the emergency services continue to be pioneers for electric vehicles. So far, we are enjoying seeing the work that is going into overcoming the obstacles associated with creating a specialist electric vehicle. We hope that as time moves on, we will see even more police forces with electric fleets, more electric ambulances and eventually, more electric fire engines.

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