North West Ambulance Service is rolling out an ambitious electric vehicle programme across the region, appointing Franklin Energy as their charging partner.
The emergency service launched a pilot in 2017 which resulted in far reaching benefits in terms of costs savings and minimising environmental impact. Phase one of the roll out is now underway and a further 25 BMW i3 vehicles have been purchased bringing the total number of electric vehicles in use to 29.
Assistant Director Service Delivery Support for North West Ambulance Service, Neil Maher, said: “Looking after our environment is a priority for the trust and the introduction of electric rapid response vehicles is a key element to this.
“After a successful pilot, we are now working to replace our rapid response vehicle (RRV) fleet with 47 BMW i3 vehicles. The introduction of these electrically powered cars will not only provide huge cost savings for the trust, it will also have a huge impact on our carbon footprint, reducing the carbon contribution from our RRVs from 467 to 47 tonnes, a reduction of 90%. Charging points at ambulance stations across the trust will ensure that the vehicles can be quickly and easily recharged by staff when needed.”
Franklin Energy were commissioned to install 33 charging points at 17 sites across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire, with further expansion planning underway to support the procurement of additional vehicles in 2020-21.They will also provide ongoing operation and maintenance of the chargers for the next five years.
Robert Byrne, Managing Director of Franklin Energy commented: “It’s fantastic to be working with North West Ambulance Service on their EV drive, they were one of the first services in the UK to trial the electric concept and will now be one of the first to fully embrace it.”
Franklin will install the EVBox charger businessline units, delivering 11kw- 22kW. These units will fully charge a BMW i3 in less than four hours, supported further by the BMW i3’s built in 11kW on board charger.
The BMW i3 will be used as rapid response vehicles (RRVs), their compact size allowing a speedy navigation through traffic. Vehicles won’t be used to transfer patients but will allow paramedics to arrive at the scene in rapid time and administer treatment.
Robert added: “This is an incredibly smart move by North West Ambulance Service which is expected to realise fuel cost savings of £2.5million over four years. Having the infrastructure in place to ensure the cars can charge obviously forms an integral part of the wider plan and vision. The roll out is now underway as part of phase one with plans for phase two already under discussion.”