London Ambulance Service has secured £16.6 million pounds in funding to purchase new greener vehicles – set to make it the NHS trust with the largest electric response fleet in the country.
The significant investment, £10 million of which will come from our commissioners North West London ICS (Integrated Care System), will be used to purchase 225 new vehicles over the course of a year, including 40 new ambulances that are lighter and produce lower emissions than our current vehicles, as well as 42 electric fast response cars and three electric motorcycles. LAS will be the first service to use such electric motorbikes to respond to emergency calls.
This significant investment will also fund a further 32 electric and hybrid vehicles for London Ambulance Service teams who work “behind the scenes” to care for Londoners, such as those who travel around the capital to restock and deep clean ambulances before the next busy shift begins.
It will also mean 10% of London Ambulance Service’s 1,000-plus vehicles will be electric or plug-in hybrid electric. Where it is not possible to use hybrid or electric vehicles, new vehicles will comply with ULEZ.
London Ambulance Service’s Chief Executive, Daniel Elkeles, said: ‘We’re incredibly excited to be boosting our fleet with these greener vehicles. Soon, we’ll have the largest electric response fleet in the country, which will benefit our staff, volunteers and patients alike.
‘Investing in our fleet of emergency vehicles and making sure it is modern, sustainable and resilient is extremely important. As well as being greener and better for the environment, our new vehicles will help us to provide better care for our patients.’
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘It’s fantastic news that London Ambulance Service is now set to have the largest electric fleet in the country, playing a crucial part in ensuring Londoners breathe cleaner air as part of my net zero 2030 ambition for the capital.
‘As well as being greener and better for the environment and health of all Londoners, the new fleet of vehicles will introduce technology to improve patient care and staff safety – demonstrating the value of modernisation and sustainability at the heart of our public services.’
The new vehicles will improve emissions and reduce fuel consumption, as well as reducing muscular-skeletal injuries among staff and volunteers by introducing technology to improve patient care and staff safety, including a new power-loading system to move patients on board ambulances.
An additional benefit of the new ambulances is that, in line with the national specification, they are more inclusive with contrasting seat trims to help people with sight loss, and have several dementia-friendly features to reduce stress and anxiety for people with these conditions.
The vehicles on order come after the arrival of seven new cars last month for London Ambulance Service’s Incident Response Officers. These vehicles will provide more space for kit, and improve mobile office facilities to debrief staff and volunteers on scene.