In the UK – which is aiming to transition to zero-emissions vehicles in the coming years – has thus far put the Ford Mustang Mach-E to good use after 42 units of the EV crossover were added to the London Ambulance Service to accommodate patient transport and paramedic services in late 2022. These Fast Response Unit (FRU) vehicles are fitted with an array of special equipment and designed to help paramedics slice through heavy traffic in the city when responding to calls, though the more traditional Ford Transit van is also serving as a proper ambulance after reentering that market in late 2021. Now, that model’s all-electric model – the Ford E-Transit – has joined that same fleet as well.
The London Ambulance Services’ first Ford E-Transit ambulance responded to its very first calls on New Year’s Eve, with Paramedic Telma Ricardo Guerreiro and Emergency Medical Technician Taylor Forde tending to a number of emergencies in and around Clapham, Peckham, and Brockley. The trial run – which is aimed at continuing the UK’s transition to all-electric vehicles while also reducing operational costs – went off without a hitch as well, it seems – which is good news as LAS plans to add four E-Transits to its fleet in the coming months, as well as several more later on.
“It was very exciting taking out this special vehicle for the first time ever on New Year’s Eve,” Forde said. “There’s a lot more space in the back, it drives a lot more smoothly, and it really helped us get patients in and out of the ambulance more efficiently. The new features, especially the trolley bed system, enabled us to manage patient care better.” In addition to the powered trolley bed system, the specially-equipped Ford E-Transit also features a powered carry chair and an integrated scanning system that informs the crews onboard if the ambulance is fully stocked after each patient they’ve treated.
“This is a game changer for ambulance designs across the world,” said Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive at London Ambulance Service. “We’ve had electric patient transport vehicles and support vehicles, but until now we haven’t had an electric ambulance responding to life-threatening emergencies in London. Not only will these ambulances help us deliver outstanding care to our patients, they are critical to our efforts to cut our environmental impact and play our part improving London’s air quality.”