Electric Ambulances: Are They Really Being Manufactured and When Will They Be at a Hospital Near You?

Electric fleets are not a new idea, and many businesses are replacing their fleets with greener models that cost far less to run and maintain. Any business which owns and operates its fleet knows that having ready and reliable vehicles is key for operational success. Fleet businesses need to plan their transportation ahead of time, considering their fleet’s longevity and environmental impacts. Perhaps more importantly, big businesses with EV fleets can also quickly reduce air pollution in a surrounding area, improving public health. Where will EV fleets land next? How about the ER?

The idea of electric ambulances seems intuitive.  CleanTechnica points out, “electric ambulances help keep people out of ambulances!” The vehicles are a great choice to be part of an electric fleet. They aren’t meant to drive long distances, and most of the time, they’re inside a garage waiting to be used. They might as well be charging. EVs also send a strong message about public health, improving air pollution around hospitals and in the residential communities they serve. The ambulances are also smoother and quieter, less stressful to both patients and drivers. 

Nissan introduced an e-ambulance to Tokyo with great success last year. The UK is already working on a deal with Ford and the Venari Group. Several manufacturers here in the US are determined the next ride to the hospital may be safer and greener than ever before. Lightning eMotors and Rev Group Inc. are among the manufacturers bringing electric ambulances to the market, with an expected launch date this year.

EMS1 reports, “Electrification is reaching all different types of fleet vehicles, and ambulances are a logical next step,” said Lightning eMotors CEO Tim Reeser in a statement. “These zero-emission vehicles are powerful, smooth, and quiet, and drivers will love them. As a fully electric model, they have no tailpipe emissions, so it’s a healthier choice for the air you breathe as well.” 

Lightning Motors uses their Class 3 electric van with 105 kWh and 170-mile range for the ambulance prototypes; the chassis is created in Colorado, while the rest of the vehicle is put together in South El Monte, CA.

The company plans the release of 1,000 e-ambulances this year and hopes to achieve the release of 20,000 annually by 2025. There’s a good chance the first e-ambulance will appear at a hospital somewhere in California this year.

The Blink Network is perfect for electric fleets. It allows hosts to centrally manage their charging stations, controlling when the stations can be used, who can use them, for how long, and how much electricity can be used. The same program allows hosts to receive regular reports about how much electricity has been used, by whom, when, and even how much Co2 was not released into the atmosphere because of the host’s chargers. In fact, installation of Blink chargers can help your building win LEED points, an important environmental distinction that customers and investors look for.

 The networked system allows for public use as well, charging fees for public use, and setting up billing however our hosts prefer—time-based, kWh-based, sessions-based, etc. It features 24/7 customer service for host stations and EV drivers alike. 

Blink has devised an installation pattern to keep EVs charging and simultaneously protect the electrical grid. This installation configuration allows up to 20 charging stations to be deployed on a single circuit. This can result in significantly lower installation costs, while also providing a quick charging experience for drivers.

 The innovative design allows equal output to each charger based on the number of stations being used at one time. When one EV is charging, the EV will receive the maximum output. When others connect, the load will be equally shared among them. The system automatically redistributes the output when one vehicle completes its charge, even if it’s still plugged into the station. This new functionality allows the EV charger load to be best matched with the power available at the facility, thereby minimizing installation costs and eliminating electric service upgrades.

Electric ambulances will make healthy and timely additions to the electric fleet, helping to avoid air pollution while making the ride to the hospital smoother and quieter.

 

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