Blue light fleets are an integral part of our public services, saving thousands of lives each day across the UK. These vehicles are often pushed to the edge when it comes to their operation, covering millions of miles each year.
Regarding vehicle performance and costs, vehicle fleets across the Ambulance, Fire, and Police forces are facing more and more challenges. RAW Charging has taken a look at the benefits of electric vehicles for blue light services and why they should look to transition to EVs sooner rather than later.
The switch to electric vehicles and the EV network.
The increase in EVs on our roads shows no signs of slowing down, with the UK under pressure to drastically reduce carbon emissions by 2035.
These reductions also include emergency service fleets, which must meet sustainability targets by lowering their emissions. Happily, progress has already been made; in 2022:
- Eight ambulance trusts trialled 21 different types of zero-emission vehicles.
- Police forces introduced over 430 police EVs into operation.
- The London Fire Brigade has invested in developing the very first EV fire engine.
- The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has launched an E-class inshore lifeboat.
However, emergency service vehicles face more challenges when adopting EVs than other fleets, primarily due to their long operating hours and irregular and unpredictable journeys. Not only this, but emergency vehicles must also travel at speed for long distances in urban areas and rural areas, where EV charging facilities can be harder to come by.
This predicament outlines the importance of expanding the EV network, a mission shared by RAW Charging, who are passionate about introducing En-Route EV Charging in viable locations, particularly on otherwise disused brown belt land.
Moving to EVs makes monetary sense for emergency services.
Fuel and maintenance costs are ever-increasing, with HFMA (Healthcare Financial Management Association) reporting that the ambulance service alone incurs costs of £18m per year, with £5m of that attributable to fuel.
Electric vehicles cost less to run and maintain than ICE vehicles (Internal Combustion Engines), with far fewer components that can potentially fail and need fixing or replacing and cheaper fueling; they will remain operational and on the road for longer than petrol and diesel equivalents.
Environmental impact & sustainability.
The NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to reaching net zero by the year 2040. These ambitious goals show the UK’s commitment to reducing emissions and improving sustainability.
Electrifying emergency fleets will play a huge role in lowering the nation’s emissions, and thankfully, these commitments are a recurring theme across emergency service sectors:
- The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) published its In Focus Report on environmental work and sustainability.
- The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) released its Environment Sustainability & Climate Change Toolkit.
- The British Transport Police and RNLI have both shared their sustainability commitments to dramatically reduce their negative impacts on the environment.
RAW Charging is here to help blue light fleets transition to EVs.
The glaring issue in the face of emergency service EV adoption is powering blue light vehicles. Though the priority so far has been introducing EVs to emergency fleets, the charging infrastructure has been somewhat overlooked.
Having efficient, trustworthy charging facilities nationwide ensures emergency vehicles remain operational, with reliable access to the right power at the right time.
RAW Charging already enjoys an ongoing relationship with the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), having installed EV charging stations across numerous sites and stations.
RAW has also worked alongside many substantial nationwide companies, including The National Trust, McArthurGlen, Greene King, Exclusive Hotels and Merlin Entertainments; given this level of expertise and insight, they are highly experienced and well-connected enough to solve the issues facing blue light fleets.
With its numerous options in EV Technology, such as En Route and Destination Charging, RAW can implement charging facilities in remote locations and city centres, as well as ensure hospitals, fire stations, and police stations have state-of-the-art facilities capable of charging numerous vehicles on-site.
RAW understands the pressure and workload of our emergency fleets. With RAW Charging, services will benefit from turnkey solutions and dedicated project management from start to completion, including planning and permissions, installation, equipment and ongoing software and hardware management free of charge with RAW’s Host Ownership option.