Youngest and lightest diesel ambulance fleet in Country

Claire Brown – Wednesday 10th November 2021 – 9.00am.

With demand increasing year-on-year, so is the mileage of ambulances. The Trust is proud to have the youngest and lightest diesel ambulance fleet in the country to reduce emissions.

The Trust’s most recently added Value is that of ‘Environmental Sustainability’ and is committed to investing in its fleet to reduce emissions of carbon and harmful particulates, reducing them year-on-year to net reduction of 80% in 2028-2030 and net zero by 2040.

Tony Page, Head of Fleet and Facilities Management for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “As an ambulance service, our fleet-driven emissions account for a significant percentage of our total CO2 output – increasing mileage year-on-year because of demand further exasperates that issue. Meeting the targets set is one benefit, but it’s also the right thing to do for delivering cleaner operating vehicles for our staff to work in.”

Alongside the service’s work to produce the next generation of zero emission ambulances, it also continues to develop their diesel counterparts. Working with industry specialists VCS Vehicle Converters of Bradford, the Trust’s ambulances are based on the Fiat Ducato van and are designed and manufactured using VCS’s unique ‘Core Capture’ construction method to ensure they are the lightest and most technologically advanced in service anywhere in the world.

Tony added: “With a fleet of 480 frontline ambulances, we’re immensely proud that they’re all less than five-years-old and the lightest weight in the country. The latest generation frontline emergency ambulance delivered further weight savings with a 7% mpg improvement. Our fleet modernisation programme continually works to further reduce our impact on the environment by lowering our CO2 levels. The light-weighting programme over the last three years has reduced our CO2 emissions by 3500 tons. 

“Along with our staff, our emergency vehicles are our most important assets.  The five-year replacement policy means our staff are able to respond in a modern, high quality, ambulance fleet that is reliable and efficient and as comfortable as possible for patients and staff whilst also ensuring that patients, and our staff, receive the highest standards of safety.” 

The Trust’s five-year vehicle replacement programme for front line emergency ambulances has enable it to leverage the improvements from more modern emission control systems – one of the benefits being our fleet is fully compliant with the requirements of the Birmingham ULEZ.


Notes to Editors:

  • The NHS has set several stretching targets, which are outlined in the ‘Delivery A Net Zero NHS’ document. Reducing CO2 by 80% (compared to the 1990 benchmark) by 2028-2032 is the first set of targets.
  • The Birmingham Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) launched on 1st June 2021 and operates 24 hours a day covering all the roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road, but not the Middleway itself.

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