The UK’s first all-electric ambulance designed, developed, and produced by Vehicle Conversion Specialists
(VCS) in Bradford, the E-DCA will be trialled by West Midlands Ambulance Service, starting this month. The first step in electrifying the UK emergency services, the E-DCA will be used on the service’s front line in emergency situations.
Its development by VCS reflects emergency services operators’ desire to bring the sector in-line with the global demand for zero-emission transport.
Harnessing the expert capabilities of VCS and the wider skillset available within parent company, Woodall Nicholson Group, the E-DCA showcases both companies’ focus on class-leading engineering excellence and innovation.
The VCS product line-up, all manufactured at its Bradford site, includes a wide range of vehicle marques. The company is recognised as producing the highest quality vehicles within the emergency services industry; a result of its commitment to highly-skilled, British-built design, and engineering expertise.
Using VCS’s already class-leading lightweight ‘Core Capture’ construction method, the E-DCA employs zero-emission powertrain technology developed and proven within the Woodall Nicholson Group.
Powered by lithium-ion batteries situated in the underside of the ambulance floor pan in a specifically designed and compliant enclosure, and a low centre of gravity, the E-DCA has a power output of 196kW. It also has a top speed of 75mph and can achieve a range of 105-110 miles with a recharge time of 4.25hr.
Designed within the Lord Carter Report National Specification, the EDCA includes a number of design elements and features that ensure it is as versatile and usable as possible. These include VCS’s unique rear door damp assist system (DAS), hospital chair gangway accessibility, intelligent run lock management, and an OLED graphical HMI keypad.
Mark Kerrigan, VCS managing director, said: “As the world moves away from fossil fuels and towards a zero-carbon future, it’ is important that the emergency services sector keeps pace. VCS has always been at the forefront of emergency service vehicle innovation, so we saw it as our duty to bring the pioneering E-DCA to market.
“The vehicle is a strong first step on the path to electrification and we are confident that by working with operators, such as West Midlands Ambulance Service, we can continue to innovate and improve our zero-emissions offering.”
Anthony Marsh, chief executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “West Midlands Ambulance Service has been at the forefront of developing ambulance technology along with our partner VCS.
“By using aircraft-style technology we have created the most hi-tech and lightest ambulances in the country which reduces our impact on the environment by reducing CO2
levels and ensures that patients receive the highest standards of safety and comfort.”