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London Fire Brigade is showing its environmental credentials by road testing its first zero-emissions blue-light vehicle.
With a top speed of 90 mph and a range of between 80 and 100 miles, the BMWi3 is the first fully electric vehicle trialled by the Brigade.
The car has been used by senior officers to attend incidents to test its performance and suitability.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “Climate change and reducing our impact on the environment are issues that all big organisations like London Fire Brigade need to consider. We are at the forefront of the work being done across the UK fire and rescue service to meet those challenges and introducing electric vehicles into our fleet and charge points at fire stations is a key part of that.
“Although fully electric powered fire engines may still be some way down the line we have been looking at electric cars for a number of years and they are getting closer to meeting our operational needs. With sustainability now an important consideration in how we operate, it is right that London Fire Brigade continues to considers all practical options to responding to emergencies.”
To support its long term aim of introducing more zero-emission vehicles as more models become available and the electric option becomes increasingly economically competitive, the Brigade recently secured £592,500 of Government funding towards the installation costs of charge points at up to 74 fire stations and five other London Fire Brigade sites. Work is also underway to look at the possibility of making some of the charge points accessible to the general public.
The trial of the BMWi3 is part of the Brigade’s work to identify opportunities to introduce more electric vehicles into its vehicle fleet. It is the latest in a series of electric and hybrid electric vehicles that the Brigade has trialled, with six different types of cars and two types of van road tested to date.
• If the latest zero “tail pipe” emissions vehicles trial is successful the possibility of introducing electric vehicles into the Brigade as an alternative to the existing fleet cars will be considered further.
• London Fire Brigade aims to lead work being done on sustainable development within the UK Fire and Rescue Service and is committed to reducing its CO² emissions by 32% from 1990 levels.
• The Government funding for the Brigade’s charge point sites will cover 75% of the total installation costs with the remainder, along with operational and maintenance costs, being covered by the supplier. The procurement process to select a preferred bidder to install and maintain the charge points will begin shortly.