London Fire Brigade has invested in a fleet of electric cars in a bid to reduce the impact of its vehicles on air quality in the capital.
The new fleet includes 52 ultra low emission BMWi3 ranger-extender model cars and a further five hybrid cars for fire officers attend emergency incidents and other Brigade business across the capital.
The i3 cars are LFB branded and fitted with blue lights and sirens. They can reach top speeds of 90 mph and go from 0 to 80 mph in seconds.
Charge points have been installed at 73 fire stations around the capital – following work to establish a network of charging stations during 2015 (see airqualitynews.com story).
Commenting on the new fleet, London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said: “Officers often travel at speed across London, so it was essential the cars could stand up to the rigours of being a blue light vehicle, as well as having green credentials.
“I am proud that the Brigade is leading the move from diesel to electric, which will make a big difference to the air quality for Londoners.
“In our 150th year, while celebrating our past we’re also investing in the future and it’s vital that we adopt policies today that future generations will thank us for.â€?
Transport Minister John Hayes, added: “I am pleased that the London Fire Brigade has incorporated electric vehicles into its fleet and is using them to respond to critical incidents. Plug-in vehicles are better for the environment and cost-effective to run, and they can be used for a wide range of purposes.
“I am proud to say that we have pledged more than £600m to support the electric vehicle industry up until 2020, including funding for nearly 180 electric vehicles being used by emergency services, hospitals and councils across England and Wales, as part of our goal to make almost all cars and vans zero-emission by 2050.â€?
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “With nearly 10,000 Londoners dying early every year in London due to exposure to air pollution, I’m delighted to see the London Fire Brigade take this fantastic first step towards becoming the greenest fire brigade in the UK. This will make a vital contribution in improving the quality of life for millions of Londoners.”