The first of three fully-electric vehicles being trialled by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) will hit the roads in the coming days.

The Mercedes-Benz e-Vitos are being trialled as part of NHS England’s Zero Emission Electric Vehicle (ZEEV) Pathfinder project.

The Single Responder Vehicles (SRVs) will initially be based out of three Trust sites where heavy-duty vehicle chargers are installed – Polegate, Thanet and Gatwick. The chargers will be able to charge the vehicles in as little as 30 minutes.

SECAmb has been working closely with staff staff, volunteers and partners to achieve ambitious plans to reduce its carbon emissions.

The Trust aims to reduce its emissions by 50 per cent by 2032 and achieve net zero by 2040.

The challenges are outlined in the SECAmb’s Green Plan which was developed following detailed work with teams across the organisation alongside its system partners.

The plan, which can be viewed here Green Plan – NHS South East Coast Ambulance Service (, supports SECAmb’s Green Strategy and mirrors the NHS-wide aim to become the first healthcare system to reach net zero carbon emissions.

SECAmb’s Green Plan can be split into three main categories – fleet, estates and medicine.

As part of its plan to half its carbon emissions by 2032, SECAmb’s fleet, which is responsible for around 63 per cent of total emissions, will be transitioning to ultra-low emission and zero emission electric vehicles.

The Trust’s estate makes up approximately 15 per cent of total carbon emissions. SECAmb will continue to deliver energy saving measures including moving to solar photovoltaic and battery storage, retrofit double glazing, roof insulation and more efficient LED lighting.

SECAmb will also explore greener alternatives to delivering medical equipment and gases with its medicine activity accounting for some 10 per cent of total carbon emissions.

SECAmb is committed to ensuring its staff and volunteers play a key role in the implementation of the plan in the coming years and is pleased a Green Champion Network has been established. The network will help ensure that colleagues are fully engaged in taking forward the plan’s objectives.

Paramedic and chair of SECAmb’s Green Champion staff network, Ben Leeves, said: “There is clearly a lot of passion among colleagues across SECAmb to contribute to the Trust doing everything it can to reduce its carbon emissions and increase its sustainability.

“We hope that the network will continue to grow so that colleagues contribute to changes that will improve the efficiency of our service and in turn benefit patient care.”

SECAmb Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Transformation, David Ruiz-Celada said: “The trial of the new all electric single responder vehicles is just one way in which we are exploring how we can reduce our emissions.

“As an organisation with a significant carbon footprint, we are committed to working closely with colleagues across our organisation, including our Green Network and our system partners to significantly reduce it.

“We will work to prioritise innovation, where possible, which also improves patient care and community wellbeing while also tackling climate change and other sustainability issues.”