Eco-friendly Vauxhall Ampera to be trialled in ambulance serviceVauxhall

The last thing the emergency services need when responding to a 999 call is for the low fuel light to pop on.

But the Yorkshire Ambulance Service shouldn't have to worry about unscheduled trips to the pumps as they have just added the extended-range Vauxhall Ampera to its fleet of rapid response vehicles.

The car will be key to reducing carbon emissions across the NHS Trust as the Yorkshire ambulance service is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 30% by the year 2015.

Those panicking that the Ampera lacks the punch needed to slice through urban traffic need not worry as the range-extender pumps out an impressive 150hp that increases when the 16kWh lithium ion battery kicks in.

0-62mph is despatched in nine seconds and a top speed of 100mph is easily achievable. All of this performance produces a measly 45g/km CO2 while the Ampera returns 175mpg combined.

Unlike other hybrid vehicles, the Ampera does away with range anxiety as the petrol engine can be called upon to charge the batteries when they reach a minimum state of exhaustion.

So there'll be no conking out on the hard shoulder mid-emergency call here.

"We are very excited to be the first ambulance service to trial an electric vehicle that will respond to incidents, reduce our emissions and provide significant savings on fuel costs. As it has both electric and petrol power we are confident that it is a viable alternative," commented Richard Smith, Fleet Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

Dick Ellam, Manager, Vauxhall Special Vehicles, said: "We are delighted that the Ampera was chosen to be the first electric vehicle to be trialled as a frontline ambulance vehicle by the NHS Trust, and we are confident that the Yorkshire Ambulance Service will be impressed by the Ampera's durability, performance and economy."