8.4.2013Norfolk Fire Service gets Chevrolet Volt
Following other emergency service departments around the country, the Norfolk Fire service has just taken delivery of a new Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric vehicle, as part of its initiative to reduce its own environmental impact.
The Volt was handed over at Cambridge Chevrolet which has been selling the plug-in model since its launch last year. The Volt returns an overall fuel efficiency figure of 235 mpg and emits an average of only 27 gCO2/km.
The E-REV technology in the Volt makes it the perfect option for the Norfolk Fire Service as it completely eliminates range anxiety. In electric only mode, the Volt can travel for up to around 50 miles, but after this the petrol engine will ensure that several hundred miles additional range are on stand-by.
Models such as the Volt and Ampera are slightly different from other plug-in hybrid models, in the way that their wheels are powered by electricity at all times. The advanced 150PS electric drive unit is supported by a small 1.4-litre petrol-fuelled generator which seamlessly continues to power the battery, and can keep the driver going further for over 300 miles.
This was a big selling point for Norfolk Fire Service as it currently leads the national fire and rescue service work on climate change and environmental protection. It has also taken a stand to limit its own impact on the environment by reducing emissions.
Over the last two years, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Property Services have provided substantial investments in our 41 fire stations, including better insulation and building management systems and solar panels. These changes have led to reduced carbon emissions by 37%, and business miles by 25%.
Chief Fire Officer, Nigel Williams said, "When looking forward for new ways to continue to decrease emissions the Chevrolet Volt came through our trials process with flying colours as the best next move we could make in terms of our fleet of emergency response cars. It has the carrying capacity and handling/performance characteristics we need for blue-light response, combined with energy bills that are a scale change from our current conventional vehicles, especially combined with our solar panels which will provide much of the electrical charging for the Volt."
Williams later added, "The Volt is around 75% more efficient on emissions compared to our current benchmark and will more than double and possibly triple the mpg – making it a great step towards pushing our own targets for reducing our environmental impact."
With CO2 emissions well below 100 g/km, the Volt will qualify for exemption from car tax and company car tax, up until 2015. Combined with low fuel costs due to high fuel efficiency, the running costs for the Volt will remain low.