London Fire Brigade Mixes Blue Lights with BMW’s ‘Green’ i3
London Fire Brigade (LFB) has rolled out a fleet of electric cars in a bid to make it the most environmentally friendly fire brigade in the country. Fire officers will use a fleet of 52 ultra-low emission BMWi3 ranger-extender model cars and a further five hybrid cars to attend emergency incidents and other Brigade business across the capital.
The i3 cars are LFB branded and fitted with blue lights and sirens. Despite its green credentials, the i3 Range Extender is capable of hitting 60mph in less than eight seconds and can reach top speeds of 90 mph while producing an official CO2 figure of less than 50g/km. This makes it one of the least polluting cars on sale that isn’t fully electric.
London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said; “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.”
Taking on the i3 means the Brigade has achieved its ambition to become a ‘Go Ultra Low Company’ – with a commitment to operate low emission vehicles on at least 5% of its fleet by 2020. The vehicles will remain part of the Brigade’s fleet for five years, covering an average of 7,000 miles a year and will replace a fleet of 60 Vauxhall Astras.
Speaking about the move by the Brigade, Mayor of London stated that with air quality so low in some parts of the capital, which estimates suggest costs around 10,000 lives per year, using the i3 for Fire duties was not only a good move, but a necessity. So far Fire Officers from 73 stations across the capital have access to the BMW i3 fleet, with many reporting that such is the performance and range delivered by the electric motor, they’re barely having to use the range extender petrol engine.