Fire service on a charge to be greener

Norfolk Chief Fire Officer Nigel Williams receives the Chevrolet Volt from Luke Gordon, franchise ma

Norfolk Chief Fire Officer Nigel Williams receives the Chevrolet Volt from Luke Gordon, franchise manager of Chevrolet Cambridge. - Credit: suppleid

Norfolk Fire Service has taken delivery of a Chevrolet Volt as part of its initiative to reduce its own environmental impact.

The award-winning vehicle was handed over at Cambridge Chevrolet which has been selling the Volt since its launch last year.

The extended range electric vehicle (E-REV) technology in the Volt, which won European Car of the Year 2012 among other awards, makes it the ideal option for Norfolk Fire Service as it completely eliminates range anxiety.

As an alternative-fuel solution it stands out from the crowd because its 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 Volt going further for more than 300 miles.

In official tests it returns 235mpg overall and emits an average 27g/km of CO2. In electric-only mode, the Volt can travel up to around 50 miles.

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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 cutting emissions.

Over the last two years, Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Property Services have provided substantial investments in 41 fire stations, including better insulation and building management systems and solar panels. With the help of these new updates, combined with an increase in staff awareness and changes, they have so far reduced carbon emissions by 37pc, and business miles by 25pc.

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Chief Fire Officer Nigel Williams said: 'When looking forward for new ways to continue to decrease emissions the 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 and 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.

'The Volt is around 75pc 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.'

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