In Tokyo, the swift ride to lifesaving health care providers at the hospital just got cleaner and potentially quicker. The instant torque of an electric drivetrain quickly puts cars behind you at a long distance, something a Tokyo ambulance can now benefit from. Nissan Motor Co. and the Tokyo Fire Department recently announced a new addition to the ambulance fleet of the Ikebukuro branch — Japan’s first Nissan NV400 Zero Emission (EV) Ambulance.
The first electric ambulance in the Tokyo Fire Department fleet is part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “Zero Emission Tokyo” initiative.
Nissan shares that the increased safety measure is the outcome of a strong collaboration among Nissan, the Tokyo Fire Department, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
“Nissan strongly believes in sustainable mobility and strives to contribute to a world with zero emissions and zero fatalities,” said Ashwani Gupta, representative executive officer and chief operation officer at Nissan. “This project is another great example of our efforts to enhance accessibility of eco-friendly vehicles to local communities.”
Even as the sirens sound, I believe the lessened noise of the otherwise silent and smooth drive/ride will be helpful for the critically ill. Due to its electric powertrain, the noise and vibration levels in the vehicle are much lower in comparison with a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle. This not only reduces the negative impact on patients, but allows for more calm all around, while staff focus on handling sensitive equipment and the driver tries to ensure safe and swift passage to the hospital.
Extra Electric Features
The Nissan EV Ambulance also comes with an electric stretcher that enables ease of operations for ambulance staff.
Two lithium-ion battery packs support the EV (33 kilowatt-hours of energy capacity in total), while an additional battery (8 kWh) allows for longer use of electrical equipment and the air conditioning system if needed. The ambulance can also turn into a mobile source of power in case of a power outage or natural disaster.
The city should find both financial and health care savings. The emergency EV could provide lower overall cost of ownership compared to a conventional van, with low operational costs being something electric vehicle owners frequently appreciate.
“The Nissan EV Ambulance is based on a converted Nissan NV400 currently on sale in Europe. The bodywork, executed by Autoworks Kyoto, is compliant with Japanese regulations and designed to meet customer needs. The robust and practical ambulance package was developed by Gruau, a major European emergency vehicle bodywork company.”
Below are some more detailed figures on the electric van’s measurements and capabilities.
- Length: 5,548 mm; width: 2,070 mm; height: 2,499 mm
- Gross vehicle weight: 3.5 tons
- Number of crew and passengers: 7
- EV motor: max power output 55 kilowatts; max torque 220 Nm
- Main powertrain: lithium-ion battery, capacity 33 kWh, charging AC200; maximum 7 kW; normal charge (Type 2)
- Battery for equipment activation: capacity 8 kWh; charging AC100V 1.5 kW
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Images: Courtesy of Nissan