At first glance, the idea of an e-bike ambulance sounds absurd. Where would the patient go? How does this get an injured or dying person from wherever they are to much needed hospital care? In cities, congestion is a major issue for ambulances, often causing long delays before EMS personnel can get to the patient. By sending somebody ahead who can cut through congestion, care can begin much faster, greatly upping their chances of survival.
To make this possible, Wunderman Thompson and Ecox teamed up to build custom e-bikes in Paris. With a lot of insulated onboard storage space, there’s room for critical medical supplies that can be used to stabilize a patient while waiting for the full ambulance to arrive. According to the video, the bike can often arrive at the patient’s address twice as fast as the ambulance, and in the event of major traffic problems or disasters, many times faster.
“Emergency Bikes are fast. They slide easily through heavy traffic, they park in limited spaces, and most importantly, they enable doctors to cross Paris with their medical material faster than any other vehicle, reaching every medical intervention site two times faster, on average,” said Adrien Mancel and Paul-Emile Raymond, creative directors at Wunderman Thompson Paris. “Our partnership with Ecox has been extremely rewarding and our hope is to develop a project where Emergency Bikes can be used in several emergency services across other cities and countries.”
They chose Paris for the project because it’s the most congested city in Europe, and would benefit the most from the concept. It’s estimated that every minute lost stuck in traffic reduces the patient’s survival chances by 10%, so cutting off just few minutes makes a big difference.
The bike isn’t just an off-the-shelf commuter e-bike with some boxes bolted on. It was built for speed, range, and balance under load. Like other response vehicles, it has reflective vinyl, a loud horn (140 dB), and emergency lights so that drivers and pedestrians will know that they need to make way for the vehicle’s important mission. It was built on two wheels instead of three (like delivery bikes) so that it could still lane-split, cut through narrow gaps, and go to most places a pedestrian can go. It also features anti-puncture tires, a GPS tracker, and USB connections for other devices as needed.
Also, parking for a 2-wheeled vehicle is a lot easier than for an ambulance, helping save more crucial minutes before patient care can begin.
A representative told New Atlas that the bikes are available for any public service agency in any country that wants them. Not only have several groups ordered them, but the first production version is already in action. One of the doctors who tested saw its value, laid down the cash to buy it, and is already using it on the streets of Paris to save lives.
Do you think this would help save lives in your city? Let us know about it in the comments 🙂