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Fire service to receive first electric engine

Emergency One and fire service employees (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service/PA)
Emergency One and fire service employees (Scottish Fire and Rescue Service/PA)

Scotland’s fire service will soon receive its first electric-powered engine, which is capable of travelling a distance from Dundee to Dunbar and back again on 80% charge.

The service has received around £500,000 from Transport Scotland to produce the vehicle.

Ayrshire firm Emergency One won the contract to build the appliance, which will have the same capability and equipment as a diesel vehicle and will be able to assist at emergencies.

It has a range of around 220 miles when on an 80% charge.

Fire crews will start using the engine early in 2023 after it is delivered to the service late this year, but a suitable location for it has not yet been identified.

Stewart Nicholson, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Deputy Assistant Chief Officer, said: “We are excited to commission our first electric-powered appliance with support from Transport Scotland.

“There are already more than 100 electric cars within our light fleet, however this is our first venture into low-carbon heavy duty vehicles.”

Transport minister Jenny Gilruth said: “This is a really exciting, innovative development and I’m pleased to be funding it through our partnership with Scottish Enterprise, which is supporting the decarbonisation of heavy duty vehicles across Scotland.

“The public sector should be seen to lead the way on this type of work, which demonstrates that tough operational requirements for service vehicles, often working in challenging conditions, can indeed be met without the sole reliance of fossil fuels.

“I look forward to seeing the electric fire appliance deployed in communities as a beacon not only for the journey that the fire service is on – but for Scotland’s wider transition to a net- zero society.”