Excellance, Inc., a manufacturing company in Alabama, was in charge of development, design and construction of the vehicle, which was custom-built for Bossier City Fire Department. In operation for about three weeks, the $300,000 ambulance was assembled on a medium-duty Ford F-650 chassis featuring a fully-automatic lift that can put patients into the back of the truck with the push of a button.
Bossier City Fire Chief Brad Zagone said this is the first ambulance running only on natural gas in Louisiana and that they will purchase another CNG unit later this year, for fire station #4. There are also plans to replace a diesel vehicle with an NGV every year. “From looking at 2013, numbers on the Trauma 1 that exists, if everything stays the same, we should save at least around $7,000 a year in fuel costs just in one ambulance,” he added.
Moreover, Charlie Epps, CEO of Excellance, explained his company is promoting this ambulance design to agencies located in areas rich in natural gas fueling stations. “Vehicles with lower carbon footprints are a wonderful way to help the environment, and we believe the NGV industry has reached a point that makes CNG a safe and cost effective match with this new ambulance design,” he commented.
He also said tests have shown an average of 7 miles per gallon, with 58 GGE (gas gallon equivalent) fuel capacity providing a conservative range of 315 miles to the tank, and noted: “Another important feature is that the ambulance body and CNG fueling system can be remounted onto a new chassis when the original chassis wears out, providing significant savings over the life of the ambulance.”
Source: Excellance, Inc.