A SCOTTISH company has claimed it is to introduce the first electric fire engine to Europe under a new export deal with France.
Ayrshire-based Emergency One has agreed the export of the E1 EV0 with the Hérault Fire Service.
It is hoped the initial contract will lead to wider supply to help the net zero goals of the French Fire and Rescue Service.
Ivan McKee, Scottish Government Minister for Business, hailed the move after he met with Emergency One, Hérault Fire Service and French Government officials to mark the contract as part of a visit to France.
“The Scottish Government’s drive towards net zero emissions is not just an environmental imperative, it opens new markets and creates economic opportunities,” said Mr McKee. “Businesses such as Emergency One are using their expertise and ingenuity to unlock this potential.
"The new relationship with Hérault Fire Services has been secured against international competition and positions the company as a global leader in the sector.
“We congratulate Emergency One, wish it well and are delighted to support its efforts through the team at Scottish Enterprise.”
Cumnock-based Emergency One built the electric fire appliance as part of its move to more sustainable products supported by a grant from Scottish Enterprise.
The manufacturer has also been supported by the economic development agency’s international arm, Scottish Development International, in its overseas growth ambitions to secure its first French export contract with Hérault Fire Service.
Mike Madsen, managing director of Emergency One, said the development of zero emission fire and rescue vehicles is “business-critical in a green thinking economy”.
He said: “We are proud to be working with a leading French Fire and Rescue Service to put the first electric fire appliance into service on the European mainland.
“Not only is the electric route safer for the environment but also the firefighters themselves and we are proud of the technology and progress to market of the E1 EV0 the world’s first fully electric fire appliance that highlights Scottish innovation.”
Malcolm Etridge, Emergency One’s international business development manager, said: “Any export journey can be a long and complex process and absolutely key to our recent export success of the EV0 is the involvement of Scottish Development International both in helping to promote the concept but also provide clarity about local culture and appropriate marketing strategies.”
Sharon McKendry, global head of trade – science and technology at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We are proud to have worked with Emergency One over many years. The company is a brilliant example of an innovative Scottish manufacturer with export ambitions that is taking its sustainable fire appliances to serve markets across the world and is grasping the opportunities of climate change.
“The company’s contract with Hérault Fire Services, that covers a population of over one million people, will act as a springboard to gain additional sales on the French market. It is fantastic to see this success from the firm that brought us the world’s first fully electric fire appliance, built in Scotland that is saving lives and the planet."
She added: “Scottish Enterprise aims to support companies like Emergency One to enter new markets and take Scotland’s innovative products and services to international markets.”
The company said the E1 EVO is described as the world’s first fully electric fire appliance with zero emissions as it combines electric technology both whilst driving and operating its fire pump, claiming it is setting the appliance apart from “hybrid” vehicles.
The vehicle is capable of the identical operational capacity as those powered by fossil fuelled engines, Emergency One said. The company declined to reveal the value of the contract or the number of future appliances to be shipped but said it was hoped it would be the “first of many”.