Resolution to Implement a Plugin Hybrid Electric and/or Electric Vehicle PRU Pilot Project
One of the first orders of business for the APBC's Environmental and Awareness and Climate Chance Committee ( EACCC ), was to meet with the BC Ambulance Service's Fleet Department. We were very please to learn that representatives from the fleet department, along with high level managers within BCEHS, wanted to work with the EACCC in greening the BCEHS fleet. One of the by-products of this meeting was an understanding that representatives within BCEHS management felt there was a potential for the deployment of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV as a Personal Response Vehicle ( PRU ) within our fleet. This vehicle is currently being trialed by South East Coast Ambulance ( SECAmb) in the United Kingdom. After meeting with a representative from the UK trial, the EACCC felt it was important to also consider EV options for a PRU trial. The representative indicated that the Outlander PHEV trial has been a success on a number of levels, but there was potential for greater efficiency and cost savings with long range EVs that are available on the market now but were not available to them at the onset of their trial.
In order to show support for an EV/PHEV trial within paramedic ranks, this resolution was written, and subsequently passed at the 2018 APBC Convention.
The Implementation of a Plugin Hybrid Electric and/or Electric Vehicle PRU Pilot Project
The replacement of gas vehicles with their electric counterparts is a key component to solving the global climate crisis.
At convention 2017 CUPE 873 recognized the scientific consensus that the Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely (i.e., >95% probability) that this warming is predominantly human caused. Furthermore climate change is responsible for an increase in natural disasters and extreme weather events such as flooding, wild fires, heat waves, and super storms, and these events make the work of paramedics more difficult and less safe. CUPE 873 also recognized if climate change continues unabated there will be further acidification of the ocean, collapse of fisheries, more drought, and climate refugees. All of which will jeopardize the well-being of future generations more so than our own.
The cost to power a vehicle with electricity is 25% of the cost to power a vehicle with gas and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV operates on gasoline when needed at an exceptional rate of 100km/3L.
The life expectancy of an EV motor is more than two million km of trouble-free motoring compared to the life expectancy of 320,000 km for an internal combustion engine.
The American Lung Association estimated the health costs associated with vehicle emissions within just 10 of the United States to be over $24 billion for 2015, and that the International Agency on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency both agree that benzene in gasoline is a known carcinogen.
PRUs are often left idling in front of stations and emergency departments to maintain the demands of the heating, cooling and electrical systems, exposing our members and patients to harmful emissions. We are also exposed to benzene in gasoline on a daily basis while fulfilling the duty of fuelling our vehicles.
Hospitals were amongst the earliest organizations to ban the smoking of tabaco, and are currently very diligent in posting the non-smoking aspect of their properties, and that this evidence would suggest that the ambulance service would be in a unique position to be of the first organizations to pursue the adoption of electric vehicles that are better for the environment and peoples health.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is available in Canada as of 2018, and this vehicle is already being trialed as a PRU in the United Kingdom.
Considering all of the above, and that fact our PRUs are parked and available for charging in-between shifts, a PHE PRU trial is highly feasible.
Let it be resolved that
CUPE 873 will lobby the employer and other key players to implement and/or participate in an electric vehicle and/or plugin hybrid PRU pilot project. Furthermore, we will request they do so with the same degree of urgency that the climate crisis requires of all levels of government, business, and society, and with the goal of exemplifying how organizations can be key contributors to the solution of the climate crisis and can reap financial rewards and improve a working environment in doing so.