TWO Southland St John Ambulance service teams have been given the keys to a low-carbon future.
St John held a dedication ceremony at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill on Monday to launch the first two electric vehicles (EVs), both of which will be used as health shuttles.
One of the EVs would head to Winton and the other would remain in Invercargill as the city did not have a health shuttle, St John South Island community transport manager Mark Barbafiera said.
It was the first time St John had used EVs for public service.
“We have other electric cars, but these ones are the first to be used in services for the community.”
The region was given priority as there was a huge demand for health shuttles in Southland, and the area had been underinvested in recently.
Based on their use in other districts, Mr Barbafiera believed each vehicle would make about 100 trips a month.
“It’s the start of St John’s transition to a low-carbon future.”
Two St John volunteers, Don Davis, of Winton, and Warren Keen, of Invercargill, were on hand to receive the keys to the vehicles on Monday.
“It is great to have those cars to help us with the demand,” Mr Davis said.
Mr Keen agreed.
“Invercargill was in need of a health shuttle, so it will be good to have this service for our community,” he said.