AUSTIN (KXAN) - Before a new Austin-Travis County EMS ambulance hits the streets, a team of technicians are equipping it with a new battery pack.
Energy Xtreme is putting the finishing touches on the new power pack at their shop in Kyle.
The custom design includes four batteries and an inverter that will keep the air conditioning, heater, refrigerator and radios running for more than an hour without burning fuel.
"[Paramedics] can park at the hospital while they're waiting for their next call and shut the engine off. They don't have to leave it running," said Energy Xtreme Technician Wes McGee.
The power pack weighs between 400 and 500 pounds and is about three and a half feet long. It will be mounted underneath the ambulance toward the back.
"We think it's really going to make a difference," said James Shamard, Austin-Travis County EMS Chief of Staff.
The Austin-Travis County EMS Chief of Staff has calculated the time and gas wasted idling and believes the battery pack will improve gas mileage by 1.6 miles a gallon.
Shamard said the total cost for the prototype is still being worked out.
A smaller version Energy Xtreme has installed on nearly every Austin police patrol car cost $3500 each. It allows officers to transfer video from their dash cameras, which can take four hours, with the engines off.
The batteries are recharged each time the engine is turned back on. If all goes well when the new ambulance battery pack hits the road, all new ambulances from this point forward will come equipped with the new battery power.
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