Ford is pushing the boat out for the RNLI by supplying the charity that saves lives at sea with a replacement fleet of new vehicles.
Ford will ship 210 new vehicles to the RNLI this year, followed by a further 120 in 2020 and again in 2021 – including 100 Ford Rangers total as beach patrol vehicles for its lifeguard service.
Ford takes its social responsibility as an industry leader, employer and charity supporter seriously. Ford will be collaborating with the RNLI on water safety messages to raise public awareness of risks around the water to help people enjoy coastal and inland waterways more safely.
The 2019 fleet of RNLI Fords will include 10 Fiesta, 10 EcoSport, 80 Focus, 10 Kuga, 80 Transit, Transit Connect and Transit Customs plus the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), as well as 20 four-wheel-drive Rangers to be deployed on beach patrols.
Last year vehicles from eight manufacturers were tested by the RNLI in all conditions to ensure the life-saving charity had transport it can depend on, suitable for both the beach and inland.
Nick Saunders, RNLI senior procurement manager, said: “We’re delighted that Ford is able to supply vehicles so well-suited to carrying out our life-saving work. The RNLI is excited to be working with such an iconic brand in a relationship that goes beyond supplier status.”
A Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) will be used in Poole and the Dorset area to test the suitability of the electric/petrol hybrid for the RNLI’s needs, helping to reduce the RNLI’s carbon footprint and contribute to cleaner air quality. The RNLI becomes Ford’s 10th fleet partner testing Transit Custom PHEV prototypes in real-world, everyday applications ahead of the vehicle going on sale later this year.
About the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,400 lives.