UCLA Health Center Receives All-Electric Winnebago As The Nation's First Zero-Emission Mobile Surgical Instrument Lab

November 19, 2019

Leading the market in mobile medical vehicles, Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO) announced the delivery of the first all-electric mobile surgical instrument lab (eMSIL) to University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Health Center. The zero-emission mobile medical unit will travel between UCLA’s Ronald Reagan and Santa Monica campuses to collect, clean, repair, disinfect and sterilize surgical suite instruments. The eMSIL joins other mobile medical initiatives at UCLA Health including a Mobile Stroke Unit, a Mobile Eye Clinic, and the Mobile Clinic Project serving homeless and low-income individuals. 

“We’ve been told the vehicle is expected to save UCLA Health Center close to $750,000 a year compared to contracting with a third-party to service surgical instruments off-site. That adds significant value to the system’s bottom line,” said Ashis Bhattacharya Winnebago’s Vice President of Business Development, Specialty Vehicles, and Advanced Technology. “We applaud UCLA for its innovative application of a mobile medical unit to transform a critical and costly service, normally fixed in a building, into one that can be transported to any location. The mobile medical market is a growing industry, with countless applications, from cancer screenings and primary care to opioid treatment and dental services. The variety of services these vehicles can deliver to communities is limited only by the imagination.” 

As a mobile unit, the eMSIL is a turnkey solution for receiving, decontaminating, preparing, packaging, sterilizing and distributing nearly any type of surgical equipment hospitals use. It was built by Winnebago Specialty Vehicles and one of its preferred commercial EV platform upfitters Summit Bodyworks. The eMSIL is powered by an all-electric EPIC F-53 33 foot chassis from Motiv Power Systems

The eMSIL is designed to hold enough battery charge for eight hours of typical service plus round-trip travel to and from its home facility. For the eMSIL, this is more than enough capacity, considering the distance between the two hospitals. The vehicle has completed significant road testing and delivers an expected range of 85 to 125 miles on a full charge. Like all specialty vehicles, the eMSIL is eligible for service at more than 300 Winnebago locations across the U.S. 

The eMSIL includes all the equipment needed to deliver the same level of performance, productivity and compliance from decontamination through sterilization as a lab located in a building. The vehicle upfit includes two desks in the slide-out area, two workbenches, an industrial sink and two stations for 5.5 gallon ultrasonic cleaners, among other custom cabinetry and equipment. 

A portion of the funds used to purchase of the UCLA eMSIL were provided by the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), a California Air Resources Board (CARB) program administered by clean transportation accelerator CALSTART and funded with cap-and-trade proceeds through California Climate Investments (CCI). HVIP cuts air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while accelerating the development and commercialization of clean transportation technologies.   

“Now in its tenth year, HVIP has provided purchase discounts for more than 7,000 trucks and buses including zero-emission, hybrid, and low NOx natural gas technologies for users as varied as transit agencies, port support services and leading medical centers like UCLA,” said Bill Van Amburg, Executive Vice President of CALSTART and head of the organization’s work in on- and off-road technologies. “This mobile medical unit demonstrates the variety of vehicles types now becoming available, and how zero-emission vehicles can provide innovative capabilities, make an attractive business case and enhance the communities where they operate by eliminating tailpipe emissions while bringing needed services.”  

The eMSIL is based on the standard Winnebago J33SE all-electric commercial shell platform, which earlier this year, won a Sustainability Award by the RV Industry Association (RVIA) for its efforts in bringing an all-electric option to this vehicle segment.  


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