The Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) has taken delivery of an electric fire engine, the first of its kind in North America.
The truck is manufactured by Austrian company Rosenbauer and is dubbed the RTX. The brand claims that the vehicle is the world’s first electric fire truck.
City of Los Angeles Fire Chief Kristin Crowley debuted the vehicle outside the LAFD historical museum in Hollywood and touted its capabilities: “It will reduce noise, and bring it basically to nothing in regards to diesel emissions. We will actually create the space for our firefighters to be healthier around our fire engines.”
Powering the RTX are two electric motors, one on each axle to provide four-wheel drive, and it even has a crab mode feature for maneuverability. The motors themselves can provide 360 kW peak/250 kW continuous, equivalent to 490 HP/350 HP. Two batteries supplied by Volvo are onboard for a total of 132 kWh, providing up to two hours of operation.
In addition to the electric drivetrain, the truck has a diesel range extender, which is a BMW 3.0-liter six-cylinder unit capable of 300 horsepower. The brakes are 17” in diameter and have a regenerative feature to recharge the batteries.
Other than the electric powertrain the vehicle is a pretty standard fire truck and features two 1,000 ft hoses, one 5” in diameter and the other 2.5”. The water tank can hold between 500 to 750 gallons, which can be dispensed at a rate of either 750 or 1,500 gallons per minute depending on the desired pump output.
The LAFD actually ordered the Rosenbauer RTX in February of 2020 and expected delivery in 2021, but the pandemic got in the way. The cost of the electric fire truck starts at $900,000, but the kitted-out model ordered by the city raised that number up to $1.2 million.
According to the Daily Bulletin, Rancho Cucamonga will be the second city to receive an electric fire truck, also from Rosenbauer.