The Los Angeles Fire Department is expecting to receive one of the very few electric engines that exist in the world. It was ordered from Rosenbauer America in February, 2020 and LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said in a tweet today it is scheduled to be delivered in May. It is about a year behind schedule, but that may be because it is a pre-series vehicle based on Rosenbauer’s Concept Fire Truck. It will be the first electric engine in the United States. Three others are in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dubai. Another Southern California city, Rancho Cucamonga, has also ordered one, with a delivery date in late 2023.
The truck will have will have two batteries with a charge capacity of 100 kilowatt hours. For comparison, a Tesla Model 3 small sedan can be ordered with batteries ranging from 54 to 82 kWh, producing a range of 220 to 353 miles.
The batteries on the truck will enable fully electric operation for roughly two hours and an on-board diesel generator can be activated for extended operations. It will have a 33-gallon diesel tank to serve the generator. If this was a car it would be called a plug-in hybrid.
The LAFD will equip the station that houses the electric engine with rapid-charging technology to ensure the apparatus is always ready to respond to calls.
The engine has a tight turning radius and a relatively short wheel base, which Chief Terrazas said will be an advantage where it will be assigned, Station 82 in Hollywood, an area with narrow roads.
The LAFD released this video shortly after the truck was ordered in February, 2020.
“I am excited that we are the first Department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine,” said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas in 2020. “The electric fire engine is an innovative tool that will help reduce noise and harmful diesel emissions while providing a flexible tool for firefighting and rescue operations from a technologically advanced platform. We are looking forward to evaluating it in a real-world environment once it hits the streets of Hollywood next year.”
“The future fire truck is fundamentally different from the vehicles which are in service at the fire stations today,” said Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International. “It is multi-functional, fully connected and its flexible interior can be used as a fully featured command center. Its floor can be lowered facilitating minimum boarding and working levels. Electric engines reduce noise and pollution.”
Rosenbauer is the world’s leading manufacturer of firefighting vehicles and equipment. In addition to plants overseas, they have manufacturing facilities in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska.