In 2020, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) announced an order for an electric fire engine from the Rosenbauer Group of Austria, one of the world’s leading fire truck manufacturers. It took two years, but the truck was finally placed in the LAFD fleet at an event last weekend delayed due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 epidemic. According to Firehouse.com, this is the fourth such electric truck in the world. Others are in Berlin, Amsterdam and Dubai.
The Rosenbauer RTX is an electric fire engine platform that can be customized with department orders. In the case of LAFD, the two battery packs supplied by Volvo Penta deliver 132 kWh of power to a pair of electric motors – one in each of the two axles – with a 360 kW maximum power or 260 kW of uninterrupted power supply. This is equivalent to 490 pc HP or 350 uninterrupted ponies. The backup power is offered by an inline-six engine supplied by a 300-hp BMW that runs on diesel fuel and acts as a range expander. Both batteries and diesel engines can be used to pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute.
The truck has a seating capacity of seven passengers. It has an air-adjustable suspension system that can increase ground clearance from a low of 7 inches to a maximum of 19 inches for off-road travel or for deep water. All-wheel steering can be configured in both counter- and crab-steering modes.
The engine has been assigned to LAFD Station 82 in Hollywood. The Rancho Kukamanga Fire District has also placed an order for an electric fire engine and is expected to take delivery in 2023.