Vancouver hopes to be Canada’s first city with an electric fire truck

Vancouver is expected to be the first city in Canada with a Rosenbauer hybrid electric fire truck to answer calls in mid-2023.

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Vancouver is poised to be Canada’s first city with an electric fire truck.


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The city has ordered a Rosenbauer RT Pump Truck as part of its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030.

Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Moore said he expects the Rosenbauer to respond to calls by 2023.

The battery-powered Rosenbauer, which recharges when parked and plugged in at the fire station, comes with a diesel “range extender” that allows the truck to run longer than its normal range of approximately 100 km and 90 minutes.

The cost of a traditional diesel pump truck is $ 1.2 million compared to $ 1.5 million for the Rosenbauer, built by an Austrian-based company.

Moore said that when larger vehicles and equipment are electrified, the cost is typically 50 percent more.

“This is not that big of a leap for most of the electric vehicles the city has bought,” he said. “The total cost of ownership should and could be less than diesel, even if you pay that premium.”


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Moore was impressed with several features of the Rosenbauer above its role in the fight against climate change.

If you stop at a red light and are locked in by vehicles, for example, the pump can turn all of its wheels at an angle to move sideways out of traffic.

And if there is a disaster such as an earthquake, the truck body can be lifted to go over the road debris.

Moore said Berlin recently completed 440 races with his Rosenbauer RT, using electrical power 99.81 percent of the time. In four months, the truck used just eight liters of diesel.

“It’s unbelievable,” Moore said. “Exceed my expectations.”

Moore said Vancouver Fire Rescue Services it will be the second jurisdiction in North America after Los Angeles to have an electric pump truck. Brampton, Ontario, has also ordered one but I won’t get it before Vancouver, he said.


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All fire trucks, he said, are custom-built for the department that ordered them.

the Rosenbauer it pumps about 5,600 liters of water per minute, which according to Moore was the North American standard. The City of Vancouver’s regular diesel fire trucks pump up to 8,500 liters per minute, which is necessary because the city’s earthquake insurance rating is based on the fire trucks’ ability to pump water in an emergency.

He said the reduced capacity of the Rosenbauer is not a concern because the city has many other pumpers with higher capacity. Also, since the Rosenbauer is the first electric fire truck to hit the market, expect pumping capacity to increase in future models.

He said he was not concerned about the life of the batteries. They are estimated to last 20 years: 15 in front-line use and five after the trucks are moved to reserves.


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Moore said the truck is not only environmentally better than current diesel pump trucks, but it is expected to improve firefighter safety.

Because the truck can descend closer to the ground, firefighters carrying heavy equipment are likely to suffer fewer injuries to their knees and ankles because they won’t stomp or stretch as much.

And like other electric vehicles, the Rosenbauer is much quieter, reducing acoustic stress for firefighters.

The Rosenbauer is a European-looking fire truck that is smaller than the regular city diesel fire truck at 8.5 meters long and 2.4 meters wide, compared to 10.6 meters long and 30 to 35 feet long and 2.6 meters wide.

“It should be ready for inspection within a year and on city streets by mid-2023,” Moore said.

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