America's first electric fire truck reports for duty in Hollywood

America’s first electric fire truck reports for duty in Hollywood

The first electric fire truck in the U.S. has arrived in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) took delivery of the truck, a Rosenbauer RTX, on May 14. It will be deployed to LAFD Station 82 in Hollywood, the department said in a press release.

The LAFD announced plans to buy an electric fire truck from Austrian firm Rosenbauer in 2020. The RTX is actually a range-extended electric vehicle, with a diesel engine acting as a generator to help charge the 132-kwh battery pack. The BMW-sourced 3.0-liter inline-6 kicks on when the charge drops to 20%, and can recharge the battery pack in about 45 minutes, according to Rosenbauer.

Rosenbauer RTX LAFD electric fire truck

Propulsion is handled by a pair of electric motors. One powers each axle, giving the RTX all-wheel drive. Together, they have a continuous output of 350 hp and a peak output of 490 hp.

The truck is also equipped with an adjustable air suspension that permits up to 19 inches of ground clearance and three feet of water-fording capability, while allowing the truck to kneel so firefighters can get in and out more easily. Available all-wheel steering includes counter-steering and GMC Hummer EV-like crab modes.

Rosenbauer estimates that the RTX can operate for about two hours on battery power alone, plus another six hours on diesel power. Its onboard water pumps can be electrically driven, or operated by the diesel range extender, the company noted.

Rosenbauer RTX LAFD electric fire truck

Rosenbauer RTX LAFD electric fire truck

The battery pack is divided into two modules. One is located under the floor, similar to many electric cars. The other is positioned vertically behind the cab. The packaging flexibility of the electrified powertrain also allowed for a more spacious cab layout, Rosenbauer noted.

The LAFD hasn’t confirmed plans for additional RTX fire trucks. In 2020, Rosenbauer said it expected 400 such vehicles to be operating in North America by 2025, and 3,200 vehicles globally by 2030.