Jan 10, 2023 - News

Minnesota company rolls out fully operational electric fire truck

The electric fire truck

Photo: Torey Van Oot/Axios

The fire truck of the future is made in Minnesota.

Driving the news: Rosenbauer, an Austrian fire equipment manufacturer with a plant in Chisago County, has rolled out what it says is the first fully operational electric fire truck in the U.S.

Why it matters: Electric engines cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and can help local governments meet EV fleet goals.

  • Supporters say the models are safer for responders because they are quieter and may help departments save money over time.

Zoom in: A demo on display at the State Capitol Monday includes all the trappings of a traditional truck, including a water tank, pump hose and siren. The battery carries about 2 hours of charge.

The catch: The truck costs between $1.6 million and $1.8 million, which can be twice as much as the average engine, Rosenbauer America president Mark Fusco told reporters.

  • He said that upfront cost is the biggest barrier for local governments.

State of play: The Los Angeles Fire Department added one of Rosenbauer's trucks to its fleet last year, becoming the first major city to use an electric version.

  • While the trucks are not yet in use in Minnesota, Fusco said the company has letters of intent from a number of other cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Miami and Nashville.

What to watch: DFL Gov. Tim Walz said his budget will seek to give local government flexibility to spend public safety dollars on tools such as electric trucks to incentivize purchases.

  • "The entire country will move to these," he said. "And by the time our grandchildren are our age, this will be every fire truck."

Go deeper: Look inside the truck via our Instagram.


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