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Electric fire trucks are heating up

Alan Neuhauser
Aug 26, 2022
A siren with flames inside instead of lights
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Toronto Fire Services has ordered two all-electric fire trucks from Spartan Emergency Response, a South Dakota manufacturer owned by REV Group, Axios writes.

Why it matters: Electric vehicles carry an upfront premium, and emergency apparatuses are no exception. But local governments are increasingly asking for them, and U.S. manufacturers are finally catching up with their European counterparts to meet the growing demand.

Details: The Vector fire trucks from Spartan cost about $1.5 million USD each, roughly twice the price of a conventional pumper truck, Toronto Fire Services tells Axios.

  • The department hasn't yet determined the price for installing chargers. "This is a Corporate Fleet project to oversee the installation of a significant number of charge stations across the city. They're in the process of defining locations and charger size, so it's a long term project," Rob Anselmi, division chief for mechanical maintenance, says.

State of play: The Madison Fire Department in Wisconsin last year became the first in the U.S. to deploy an all-electric fire truck: the Volterra model from Pierce Manufacturing, based in Wisconsin.

  • Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Fire Department began using an all-electric model from Austrian manufacturer Rosenbauer.

Of note: Conventional pumper trucks typically cost in the low to mid six-figures — and considerably higher for specialty configurations. Electric versions command a premium, but bring potential longer-term savings.

  • The Rosenbauer RTX model for L.A., for example, starts at $900,000. LAFD's version apparently cost $1.2 million. The City of Brampton, in Ontario, last year ordered a similar Rosenbauer model at about the same price.
  • The Gilbert town council in Arizona last month voted to spend $775,000 on a Volterra model from Pierce, plus $270,000 for a charger. Fire officials reportedly told the council that those prices were at a discount.
  • The Vector that Toronto ordered is a pumper truck equipped with 327 kWh of battery storage.

What we're watching: We'd like some wheel time for Climate Wheels, please.

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