Rosenbauer’s first hybrid fire fighting vehicle will be handed over before the end of this year to the first cooperation partners: the Berlin Fire Brigade, Brandweer Amsterdam and Dubai Civil Defence.
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The hybrid vehicle, renamed Revolutionary Technology (RT) by Concept Fire Truck (CFT), will feature an electric drive train from Volvo Penta. The drive power of both electric motors is up to 350 kW, plus a diesel-powered range extender from BMW and high-voltage batteries with a total of 100 kWh available capacity.
With one electric motor per axle, the vehicle has four-wheel drive. The compact electric motors have also been used to provide steering on both axles, making the RT particularly agile for its size. The hybrid firetruck chassis can be adjusted so that the ground clearance can be set at three levels. In the case of the fire-extinguishing technology, the pumps are driven either mechanically by the diesel motor or electrically by a generator. The Rt has a 2,000-litre water tank and 200 litres of foam concentrate.
“The teams at Volvo Penta and Rosenbauer have been working together closely to design a tailored solution that enables the electric fire truck to do its job in a more safe, effective and sustainable way than a conventional vehicle”, says Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International. “Together, we have created the most revolutionary and progressive vehicle in the fire service industry. We have been collaborating with Volvo Penta for many years, they are the experts in this field and they truly understand our needs.”
The new fire truck is supposed to provide an answer to global megatrends such as climate change, demographic change and urbanisation – and their impact on the work of firefighters. The cooperation with the Berlin fire department goes back some two years. In November 2018, both parties signed an innovation partnership to develop the hybrid fire engine. Now also the fire brigade of Amsterdam and Dubai Defence are on board for the trial at hand. The concept fire truck was first presented as a prototype in 2016. With the cooperation agreements, the Austrian fire brigade equipment supplier wants to tailor the vehicle to the future needs of fire brigades.
The vehicle now presented as the RT is still a technical prototype, but according to Rosenbauer, it has “all the essential features of the future end product”. “We deliberately chose this name because we are convinced that the RT represents a profound change, a revolution in fire engine construction,” says Michael Friedmann, Head of Group Strategy, Innovation & Marketing. “The vehicle is not just a further development or a new generation of an existing type or series, but instead an answer to new questions, based on completely new approaches and technologies – technologies that we believe could be trend-setting and perhaps even groundbreaking for the future of fire engines and fire departments.”.
The prototype now on display is to remain at Rosenbauer as a technology carrier, and the next three prototype vehicles are to be handed over to the fire brigades mentioned above for practical testing. According to Rosenbauer, the unveiling of the customer vehicles is planned for the autumn.
In addition, there is a similar agreement with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) around the capital Canberra. They expect their firefighting plug-in around 2022.
Update 26 September 2019: Real world testing is about to begin for three of the hybrid fire trucks in three very different environments: The three RTs will be sent to fire departments in Berlin, Amsterdam and Dubai for further evaluation. The manufacturer did not specify how long the trial period would run, however the company is very convinced of their technology: “The RT is in a different league to modern standard firefighting vehicles in terms of its operational tactical benefits, loading options and firefighting equipment,” says Dieter Siegel, CEO at Rosenbauer International.
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