The fire brigade of the canton of Basel-city has ordered four all-electric fire fighting vehicles of the RT model series from Rosenbauer. This is the first fleet order for the electric vehicle. Independently of this, Rosenbauer announces that it will now also present the first aerial ladder with an electric drive system.
First to Switzerland: After the sales launch of the RT (short for Revolutionary Technology) in September 2020, Rosenbauer books its first order for several units of the electrified water tender from a client. The professional fire brigade of the canton of Basel-Stadt is now taking delivery of four vehicles at once. It has around 100 employees and recently deployed more than 2,900 times a year. The partners do not provide further details on the planned use of the RT in Basel.
“The first fleet order for a new product is always something very special,” Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International AG, expresses instead. “Already 30 years ago it was a Swiss airport fire brigade that put the then first Panther into service, and with which we defined a new vehicle category. I am all the more pleased with this renewed vote of confidence by the Basel-Stadt professional fire brigade. It is one of the first users of this pioneering technology, which we also intend to transfer to other vehicle types in the future.”
Rosenbauer says it currently has 19 firm vehicle orders and over 20 reservations for the RT. We have previously reported several times on the development of the RT. Two electric motors provide 350 kW of drive power, the electricity comes from a high-voltage battery with 100 kWh or from a diesel-powered range extender from BMW – a three-litre in-line six-cylinder. According to Rosenbauer, this should enable “continuous operation of the vehicle in driving and operational situations”.
The electric drives for the series version are supplied by Volvo Penta. Specifically, the system includes the electric motors and an Active Cooling Unit (ACU) based on a 600-volt system. As the Swedish company recently announced, they are supplying Rosenbauer with a total of four electric motors per vehicle: two for the drive, one as a generator for the range extender and one for electric drives for the fire-fighting technology.
As Rosenbauer reports, citing initial customer feedback, “well over 90 per cent of all operations can be handled purely battery-electrically without power generation by the range extender”. The company estimates that the global market volume for the RT and comparable technologies alone should amount to around 3,200 vehicles by 2030 – in Europe, 700 to 800 such vehicles could already be in use by 2025, it says.
Furthermore, the manufacturer announces its intention to offer at least one vehicle with electric drive in every vehicle category by 2023. In doing so, Rosenbauer says it is relying on appropriate superstructures for commercial electric chassis, such as the Volvo FL Electric, on the one hand, and on its own developments, on the other.
The news that the first electrified turntable ladder from Rosenbauer is now making its debut fits in with this. The L32A-XS model uses three electric motors, two for the travel drive and one for the turntable ladder operation. The energy comes from two or alternatively three lithium-ion battery packs with a capacity of 66 kWh each.
The vehicle itself is based on the classic ladder park of the proven L32A-XS from Rosenbauer and the series chassis of the Volvo FE Electric. “With battery capacities of 132 or 198 kWh, the electric L32A-XS has more than enough on-board energy to perform typical aerial ladder operations reliably and without interruptions. For example, a city deployment with a five kilometer drive, one jacking operation, three ladder movements (load cycles), 30 minutes of light mast operation, including return trip, consumes about 20 kWh,” Rosenbauer describes. The turntable ladder with two battery packs still has enough “residual capacity” to handle up to four more such operations.
According to Rosenbauer, a rural operation with, for example, a 30-kilometre approach and departure, two support operations, five ladder movements and one hour of light mast operation costs around 52 kWh, which means that a turntable ladder with three battery packs has a power reserve for at least two further operations.
The prototype of the electrified turntable ladder is to be presented in summer 2022. Schutz & Rettung Zürich, the largest civilian rescue organisation in Switzerland, is already the first customer for the test operation.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
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