Electric fire truck to hit the streets of Amsterdam
As part of a vision for clearer air in the city center, Amsterdam’s fire department is moving ahead with testing of a plug-in hybrid fire truck. Produced by Austrian firm Rosenbauer, the truck is designed primarily to make use of its electric drivetrain, with a diesel-powered generator also on board should operators need to call on extra firepower.
Called the Concept Fire Truck (CFT), the vehicle was first presented as a design study in 2016, encouraging fire departments around the world to consider the pros and cons of going electric. And it has drawn some real interest of late, with Rosenbauer partnering with the Australian Capital Territory’s Emergency Services to develop an adapted version for Down Under, and the Berlin Fire Department to put a truck based on the CFT into regular service.
Now Amsterdam is set to become the second European capital to welcome an electric fire truck into its fleet. The truck will be based on the original CFT but feature an extended range. There’s no word on how far it will travel, but the original concept offered an electric-only range of 30 km (18.6 mi), which Rosenbauer says is sufficient for a “wide range of typical fire department operational journeys.”
While the drivetrain is purely electric, the diesel generator acts as a range extender should firefighters need to cover greater distances. The water pump for the truck’s extinguisher system is also powered electrically via the battery, and similarly, can be switched over to the generator should extra operation time be needed. There’s also Wi-Fi onboard, allowing for remote control of different functions, including the operation of firefighting drones.
As part of its “Clean Air” action plan, Amsterdam will ban trucks, buses and taxis with combustion engines from the municipal area from 2025 onwards, with all private ICE cars to be banned from 2030.
The two-year agreement with Rosenbauer is the first step in electrifying its fire department. The company will hand over a test vehicle at the end of 2020 to see how it fairs on the city’s narrow streets.
“I look forward to this partnership,” says Tijs van Lieshout, commander of the Fire Department of Amsterdam-Amstelland. “Only by testing equipment in tough circumstances, we will learn how they can fulfil our objectivism. Our professionals deserve the best equipment in order to conduct their important duties in the safest manner possible.”