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Volvo Penta electrifies fire truck

Volvo Penta has developed an electric driveline for the Rosenbauer prototype Revolutionary Technology (RT) fire engine, which is due to undergo real-world trials in 2021.

The prototype is equipped with a pair of 350kW electric motors, a 100kWh battery system and power electronics from Volvo Penta, all of which is reported to provide the performance and range required of a firefighting vehicle. 

Bolstering the RT’s capabilities further is all-wheel drive, electronic stability control, pneumatically adjustable suspension that can be raised to provide up to 350mm of ground clearance and rear-wheel steering.

The RT is also equipped with a 3.0-litre diesel BMW engine that functions as a range extender, granting ongoing operation and mobility in extended or far-flung firefighting operations. 

An electrically driven water pump is used for firefighting duties, and supplied by 2000-litre water and 200-litre foam compound tanks, but the pump can also be mechanically driven by the on-board diesel engine.

Rosenbauer, a firefighting equipment specialist based in Austria, had previously showcased its Concept Fire Truck (CFT) – an idea which subsequently evolved into the prototype RT, which shares its naming convention with production models such as the Rosenbauer Advanced Technology (AT) fire truck.

The collaboration with Volvo Penta, which provides industrial power solutions, has allowed for the development of a truck with improved packaging, ergonomics and functionality – and one that is also more environmentally friendly and quieter. 

“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,” said Rosenbauer International CEO Dieter Siegel.

“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.”