The electric fire truck has arrived. Austria-based electric vehicle conversion startup Kreisel Electric took the wraps off its finished two-year project on Wednesday, a converted Mercedes Sprinter built in collaboration with public services company Linz AG and Rosenbauer. The team claims that fire trucks are ideal for electrification, as they’re vehicles aimed at moving short distances at speed with plenty of time to recharge.
“Utility vehicles such as fire trucks are an ideal area of application for electric drives: in many cases, they only have to cover short distances and charging can be done between uses,” Markus Kreisel, CEO of Kreisel Electric, said in a statement. “I am particularly thinking of stations in the districts of large inner cities, in town centers and small communities in the countryside or at airports.”
The vehicle, claimed to be Europe’s first all-electric fire truck, will serve Austria’s third-largest city of Linz. It offers an 86 kilowatt-hour battery weighing 620 kilograms (1,367 pounds) that can power up to 100 miles of range. The charge system supports quick charging with the type 2 or CCS plug standards, offering 90 percent recharge from a 50 kilowatt source in an hour and 20 minutes. The whole truck is powered by a 120 kilowatt permanent electric motors to move a maximum weight of 11,685 pounds.
It’s not the first electric vehicle changing public services. Kreisel and Linz previously collaborated on a plug-in hybrid refuse collection vehicle. Tesla has also been listed as a potential supplier of police cars, with the Los Angeles Police Department assessing two black and white Model S P85Ds as potential fleet vehicles back in 2016. The London Metropolitan Police also explored the possibility in 2017, while the Ontario Provincial Police unveiled a police-ready Tesla Model X in February.
With Kreisel assuming the vehicle will save 4.8 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year based on 12,000 kilometers of driving per year, it may not be long before more fire departments follow suit to pursue cleaner cities.
Tesla fire truck, anyone?