The City of Brampton is fully aboard the green bandwagon with its new red truck. Brampton City Council approved the purchase of Ontario’s first electric-powered fire truck. For now, this means Brampton can stand tall alongside other world-class cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Los Angeles, and Vancouver, which all feature an electric-powered emergency response vehicle on their fleets.
This eco-friendly move allows Brampton to dub itself an early adopter with the purchase of the Rosenbauer RT, the first EV fire truck on the market that meets firefighting standards. We dove into the city’s press release and Rosenbauer’s brochure to find everything we could on Brampton’s future front-line pumper. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s brand new
It first appeared as a prototype in Vancouver last year during Rosenbauer’s North American tour.
How much is it?
Back when it was being touted as a concept, it was estimated to cost about $1.6 million.
When will it arrive?
We won’t be able to catch a real-life glimpse of the EV fire truck until late 2022. You won’t need an emergency to see it, it’ll be stationed at the city’s new Fire Campus, which is currently under construction.
While all firetrucks look similar (you know: bright red, with a ladder and hose), they can actually be customized for the needs of the city. Depending on how it’s configured, the new electric fire truck can pack one or two 50 kWh battery packs, allowing for a maximum of 100 kWh of juice. They are compatible with 150 kW chargers, meaning they can recharge pretty quickly.
Range varies pretty significantly depending on whether or not the vehicle needs to perform any extinguishing duties or not. Most condo-dwellers have probably lost count of how many times they’ve heard or seen fire trucks arrive on the scene just to check out a false fire alarm. Depending on the situation, the electric fire truck can manage about 10 to 30 kilometres of pure electric range before the range extender kicks in.
Imagine the PR nightmare if an emergency response vehicle ran out of juice while on the way to a job, or even at an emergency itself. Fortunately, the Rosenbauer RT packs a diesel-powered range extender to prevent such scenarios.
The vehicle can be equipped with one or two electric motors, with a maximum output of 490 horsepower and even more torque. That may sound like overkill, but when it comes to an emergency response, you’ll want the most power you can get.
How does an EV fire truck handle?
Rosenbauer boasts that the vehicle has a low centre of gravity thanks to the placement of the batteries. It can also be equipped with all-wheel-steering, which will make the electric fire truck pretty maneuverable in the city, although Brampton is far from a dense town to navigate through. The automaker even suggests that the fire truck will be able to crab walk its way past obstacles. Additionally, the vehicle can be lowered for easy access, and raised for flood response.
Safety for everyone
Like many consumer vehicles, Brampton’s new fire truck will pack a rearview camera, an automatic collision avoidance system, and blind-spot warning. And of course, all the fire-fighting equipment and emergency lighting are powered by the electric power plant.
Touchscreens and connectivity
While the Rosenbauer RT packs a ton of technology, it’s supposed to be easy to use. With a ton of touch screens, information displays, and connectivity features, let’s just hope it’s all compatible with those wearing large gloves. The cabin itself is smartly packaged with a rotatable driver and commander seat, an accessible crew cab, and an oval seating arrangement designed to improve communication between the crew. The vehicle will even offer a WiFi network and can even integrate with a drone for aerial photo-based analysis.
Everyone is excited
The vehicle has created quite the buzz in Brampton; the mayor, councillors, and fire chief seem excited about the arrival of the new electric fire truck.
Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton:“At the City of Brampton, we are working to build an increasingly sustainable community in everything that we do as a Green City. I congratulate Brampton Fire and Emergency Services on their effort to secure Ontario’s first fully electric fire truck. Brampton is a world class city, and we are proud to join others who are working to increase resilience to climate change and lower emissions while keeping our communities safe.”
Rowena Santos, Regional Councillor, Wards 1 & 5; Chair, Community Services, City of Brampton:“Brampton is an innovative city, and we are always looking for new ways to improve upon our sustainability and protect our residents and staff. The new fully electric fire truck will reduce risk and improve the health and safety of our dedicated Fire and Emergency Services team, and reduce emissions in our community. We are proud of Brampton Fire being a trail blazer on green technology.”
Bill Boyes, Chief, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services, City of Brampton: “On behalf of the Brampton Fire and Emergency Services team, I want to express our excitement over the Rosenbauer RT, a fully electric fire truck. The truck has many exciting features, from reducing carcinogens on scene, to the latest in ergonomic technologies, and will help enable us to become a leader in environmental sustainability. We look forward to using it to protect our community.”