Calif. fire district showcases first all-electric fire engine

The $1.2 million Concept Fire Truck will be equipped with a redundant battery system and small booster motor for longer-duration responses


By FireRescue1 Staff

MENLO PARK, Calif. — A California fire department has unveiled what it says is the world’s first all-electric fire engine.

The Menlo Park Fire Department held an open house Thursday to showcase to the public the Rosenbauer Concept Fire Truck, which will require less maintenance and be safer for the environment than traditional diesel-run fire engines, according to a department press release.

The Menlo Park Fire District unveiled its new all-electric fire engine at an open house on Thursday. (Photo/Menlo Park Fire District)
The Menlo Park Fire District unveiled its new all-electric fire engine at an open house on Thursday. (Photo/Menlo Park Fire District)

“Typically, fire engines only travel short distances before returning to their home base, or fire station, so electric motors make perfect sense,” said Fire Chief Harry Schapelhouman. “Most emergencies only last 30 minutes or less and this engine can be shut down once it arrives at the incident, so an electric motor is very practical, efficient and environmentally responsible.”

The engine is also equipped with a redundant battery system and a small booster motor for longer calls, the chief said.

The Concept Fire Truck prototype cost $5 million, according to SiliconValley.com, and a working model will cost the district $1.2 million.

Rosenbauer, an Austria-based fire-service vehicle and firefighting equipment company, presented draft agreement information for purchase of the engine at a district public board meeting following the open house.

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