Market Insights

Discovering the Tech Inside Mesa’s First Electric Fire Truck

January 30, 2024 by Kevin Clemens

E-One’s fully battery-powered pumper truck can operate up to four hours on a single battery charge. 

Mesa, Arizona’s Fire and Medical Department has deployed the first fully electric North American-style fire engine. Florida-based E-One, a subsidiary of REV Group, Inc., manufactured the Vector pumper truck. 

 

Vector electric fire truck.

Vector electric fire truck. Image used courtesy of E-One 

 

The truck can pump four hose lines at up to 750 gallons per minute and operate up to four hours on a single charge. The pumper can pump up to 1,250 gallons per minute on a single hose line. 

To prepare for the all-electric, battery-powered fire truck, Mesa’s station 221 installed an electrical charger capable of fully recharging an electric fire truck in approximately three and a half hours or less.

 

Electric Fire Truck Technology

The Vector truck uses an 800-volt architecture with a battery capacity of 327 kWh. The onboard EV traction battery also runs the truck’s 12-volt accessories and has an optional 120-volt AC line current when in the field. 

 

Vector technical details

Vector technical details. Image used courtesy of E-One 

 

Because the truck must often sit motionless while in service, the battery management system has been optimized to keep the traction batteries at optimum temperature. 

 

Hybrid Version Available

In addition to the fully battery electric pumper, Vector also offers a version with an optional diesel range extender. The unit’s small diesel engine powers a 120-kilowatt (kW) generator that automatically engages to recharge the batteries when a lower limit of battery state of charge has been reached. 

Operating the diesel engine is not required for pumping, but the engine can maintain a constant battery state of charge, even when the pump is in operation. The Vector pumper can handle up to 1,500 gallons of pumping capacity per minute when the diesel generator is engaged, but in normal urban usage, it is anticipated that the diesel engine will rarely be needed. 

 

Other Commercial Electric Vehicles Coming

The REV Group plans to build a wide range of electric vehicle solutions for public services, including ambulances, school buses, transit buses, and commercial vehicles such as sweepers and terminal trucks. 

Beyond the near-zero carbon emissions these vehicles produce during operation, they can also dramatically improve workplace health by reducing airborne pollution and particulates from diesel exhaust emissions. Transitioning to electrically powered commercial and service vehicles also promises to reduce overall costs due to their high efficiency and low operating and maintenance costs.