Press release, December 20, 2022

Berlin Fire Department Orders More Electric Vehicles

Four more RTs ordered following successful trial

•    Four more RTs ordered following successful trial
•    For the first time ever, the current order also includes an equipment vehicle with an electric drive system as well as three firefighting and rescue vehicles with conventional drive systems


The Berlin fire department is looking to systematically further reduce its fleet CO2 emissions by investing in more electric firefighting vehicles. The order includes four “Revolutionary Technology” (RT) models specially configured for Berlin as electric firefighting and rescue vehicles (eLHFs), which the fire department co-developed and realized together with Rosenbauer as part of a multi-year innovation partnership. Following successful trial operation lasting thirteen months and involving three fire stations, at which 90% of the almost 1,400 deployments were “electric-only,” the Berlin fire department made its decision: This is the vehicle they want to take them into the future. Around ten metric tons of CO2 equivalents were saved during trial operation compared with a diesel-powered firefighting vehicle, and savings as high as 16 metric tons or more of CO2 equivalents per vehicle and year of operation are potentially realistic.


All-rounder with high-quality fire extinguishing equipment


The Berlin RT vehicle design supports precise deployment needs by offering high-quality fire extinguishing equipment that meets the requirements of a city fire department and comprises the N25 firefighting pump, which complies with FPN 10-2000, the RFC Admix Variomatic foam proportioning system and CAFS fire extinguishing technology, which complies with DLS 800. In addition, the vehicle comes with not only on-board equipment for firefighting purposes but also a range of equipment for the myriad small-scale technical deployments. In terms of extinguishing agents, the vehicle transports 1,200 l of water and 100 l of foam concentrate; the crew comprises seven firefighters. 


The configuration is based on the classic Berlin LHF, which the fire department has been using for more than 15 years as part of its fleet of all-rounders and for which it also developed the specifications. The fleet currently comprises around 190 of these vehicles, all of which are constructed on MAN chassis with a total weight of 15 metric tons. The plan is to gradually supplement these with electric vehicles over the coming years. 


Electric equipment vehicle for operational hygiene: clean/dirty separation


In addition to the four RTs, Rosenbauer is also developing an electric equipment vehicle for the Berlin fire department. The specification and purchase of this vehicle type show that operational hygiene – especially clean/dirty separation immediately following firefighting operations – is becoming increasingly important. The equipment vehicle for operational hygiene brings cleaning equipment and changing facilities to the scene of a fire; features an attachment that is divided into two for contaminated/clean clothing and can be accessed without needing to stoop; and is constructed on an electric series production chassis from Volvo. 


The powertrain for the equipment vehicle for operational hygiene comprises a compact electric motor offering 165 kW of continuous power and 200 kW of peak power as well as a two-speed transmission that allows the vehicle to start in first gear at maximum torque. The battery capacity is 200 kWh (4 x 50 kWh), and the motor also acts as a generator that converts the kinetic energy that would normally be lost during braking to electrical energy and feeds it back into the traction batteries.


Berlin’s sustainability goals


By ordering five new electric vehicles, the Berlin fire department is demonstrating once again that it is among the trend-setters in the world of firefighting. As a public institution, it sees itself as a role model that actively supports the sustainability management policy of the German capital’s city government and is keen to make its own significant contribution to the process of meeting the climate protection goals. These goals include making Berlin carbon-neutral by 2045 at the latest and ensuring that the state administration, to which the fire departments also belong, is largely carbon-neutral by 2030. Converting the public fleets to alternative drive systems and drive energies is one of the most important actions in this respect. The fire departments alone (professional and volunteer services) operate around 1,000 vehicles.

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