Fully Electric Fire Engine Debuts
Fully Electric Fire Engine Debuts
There are certain types of vehicles that seem ideal for electrification and others that seem less suitable, at least until the infrastructure is in place and the charging time is reduced. The former could include multi-drop delivery vans, which make multiple deliveries in a day inside a small area, and an example of the latter would be company reps who drive hundreds of miles a day. Like most other roles, fire engines would be somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. They don’t usually travel far from base and fire stations are well equipped and accessible, so installing fast chargers should be no problem at all. Another advantage would be that using electricity to power the pumps and other equipment would be more efficient than a diesel generator. A downside would be that prolonged usage of the equipment in a larger blaze might be enough to run the batteries dry. However, good management of appliance rotation should be able to solve that problem.
We should soon have a chance to see how suitable electric fire engines are fr their role. Emergency One, a company based in Cumnock, only a couple of miles from my location in Ayrshire, have just announced what they claim is the world’s first all-electric pumping appliance. The E1 EV0 low-emission fire appliance is a next-generation fire engine that builds on the features of current generation diesel trucks. In addition, the electric design includes new features designed to improve fire fighter safety. The vehicle is capable of travelling up to 220 miles on 80% charge. It is available with a number of chassis options, and has customisable specifications to allow it to be tailored to each customer’s individual requirements, including to comply with EN1846 or other international standards.
Transport Scotland backed the project with a £500,000 funding, and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has already commissioned an electric powered engine appliance, which should be delivered early next year to a location that has still to be determined. Scottish Transport minister Jenny Gilruth talked about why the government got involved by saying: “The public sector should be seen to lead the way on this type of work, which demonstrates that tough operational requirements for service vehicles, often working in challenging conditions, can indeed be met without the sole reliance of fossil fuels.”
Emergency One has also seen its first export sale as it signed a contract on the 16th May to supply Hérault Fire Service with electric fire appliances for the French fire service. The company’s contract with Hérault Fire Services, that covers a population of over 1 million people, will act as a springboard to gain additional sales on the French market.
To win the French contract, the manufacturer has been supported by the economic development agency’s international arm, Scottish Development International. Explaining the support, Scottish Government Minister for Business Ivan McKee said: “The Scottish Government’s drive towards Net Zero emissions also opens new markets and creates economic opportunities. Businesses such as Emergency One are using their expertise and ingenuity to unlock this potential. The new relationship with Hérault Fire Services has been secured against international competition and positions the company as a global leader in the sector.”
Mike Madsen, Managing Director of Emergency One said: “Not only is the electric route safer for the environment but also the firefighters themselves and we are proud of the technology and progress to market of the E1 EV0 the world’s first fully electric fire appliance that highlights Scottish innovation.”