Automotive

Volvo Penta electric driveline for the fire engines

7th July 2020
Alex Lynn

Volvo Penta has developed an electric driveline for leading fire service vehicle manufacturer Rosenbauer’s pioneering fire engine, enabling an innovative new solution with zero exhaust emissions and significantly reduced noise levels.

The fire engine – named “Revolutionary Technology” (RT) – is currently undergoing intensive testing and will soon begin real-world customer testing with fire departments in Berlin, Amsterdam and Dubai.

Volvo Penta has been collaborating with its longstanding customer Rosenbauer to develop an electric driveline for the platform and industrialised version of the company’s Concept Fire Truck (CFT), known as ‘Revolutionary Technology’ (RT). By walking away from conventional commercial vehicle concepts and developing an electric solution for the truck’s driveline instead, Volvo Penta and Rosenbauer introduced a completely new vehicle architecture that looks set to help the fire service industry and bring benefits such as zero exhaust emissions and significantly reduced noise levels.

 With its electric driveline, the fire engine has ergonomics, functionality, and safety, as well as high loading volumes, compact dimensions and agility. The RT is currently undergoing intensive testing and will soon pass its next major milestone, when it enters real-world customer testing later this year with fire departments in Berlin, Amsterdam and Dubai.

“After many years of successful collaboration with Rosenbauer, we’re proud to be pioneering electric drivelines and partnering with them on this revolutionary project,” said Paul Jansson, Chief Project Manager at Volvo Penta. “Our close partnership and deep understanding of our customers’ needs guided us in the development of the electric driveline for the new fire engine.

“Starting customer testing really brings home what the teams have managed to achieve together. This is our first industrial OEM partnership in the area of electromobility and it’s a big step towards creating a new product platform of the future.”

Electric driveline delivers great performance

The new fire engine aims to provide an answer to global megatrends such as climate change, shifting demographics and urbanisation – and their impact on fire departments’ work. Firefighters responding to a call need a vehicle capable of high speed, rapid acceleration, hard braking and maneuverability. The RT’s electric driveline, paired with independent suspension and a hydropneumatic chassis, delivers a high standard of safety and a great driving performance.

The Volvo Penta-powered RT truck will help fire departments around the world reduce their fuel costs as well as improve safety and functionality. Each axle of the truck is powered by an electric motor and the energy storage system allows for an electricity-powered journey with ample time for operation at the rescue site. In addition, the new electrically powered truck has a backup diesel engine on board in case the journey or operation takes longer than expected.

“The teams at Volvo Penta and Rosenbauer have been working together closely to design a tailored solution that enables the electric fire engine to do its job in a more safe, effective and sustainable way than a conventional vehicle,” said Dieter Siegel, CEO at Rosenbauer International. “Together, we have created the most revolutionary and progressive vehicle in the fire service industry. We have been collaborating with Volvo Penta for many years, they are the experts in this field and they truly understand our needs.”

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