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The City of Victoria has welcomed its first electric fire engine, which will be in operation in 2024.
Victoria is one of the first municipalities to purchase an electric fire engine. The Rosenbauer Revolutionary Technology (RTX) pumper fire engine is currently being assembled and is expected to arrive by the end of the year.
“This fire engine is an important step in making the switch to zero emission vehicles,” said Mayor Marianne Alto. “As we continue to implement the City's Green Fleet Plan, we are seizing opportunities like this to electrify and enhance our fleet, reducing our corporate greenhouse gas emissions."
The City received grant funding from the Province, which covered 33% of the total cost of the electric fire engine and charging infrastructure. The total cost of the electric fire engine is about $1,700,000.
"Funding from the Province will bring the City’s cost in line with that of a traditional fire engine," the city said.
The engine will be stationed at the new Victoria Fire Department Headquarters and public safety building on Johnson Street, where a dedicated 25-kilowatt direct current fast charger will be installed, capable of rapidly charging the engine between runs.
The electric fire engine has a battery range of 100 kilometres and is equipped with an onboard diesel range extender, which will automatically engage if the charge on the batteries falls below 20%.
Two other Canadian fire departments, Vancouver and Brampton, have ordered RTX electric fire engines, and they are already in use in other cities around the world, including Los Angeles, Berlin, Vienna, Basel and Dubai.
"While honouring our Fire Department's rich history, we also recognize the urgent need to address climate change and reduce our carbon footprint," said Fire Chief Daniel Atkinson.
"The advanced capabilities of the electric fire engine will not only help to reduce emissions, but also enhance our ability to respond to emergencies. We are excited to embrace this cutting-edge technology, ensuring that we continue to provide the highest level of service to the residents of Victoria while demonstrating our commitment to climate leadership."