Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Victoria fired up to welcome first electric fire engine

By City of Victoria   

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Aug. 9, 2023, Victoria – The City of Victoria has purchased an electric fire engine to add to its growing electric vehicle fleet. It is one of the first municipalities in Canada to do so.

The city purchased the Rosenbauer Revolutionary Technology (RTX) pumper fire engine, which is currently being assembled and is expected to arrive by the end of the year.

The electric fire 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 also has a battery range of 100 kilometres and is equipped with an onboard diesel range extender.

This innovative feature will automatically engage if the charge on the batteries falls below 20 per cent, allowing the fire engine to operate continuously without limitations when responding to emergencies. 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.”

Victoria’s Climate Leadership Plan sets a target for 80 per cent of the city’s fleet to be electrified or renewably powered by 2040, and is making strides towards this goal by more than doubling the number of EVs in 2023 compared to last year. The city is also expecting to receive more than 20 EVs this year, including 10 work vans that will go into service early this fall. Additionally, the department recently welcomed a new Ford Lighting and two Chevrolet Bolts to the fleet.

British Columbia’s CleanBC Commercial Vehicle Pilots Program will cover 33 per cent of the total cost of the electric fire engine and charging infrastructure. The total cost of the electric fire engine is approximately $1.7 million. Funding from the province will bring the city’s cost in line with that of a traditional fire engine.

The electric fire engine is expected to be in operation in 2024.

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