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Rosenbauer and Berlin Fire Dept to develop hybrid fire truck; project eLHF

Rosenbauer Deutschland, a company of the Rosenbauer Group, and the Berlin Fire Department plan jointly to develop a hybrid electric fire engine in the next two years.

The two have formed an “innovation partnership” which will be responsible for carrying out the project “eLHF” (German equivalent for “eRFF”/ electric rescue and firefighting vehicle) and, following a successful trial, will manufacture vehicles accordingly.

The project budget amounts to a total of approximately €1.8 million; 90% of this consists of subsidies from the Berlin Program on Sustainable Development, which in turn is fed by the European Regional Development Fund and the state, while the rest comes from the Berlin Fire Department’s own budget funds. The Concept Fire Truck (CFT) of Rosenbauer is the technological basis for the eLHF.

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Rosenbauer Concept Fire Truck.

Under European public procurement law, the innovation partnership is a special form of award procedure. The goal is to develop an innovative product and to then purchase it. What initially motivated the Berlin Fire Department’s concluded tendering procedure were the growing demands with regard to environmental protection and the complex exhaust systems of conventional chassis, which are having an increasingly negative effect on the design and operation of firefighting vehicles.

Consequently, the hybrid project vehicle is designed to help contribute towards reaching Berlin’s climate protection goals. Specifically, this entails a reduction in pollutants of around 14 t/a CO2 in comparison with conventional, diesel-powered rescue and firefighting vehicles; it will also feature a disaster-proof design.

In addition, the project specifications also provide for reduced noise emissions as well as an improvement in occupational health and safety, technical availability and communication.

Rosenbauer presented the “Concept Fire Truck” to the public for the first time in 2016. The concept study anticipates megatrends such as global warming, demographic change and urbanization, as well as the challenges these changes pose for fire brigades. The use of electric drives has enabled the creation of a completely new type of vehicle architecture that is fully adapted to these future scenarios and sets new standards in terms of functionality and ergonomics.

The main field of application for CFT technology is initially the municipal firefighting engine, but plans are also in place for it to subsequently be transferred to other types of vehicle. The “Concept Fire Truck” attracted particular interest from the member states of the “C40 Cities Climate Leadership Goals”, which aim to adopt a leading role in climate protection; talks with further model regions are ongoing.

Rosenbauer estimates that the global market for the innovative CFT technology will reach around 3,200 vehicles by 2030; in Europe, as many as 700 to 800 units could be in use by 2025.

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