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Rosenbauer to develop hybrid electric fire truck with Berlin Fire Department

Rosenbauer’s fire truck will help Germany meet its carbon-emission goals

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

Representatives from both sides have entered into an “innovation partnership,” which will be responsible for carrying out the project eLHF (the German acronym for 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 euros; 90% of this consists of subsidies from the Berlin Programme 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.

Rosenbauer’s Concept Fire Truck (CFT) forms the technological basis for the eLHF.

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 tonnes per year of 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.

“With the project ‘eLHF’, we aim to provide an answer to the complex demands made of fire engine technology and develop a path to the integration of new, environmentally friendly drive technologies in the fire brigade’s emergency services,” permanent representative of the Fire Brigade Councillor of Berlin Karsten Göwecke said.

“Our goals in introducing these emergency vehicles are not only the reduction of emissions that threaten both the climate and our health; we are also shining a spotlight on operational safety and ergonomics. The project ‘eLHF’ allows us to completely re-imagine the concept of the fire engine, and to integrate solutions for future challenges faced by the fire brigade into a vehicle concept that will stand its ground in the future.”

“For our ‘Concept Fire Truck’, the innovation partnership with the Berlin Fire Department represents an important milestone on the way to series production readiness,” said CEO of Rosenbauer International Dieter Siegel. “In this way, we can create an optimised pre-production vehicle that has truly been put through extensive testing, while at the same time increasing our understanding of the ideal way to integrate it into actual operation. I am pleased that the Berlin Fire Department, which has a rich tradition, is assuming the role of incubator here, and at the same time will also be one of the first practical users of the ‘fire engine of the future’.”

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