Mike Wilbur


A California fire protection district debuted the first all-electric apparatus this week, with the promise of more such vehicles down the road in the coming years.

Menlo Park Fire Protection District unveiled the yellow-and-black engine Rosenbauer Concept Fire Truck at an invitation-only event Wednesday night at the department’s Fire Station 1. The vehicle then was given a more public display Thursday at Fire Station 1 and Fire Station 6.

“Electric vehicles are not new, it’s only new to the fire service,” Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman told KPIX-TV.

The apparatus is equipped with a redundant battery system, which runs for around eight hours. Diesel fuel is used to run the generator for its backup battery.

Schapelhouman told KPIX that the apparatus would first be tried out as rescue unit before being deployed to fight fires. The vehicle also would need to be tailored to the district’s particular needs, but similar, additional units could be added to the department’s fleet by 2021.

The fire district and Rosenbauer representatives were scheduled to discuss a potential contract for the apparatus Thursday. At around $1.2 million, the vehicle’s cost is comparable to a non-electric aerial, and it requires a $200,000 deposit.

Follow Us