(The Center Square) – St. Paul plans to buy a $1.8 million electric vehicle fire truck ready by 2025, Mayor Melvin Carter and Fire Chief Butch Inks said.
“We’re excited to be the first in the state to invest in this state-of-the-art fire truck,” Carter said in a statement. “It brings us all the critical green energy benefits of an electric vehicle, while meeting the high safety and efficiency standards we have for all our fire equipment.”
The RTX is a range-extended electric vehicle, meaning it has an all-electric drivetrain and pump with a diesel energy backup system to serve the city’s 275,000 residents who live in 56 square miles.
Todd McBride, RTX Sales and Marketing Manager of Rosenbauer America, said in Los Angeles, about 98% of emergency calls fall within full battery range and on average, each call response consumes between 7-20% of battery power.
Then, the vehicle can rapidly recharge from 75% back to full battery capacity in about 20-25 minutes, McBride said, ensuring a quick turnaround. If the RTX is called outside its travel range and the battery drops to a 20% charge, then it powers the diesel pump to recharge the batteries, ensuring an additional 4-6 hours of operational capability before the vehicle either needs to be recharged or refueled.
Saint Paul Fire received RTX demonstrations from manufacturer Rosenbauer in 2020 and 2023.
“I was blown away by its overall performance and how quiet the rig is,” Inks said in a statement. “Communication on fire scenes is important and can be extremely difficult, especially when six or seven loud diesel engines are operating in high idle.”
The RTX aligns with the St. Paul’s climate action and resilience plan to achieve carbon neutrality in city operations by 2030 and citywide by 2050.
“We take pride in our ability to identify and capitalize on opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and improve city services at the same time,” Chief Resilience Officer Russ Stark said in a statement. “Because emissions from larger vehicles are some of the hardest to tackle, this is a big milestone toward realizing our climate goals.”
Final assembly of the fire truck will be completed in Wyoming, Minnesota, with delivery expected to coincide with the completion of a new Fire Station 7 on the city’s East Side.
“The Rosenbauer RTX is the fire truck of the future,” RTX Sales and Marketing Manager of Rosenbauer America Todd McBride said in a statement. “With over 10 years of research and development, the RTX is built from the ground up using the most advanced materials and technologies. The RTX is the safest fire truck available – for firefighters, for communities and for the environment.”
St. Paul is submitting federal earmark funding requests to support the purchase.