Rosenbauer’s first RTX fully electric fire truck for the North America market will soon be delivered to the Los Angeles City Fire Department.
The RTX embodies technological know-how which was honed over ten years of development work by the Rosenbauer Group. The result is more than an “electrified fire engine.” It is the blueprint for the firefighting vehicle of the future: a vehicle that is functional and robust, with a highly ergonomic vehicle architecture, an unprecedented level of safety for the crew, and an innovative operating concept with comprehensive connectivity. The RTX combines everything that firefighters demand out of a vehicle into one productive apparatus.
What distinguishes the RTX is its stable handling and high driving safety. It has a low-floor height with a core tube frame in which one of the two high-voltage batteries is installed. This results in a much lower center of gravity compared to traditional firefighting vehicles. Single-wheel suspension and switchable rear axle steering ensure excellent maneuverability, and the RTX can even operate in crab steering mode. The air-suspended chassis allows the adjustability of the driving height to the ground (on-road and off-road driving, wading mode, operation site mode), and due to the compact dimensions (L x W = approx. 28.5’ x 92.5”), the vehicle can easily drive through narrow alleys and heavy traffic. Modern assistance systems such as ADM (Automatic Drivetrain Management) and EBS (Electronic Braking System) support the driver.
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The advanced driving dynamics of the RTX are a result of the electric drivetrain design: two electric motors with an output of 2 x 180 kW (peak) or 2 x 130 kW (continuous) drive all four wheels (permanent all-wheel drive). They are supplied with power from two high-voltage batteries with an electrical storage capacity of 132 kWh, which also powers the pump operation and other truck functions at the fire scene.
In addition, the RTX has a standard range extender (clean diesel engine with power generator) that has an output of 225 kW. This is installed within the truck’s body to save space. The RTX effectively becomes an integrated power plant that automatically recharges the high-voltage batteries as they approximately reach 20% remaining energy. The trucks batteries are designed in such a way that they aren’t ever fully depleted and meets NFPA standards.
The integrated design of the RTX cab provides a high level of passive safety during fire calls. Thanks to the air-suspension chassis, the vehicle can be lowered while on the fire scene (approximately 7” step height) to the extent that the crew cab can be safely accessed without barriers and the equipment stored in the vehicle may be accessed while firmly standing on the ground. The shadowless LED scene lighting and the underfloor lighting increase safety around the vehicle.
In addition, the RTX reduces emergency crews’ exposure to pollutants. While responding to the scene of an emergency, they travel virtually emission-free and experience less noise on the fire ground than ever before. This is due to most of all technical and common fire-fighting operations may be carried out purely on electricity.
In the RTX, the driver’s cab and crew cab merge to form a modern command center where operational briefings may be held in a quiet atmosphere, protected from wind, weather and other obstructions. For this purpose, the driver and front passenger turn their seats inwards and face the crew member cabin directly, who sit on the sides of the vehicle facing each other and on the rear wall of the cab facing forwards.
All functions of the vehicle, from lighting to firefighting equipment, may be controlled via a 15” display, centrally located in the control panel. In addition, the vehicle has its own Wi-Fi network, which can be used to wirelessly control robots, drones, and other electrical equipment.
John Slawson, CEO of Rosenbauer America
“The Rosenbauer RTX is the fire truck of the future, built from the ground up using the most advanced materials and technologies. The RTX is the safest fire truck on the roads today – for firefighters, for communities, and the environment. We are very pleased to develop the RTX in partnership with the Los Angeles City Fire Department, and the truck will soon demonstrate its capabilities in everyday fire and rescue operations.”
Richard Fields, Assistant Chief Los Angeles City Fire Department
“We were at Rosenbauer headquarters in Austria at the beginning of February for the acceptance test of our vehicle. We had the opportunity to get to know the truck better, drive it, and test all its functionality. We were particularly impressed by the RTX’s driving characteristics and ride comfort but moreover, the operating and control concept is absolutely state-of-the-art. It’s a vehicle that we’re sure to enjoy, that has everything we need for our routine operations, and with which we’re contributing to climate protection to boot.”