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Canada's first electric fire truck was in service less than a month before it needed repairs

Canada’s first electric fire truck unveiled
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Vancouver's brand-new, $1.8-million fire truck was in service for less than a month before it was sidelined for repairs.

CTV News has learned the all-electric Rosenbauer RTX has a leaky water tank.

Vancouver Fire Rescue Services spokesperson Matthew Trudeau confirms the repair work involves the vehicle’s water tank, but none of the electrical or battery systems, and the cost of the work is covered by the manufacturer, Rosenbauer.

Trudeau says the vehicle was in service from Dec. 4, 2023, to Jan. 2, 2024, and has been out of service ever since.

"As brand new apparatus enter the VFRS fleet, it is routine and expected that mechanical issues come up," Trudeau says in an email.

"We quickly work with manufacturers to resolve them and improve their response capability." 

A water leak also sidelined North America’s first Rosenbauer RTX truck, which was bought by the Los Angeles Fire Department in May 2022.

According to a statement from the Rosenbauer Group posted by LAFD, the issue was discovered during testing, and “water tank issues are not uncommon and may happen due to a variety of reasons.”

Vancouver’s all-electric vehicle was unveiled Dec. 4, with VFRS Chief Karen Fry referring to it as a “reinvention of the fire truck.” 

The department said the truck is smaller and more maneuverable than a traditional truck, and can go 100 kilometres on a single charge.

At a cost of $1.8 million, it’s $300,000 to $500,000 more than a new diesel engine, but Fry said there are huge environmental and health benefits to an electric truck, as diesel fumes are a known carcinogen.

Trudeau did not say when the truck will return to service. 

"We look forward to having the truck back in service as soon as possible," he says in his email.

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