Dependable Emergency Vehicles and Volta Power Systems have partnered to create fire trucks that...

Dependable Emergency Vehicles and Volta Power Systems have partnered to create fire trucks that enable firefighters to reduce idling, cut CO2 emissions, and improve safety without specialized charging infrastructure.

Photo: Dependable Emergency Vehicles

Dependable Emergency Vehicles and Volta Power Systems have collaborated to develop fire trucks with zero-emission auxiliary power units (APUs) that cut idling time and the need for on-scene generators. The power systems are part of a 16-vehicle, multi-year contract for Toronto Fire Services to assist the organization in reducing CO2 emissions, helping it meet anti-idling goals, and improving safety by reducing noise at emergency scenes. Dependable completed the first truck featuring the new APU for Toronto Fire Services in November of 2020.

Powered by Volta’s technology, Dependable’s idle reduction and energy storage system provides each fire truck with a scalable energy storage pack and customized distribution system. The system provides all the power necessary for warning and scene lights, air conditioning, body lights, tank circulation, communication electronics, and other loads for several hours without idling or using an auxiliary generator. It does not require the installation of specialized charging infrastructure.

The nickel-manganese cobalt lithium-ion technology in Volta’s system offers twice the energy density of lithium-iron phosphate systems on the market without compromising safety or performance, according to the manufacturer. The packs provide consistent power while reducing emissions, fuel usage, and maintenance costs. Based on a baseline of four APU system run hours per day, each vehicle could save up to $11,833 annually in maintenance and fuel costs. Each will also eliminate up to 19,569 lbs. in CO2 emissions each year.

The Volta-powered system will last the full-service life of the fire trucks, with the potential to retrofit other existing or new vehicles, regardless of chassis or size, according to the company.

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