The Bay Area agency of Contra Costa County, California, continues to surge toward electricity. It just added two new all-electric trucks to its fleet. The trucks are Rivian pickups and will be used for support roles. Contra Costa County Fire Protection District confirmed these additions are the only four-wheel drive all-electric vehicles in Contra Costa County.
In the NBC story, Assistant Chief Chris Bachman said, "We know that some of the manufacturers are starting to come out with hybrid options, but before we experiment with that, we thought that the support role would be the best place for us to implement and try it out and see what works well and what doesn’t.”
All-electrics trucks are the next step in a zero-emissions fleet. Although Bachman added the initial cost of electric trucks is more than its diesel trucks, the overall maintenance and fuel costs are far cheaper than diesel-fueled trucks.
Con Fire Puts Safety First
Con Fire’s mission is to not only protect the lives and property of the county but also the environment.
With that in mind, Con Fire said it needed vehicles that were mission capable. When it came to adding new vehicles to the fleet, Con Fire needed trucks that could meet mission requirements, as well as aid California in moving toward zero-net emissions.
The Rivian all-electric pickups fit the bill and allow for upgrades. "We are going to outfit them with lights, sirens, radio capabilities and evaluate how that works on large incidents and what’s the battery drawdown," Bachman said to NBC.
As for the next steps in Con Fire growing its green fleet, Steve Hill, media relations of Con Fire, said first they must better prepare for the necessary charging. Steve Hill added, “It was one of the things we had to learn early on. We have to work on our charging infrastructure before we can expand this program any further."
California continues to be the poster child for moving toward eco-friendly government fleets. Just earlier this month, the Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of transitioning the city's entire fleet of more than 10,000 vehicles to an electric fleet.
And in May, the first hybrid fire truck was introduced in Los Angeles. This is the first fire department in the U.S. to purchase an all-electric fire engine.