Pierce Manufacturing secured a purchase order from the Madison, Wisconsin, Fire Department for a...

Pierce Manufacturing secured a purchase order from the Madison, Wisconsin, Fire Department for a Volterra electric fire pumper. The city has been using a Pierce Volterra electric fire truck prototype since May of 2021, providing feedback on its performance.

Photo: Pierce Manufacturing

The fire department for the city of Madison, Wisconsin, placed an order for an electric fire truck. Pierce Manufacturing announced it secured a purchase order for a Pierce Volterra electric pumper. 

The purchase order agreement follows an 18-month placement of a Pierce Volterra pumper prototype at the department’s busiest station, Station No. 8, making it the first electric fire truck in service in North America, according to Pierce. The city's fire department was one of three fire departments across the United States to collaborate and provide daily operational data on the prototype to assist with the final development, evaluation, and on-highway certification processes.

The department’s thorough vetting, testing, and operational use over the last 18-months resulted in the city of Madison solidifying its commitment in Pierce’s electric vehicle (EV) technology.

“We were honored to be a part of the testing process for the Pierce Volterra electric pumper and worked closely with Pierce representatives to ensure we were equipped with a highly capable fire apparatus to tackle our daily missions,” Madison Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bavery said. “Our positive experience with this electric fire truck and the support team, along with our community’s dedication to meeting environmental sustainability goals, were all factors in our decision to purchase a Pierce Volterra apparatus and make it a prominent addition to our fleet.”

Madison's Pierce Volterra electric pumper configuration includes:

  • Pierce Enforcer custom chassis with seating for six.
  • TAK-4 Independent Front Suspension.
  • 246 kWh battery solution with standard six-year warranty.
  • Consolidated, safety-focused, high voltage integration.
  • Underbody ground clearance.
  • Compartmentation: Full height, full depth, formed aluminum construction with over 155 cu. ft. of storage, uninterrupted by high voltage battery integration.
  • 1,500 GPM single stage pump. 
  • 500-gallon water tank.
  • Intuitive Command Zone purpose-built electrical control system. 
  • CZ Connect Telematics for remote access and service support.

Read what a day in the life of Madison's electric fire truck looks like.

City's EV Fleet Growing

In the last five years, the city has grown its EV fleet from zero to 94 vehicles, with more on order. The city's fleet also has another 160 hybrids in the mix.

"The Pierce Volterra pumper represents the first electric fire truck to support our fire department’s brave first responders. Fire trucks are among the hardest vehicles to electrify and it’s incredible to be part of this special moment in history," Madison Fleet Superintendent Mahanth Joishy said.

Madison’s Climate Forward Agenda outlines actions the city is taking to advance its work in combatting climate change, according to its website. It includes a goal of cutting its emissions nearly in half by 2030.

“Purchasing a Pierce Volterra pumper will make an immediate and impactful contribution to the city’s commitment towards environmental change. Through reduced diesel fuel usage, the pumper is expected to eliminate over 31.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being emitted into the environment every year,” Madison Mayor Rhodes-Conway said. “The Pierce Volterra electric fire truck not only gives us confidence our fire department will have the most advanced equipment to support their needs, but also drives environmental change as we take meaningful action toward building a clean energy economy.”

The city's fleet facility was also named a certified LEED Gold Facility by the U.S. Green Building Council, a designation Joishy believes is the first for any fleet shop. Read more about the designation here.

A Closer Look at the City of Madison Fire Department

The city's fire department is made up of 14 fire stations serving an area of nearly 100 square miles and a population of over 250,000. The city is a longtime Reliant Fire Apparatus customer with a full Pierce fleet dating back to its first Pierce purchase in 1997. 

“It’s been an exciting process to work alongside Pierce and the City of Madison Fire Department to place the first electric fire truck in service in North America and evaluate its performance,” Reliant Fire Apparatus Director of Sales jason Krueger said. “Our team is honored to be part of a monumental movement setting a precedent for the future of the fire service. We look forward to continuing to provide support through the production process and as a service partner for many years to come.”

The city expects to receive its new electric pumper next year, Joishy told Government Fleet.

About the author
Christy Grimes

Christy Grimes

Senior Editor

Christy Grimes is a Senior Editor at Bobit, working on Automotive Fleet and Government Fleet publications. She has also written for School Bus Fleet.

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