The Bellevue, Washington, Fire Department will begin acquisiton planning for its Pierce Volterra...

The Bellevue, Washington, Fire Department will begin acquisiton planning for its Pierce Volterra electric fire engine, pictured here, this year.

Photo: Pierce Manufacturing

The Bellevue, Washington, City Council has authoritized its fire department to use a state Department of Ecology grant to purchase the city’s first electric fire engine. The new Pierce Volterra, one of the first municipal electric fire engines available for purchase in the U.S., will be housed at Fire Station 1, according to a press release.

The $649,000 grant, made available through the Washington State Clean Diesel and Volkswagon Settlement Grant programs, will cover up to 25% of the new rig’s cost. Acquisition planning for the electric engine will be conducted in 2023, with procurement and delivery anticipated in 2025-2026. 

City's Electric Fleet Growing

Bellevue has been adding electric vehicles (EVs) to its fleet and charging stations for them for several years. The city reports that it has a strong commitment to remaining a regional leader in environmental sustainability.

“Adding an electric fire engine to the fleet directly aligns with the implementation of our Sustainable Bellevue plan, which we’re accelerating this year,” Bellevue's sustainability program manager Ana Hagerup said. “Trading an older diesel model for a zero-emission fire engine puts us on the path to achieve the city's fleet electrification targets and goal to reduce local carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.”

The city turned to Madison, Wisconsin's electric fire engine testing as proof that the electric engine would work for its own fleet. In Madison's case, Bellevue reported that the only notable difference in performance from diesel models is that it’s quieter for both firefighters and the community. 

“The Bellevue Fire Department looks forward to being a leader, not only in the state, but in the nation, by demonstrating the efficiency of a more environmentally-friendly fire engine without sacrificing safety or performance,” Fire Chief Jay Hagen said.

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