First All-Electric Fire Engine Unveiled at Menlo Park Station 1

The district board will vote Thursday on whether or not to make a down payment on the $1.2 million rig

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The Menlo Park Fire District unveiled what is believed to be the first all-electric fire engine during a demonstration Wednesday night at Fire Station 1.

The new Concept Fire Truck (CFT) will be equipped with a redundant battery system and small booster motor for longer duration responses, fire officials said.

"Typically, fire engines only travel short distances before returning to their home base or Fire Station, so electric motors make perfect sense," Chief Harry Schapelhouman said in a statement.

Diesel is currently used to power most fire engines, but it is a carcinogen, which is a health risk for first responders and the general public, fire officials said.

Conversely, electric vehicles have fewer moving parts, which not only results in less wear and tear, but also less maintenance, Schapelhouman said.

The fire district will vote Thursday on whether or not to make a down payment on the truck that costs about $1.2 million. It's several hundred thousand more than current engines but could be worth it.

"These rigs are on the road 24/7, 365; it's got to work," Schapelhouman said.

The company designing it, Rosenbauer, said the first trucks should be in service by late 2021.

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