London Fire Brigade works with Emergency One to green the fleet

Photo: LFB’s Zero Emission Capable Pumping Appliance.

London Fire Brigade is investing in the development of an electric-hybrid fire engine as part of its commitment to significantly reduce carbon emissions, supporting the Mayor of London’s ambition for London to be net zero carbon by 2030 and build a greener and safer city for everyone.

The Brigade is currently working with Emergency One, the UK’s leading manufacturer of specialist fire and rescue service appliances, to build a Zero Emission Capable Pumping Appliance (ZEPA1). The Brigade will be the first fire and rescue service to use an electric-hybrid fire engine when it is due to start being trialled later this year.

The Brigade is a leading voice in calls for innovation to help fire and rescue services and other organisations decarbonise their heavy fleets and it is hoped the project will help grow the market for zero emission specialist vehicles in the UK’s emergency services.

Developing zero emission solutions for fire engines is particularly challenging as they have demanding performance requirements – not only do these heavy vehicles have to attend incidents as soon as possible, but they also have to be able to pump water for long periods of time, and transport equipment and machinery to deal with fires, flooding and other incidents.

ZEPA1 is planned to be trialled as a frontline fire engine later this year and is capable of meeting all of the Brigade’s demanding operations – ensuring it will carry out the work of a standard diesel appliance in travelling to a fire, pumping the water required to put it out, and travelling back to the station.

ZEPA1 has minimal differences to the Brigade’s existing 143 fire engines. It has a range of over 200 miles, can pump water continuously for four hours, has air conditioning and heating and the same control systems as the Brigade’s existing fleet of fire engines.

London Fire Commissioner Andy Roe said, “Our first priority is always to ensure the Brigade provides a first-class prevention, protection and emergency response service for London. But for some time we have been looking towards a more sustainable future and working to identify the challenges and solutions to ensure that we as a fire service can move to a zero emission fleet.

“ZEPA1 is a very big and exciting step for us and the whole of the UK fire service and we are incredibly proud to be part of the innovation that will lead to the UK’s first electric-hybrid fire engines at one of our fire stations.

“It is hoped that in leading the way on developing an electric-hybrid fire engine, the project will help drive and grow the market for zero emission specialist vehicles in the UK’s emergency services and particularly in the fire service.”