Volvo Penta starts production of E-driveline

By Ian Cameron01 July 2021

Bespoke electric driveline for “world’s first” serial electric fire truck

Volvo Penta has commenced production of bespoke electric drivelines for fire service vehicle manufacturer Rosenbauer’s fire truck, named “Revolutionary Technology” (RT).

By adapting technology from Volvo Trucks and Volvo Buses, Volvo Penta and its customer Rosenbauer have introduced what is claimed to be the world’s first electric fire truck, with a new vehicle architecture.

A Volvo Penta-made bespoke electric driveline package.

Volvo Penta said that unlike other Volvo Group electric vehicles (EVs) that might have two or sometimes three electric machines, the RT required four to do its job. All four electric machines have to be able to run simultaneously – two for propulsion, one for the range extender to provide extra battery power, and one for electric power takeoff, if fire-fighters want to rotate the foam pump for example.

Due to the required compact dimensions of a city fire truck, Volvo Penta created a new Active Cooling Unit (ACU). This component was developed in part collaboration with Rosenbauer. The new ACU draws on a 600V system – instead of the conventional 24V – this extra power allows Volvo Penta to not only cool the batteries but also offer cooling capacity to the Rosenbauer vehicle.

This is one way Volvo Penta said it has optimized the design and adapted the complete electric driveline system for a specific vehicle, considering the exact application, usage, climate, and environment it will operate in.

Three Rosenbauer test firetrucks – powered by Volvo Penta electric drivelines – have already been delivered to Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dubai.

“We announced our emob partnership with Rosenbauer in 2019, and we have gone from concept to start of production in record time,” said Giorgio Paris, President of Volvo Penta Industrial. “This is a milestone in our electrification journey. We see a growing demand for electric solutions in the market today and – through collaboration and pilot projects, such as this one – we aim to meet this demand and the expectations of the future.”

Now the first electric drivelines have entered the production stage at the Volvo Penta Vara plant in Sweden. Here the ACU is manufactured, and the system is kitted – loaded with software and packed together – to make installation as straightforward as possible for the customer, said Volvo Penta.

For more details on Volvo Penta’s electric driveline activities, see the story in Diesel Progress International.

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