St. Paul’s ‘electric’ firetruck will also have a diesel engine

Last week, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced that the Capital City would become the first in Minnesota to have an electric firetruck to much fanfare from the local press.

One piece of information that garnered significantly less attention is the fact that these firetrucks also have 300-horsepower diesel generators on board to generate electricity to keep the truck going if the battery pack runs out of juice, which you can see in the specifications below, which were obtained from the manufacturer’s website.

For the record, it is a very good idea for these fire trucks to have diesel generators on board in case the batteries on the trucks are running low because the last thing anyone wants is a firetruck that dies on its way to a burning building.

However, it is bad reporting on the part of the press not to highlight the backup generator on the truck because it gives the public the impression that electric trucks can do anything a diesel-powered truck can do, which clearly the manufacturer doesn’t even believe.

Unfortunately, the Pioneer Press and KSTP have described the trucks as “all-electric,” which simply isn’t true.