Daytona International Speedway to use fully electric fire truck

REV Fire Group has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to provide four firefighting trucks to the track ahead of the 2023 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and Daytona 500. While these include standard pumpers, one will be an electric model called the Vector.

“We are excited to provide the all-electric Vector for our Florida neighbor, Daytona International Speedway, to protect its employees, NASCAR drivers, and the many fans and spectators who attend The Great American Race and other events,” commented REV Fire Group Vice President Mike Virnig. “Vector also protects the environment, making this a perfect collaboration with DIS and NASCAR and their many green initiatives designed to reduce the track and sport’s carbon footprint and promote sustainability.”

The Vector is stylised as the “first North American-style fully electric fire truck”, with 327-kWh batteries that can both drive the truck and power the water pumps. The battery is placed at a low centre of gravity, which is intended to reduce the likelihood of the vehicle tilting while turning and is further away from the cabin. It also has a diesel range extender engine that automatically recharges the batteries with 120 kW if necessary, but is otherwise not needed when fighting a fire. Each truck has variations to accommodate its customer’s needs.

It was developed in partnership with Emergency One Group, a Scottish fire engine manufacturer and sister company; both E-One and REV Fire Group are owned by emergency vehicle maker REV Group. REV Fire Group built the chassis with the diesel range extender before shipping them to Scotland where E-One applied its innards, then sent back to the United States for the exterior.

The Vector was formally unveiled at the FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference) International convention in April 2022, and the Mesa Fire and Medical Department in Mesa, Arizona, became its first buyer. Toronto Fire Services in Canada also ordered a pair of Vectors. Charlotte, North Carolina, where many NASCAR teams are headquartered, commissioned a Vector from REV Group subsidiary Spartan Emergency Response in conjunction with plans of opening an electric fire station, which is set to begin construction in early 2024.

Electric fire engines have grown in interest as cities hope to reduce their carbon footprint. In May 2022, the Los Angeles Fire Department began using the Rosenbauer RTX, which is a hybrid, uses an internal combustion engine range extender, and has a boxier design akin to European fire lorries (Rosenbauer is based in Austria). By comparison, the Vector follows the North American fire apparatus which is longer and not as compartmentalised.

The partnership with REV, which began in 2022, comes as Daytona International Speedway has worked on environmentally friendly projects like recycling efforts and planting trees near the grandstands. NASCAR has also pushed similar efforts via the NASCAR Green programme, while RFK Racing was the sport’s first team to achieve PAS 2060 carbon neutrality in 2021.

IMSA’s 24 Hours of Daytona will take place on 28/29 January. The NASCAR season begins with the Daytona 500 on 19 February, and the Cup Series returns to the track for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on 26 August.