California’s Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District is home to the first fuel cell-powered fire response vehicle. DaimlerChrysler outfitted a vibrant red Mercedes-Benz F-Cell with decals, lights, and sirens for use as one of the district’s supervisor’s vehicles, which will be used in and around the city. It is hoped that data obtained from the vehicle’s operation will help further fuel cell technology and development.

Alt Fuel fire response vehicle

With a siren and flashing lights, this Mercedes-Benz F-Cell was transformed into the first fuel cell-powered fire response vehicle. Credit: DaimlerChrysler

The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell is able to reach a top speed of 85 miles per hour (mph), and its electric motor allows for acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in sixteen seconds. The fuel cell system is in the floor of the vehicle, providing optimal trunk and passenger space. The F-Cell has a range of approximately one hundred miles.

DaimlerChrysler estimates that it has invested more than $1 billion in fuel cell vehicle research and development. The automaker previously produced the first fuel cell-powered police car, which is operated by the Wayne State University Police Department in Michigan.

“This program exhibits how DaimlerChrysler is taking on the challenge for industries and governments to create viable alternative fuel solutions,” said Mark Chernoby, Vice President of Advance Vehicle Engineering for Chrysler Group. “We’re pleased to be a driving force in this team effort to develop zero-emissions transportation.”

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