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A new, trimmed-down three-wheel electric emergency vehicle — called the "Rapid Responder" — is undergoing tests with an Oregon fire department, reports Business Insider.
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All-electric Rapid Response emergency vehicle
Based in Oregon, Arcimoto and the Eugene Springfield Fire Department has announced a partner pilot testing program for the Rapid Responder on March 10, the first test of a three-wheeler with first responders.
The full-electric vehicle is fast and efficient enough to meet the fire department's emergency needs in a cheaper and ecologically-friendly way, claims the vehicle's maker. This will help fire departments hasten response times to real-life emergencies, without getting "bogged down in traffic."
However, the practical use of the Rapid Responder isn't limited to just fire departments — Arcimoto said the vehicle is also suitable for first responders, police, and even campus security. Since the all-electric vehicle is so small, it can out-maneuver traditional, more cumbersome diesel-fueled fire engines, and navigate its way off of city streets.
Other U.S. fire departments testing new electric vehicles include the Los Angeles Fire Department, which recently ordered a $1.2 million electric firetruck that is set to be delivered by 2021.
Check out some interesting photos of the Rapid Responder below:
The all-electric vehicle can achieve speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).
The all-electric vehicle has a range of 160 kilometers (100 miles) in cities, using its lithium-ion battery.
The vehicle charges to full in eight hours using a 120-volt charger, or even in four short hours with a 240-volt charger. The vehicle moves quietly without sirens.
The vehicle can seat two people and serves as a more nimble alternative to traditional fire engines. Eugene Springfield Fire Department Fire Chief Chris Heppel said the Rapid Responder could have been used for several of the 40,000 emergency calls managed by the department in 2019, according to Business Insider.
Emergency vehicle with unique specs
The all-electric vehicle also has a rear cargo storage area, with equipment stored on a roof-mounted rack. Although it can move quietly, the Rapid Responder has a 360-degree lightbar and sirens, no different than traditional emergency response vehicles.
"We are extremely proud to be the first firehouse in the world to deploy this cutting-edge vehicle, and look forward to working with Arcimoto in this pilot program to create a world-class sustainable EMS solution," said Heppel in a statement, reports Business Insider.
Production of the Rapid Responder will start later in 2020, reports Business Insider. However, the FUV — also called the "Fun Utility Vehicle" — Evergreen Edition of the Rapid Responder can match the speed and city range of the normal version. However, the FUV version has added features attuned to the needs of customers interested in non-emergency responder vehicles, like a magnetic cup holder, BlueTooth speakers, a phone mount, heated seats, and a choice of hard or soft doors.
The initial price for the FUV Evergreen Edition will be $19,900.