The terrible fires in Australia have reminded the world that you can never have enough cutting-edge fire-fighting equipment. So enter the Rosenbauer CFT – or Concept Fire Truck – which is the latest electric vehicle to come out of Austria. And it’s absolutely adorable.

As it doesn’t have a huge internal combustion engine, there’s no need for ugly vents at the front, so the CFT has a friendly, yet purposeful face. Furthermore, it looks no larger than a moving van.

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Rosenbauer’s latest creation isn’t just a pretty face, though. In fact, every element of the truck has been meticulously thought out, from adjustable suspension to suit all situations to all-wheel steering for navigating tight city streets. It will also get to any incident in super-fast time thanks to a low centre of gravity and 50/50 weight distribution, something sportscar manufacturers have only recently got their heads round.

Not only is the machine a rocket on the road, it’s also one of the most functional emergency vehicles around. Inside is an entire mission control office for the team of firefighters to remain in touch whilst tackling a blaze. From that set of screens, one can judge the size and danger of a fire thanks to drones that connect to the truck’s mobile wi-fi hotspot.

The batteries mounted in the CFT’s chassis are used to power the two motors providing drive and the water pump. According to Rosenbauer, they are large enough to power 30 minutes of electric vehicle operation and can be kept topped up thanks to a small diesel generator.

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The cute little truck hasn’t just attracted the world of Twitter. In fact, it has sparked the interest of Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman, who says it could become part of the Californian team as early as 2022.

The only thing left to ask is whether electric vehicles have yet reached a point of being able to be used as emergency vehicles. On average, a fire call lasts less than 30 minutes, so range shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Furthermore, as fire engines return to the same place after a call, it's very easy to keep the batteries topped up without needing to run a smelly diesel engine.

The other point is price. Due to the amount of development that has gone into the CFT, it costs a substantial $6 million which is quite a bit more than a traditional, $550,000 fire engine.

MAKE YOUR OWN

Of course, you can build your own environmentally-friendly fire engine right now. Sure, it's made of plastic and won't be much good against an actual fire. But it's Lego, and it's awesome. And it's less than $6 million.

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