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Get charged up with the Striker Volterra

Oshkosh Airport Products will deliver ARFF hybrid electric vehicles starting next year

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November 29, 2023

APPLETON – Oshkosh Airport Products is finding some early success in the hybrid electric vehicle market.

Oshkosh Airport Products, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corp.’s Pierce Manufacturing division, recently announced the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) ordered six Striker Volterra 6×6 Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) hybrid electric vehicles.

“You don’t hear about our vehicles often, and that’s a good thing,” Jack Bermingham, business unit director for Oshkosh Airport Products, said. “The airport industry is very safe, but our vehicles are there (at airports) in case they’re needed.”

DFW’s Fire Department Chief Daniel White said the airport is currently operating eight Striker 8x8s but will transition to a fleet of six Volterra 6x6s complemented by two Striker 6X6s and two Striker 4×4 rapid intervention trucks.

“Our choice to transition to the Volterra ARFF hinges on performance,” he said. “These vehicles are faster, more agile and quieter compared to our current fleet, benefiting from both carbon and diesel savings. While our commitment to supporting the goal of net-zero emissions remains robust, functionality and safety of our personnel remain paramount.”

The DFW Airport Fire Department helps oversee the safety of more than 70 million airline passengers per year, with more than 180 officers focused on aircraft rescue training, fire prevention, emergency medical services and structural fire-rescue response.

Addressing potential challenges with the charging infrastructure needed for the trucks, White said the airport’s ARFF stations will soon undergo modernization.

“While Volterra ARFF vehicles come with onboard chargers, we’re ensuring sufficient power delivery,” he said. “Our new stations will be future-proofed with 480v power service, offering adaptability for evolving charging needs.”

Bermingham said Oshkosh Airport Products also has a few other Volterra vehicles on order.

Jack Bermingham

“We’re excited about the interest in demand, both nationally and internationally,” he said. “A new airport in Sydney, Australia, recently ordered four Volterra vehicles. Many of these airports have their own environmental sustainability initiatives, and this product allows them to meet their own goals.” 

Additionally, Bermingham said King County International Airport in Washington State has placed an order.

“We will deliver the Volterra ARFF vehicles starting next year,” he said.  
More on the Volterra
Bermingham said Oshkosh Airport Products has been producing ARFF vehicles as a company since the 1950s.

“Until (2021, when) Oshkosh Airport Products launched the Volterra, all previous ARFF vehicles were your traditional, internal combustion fire engine vehicles,” he said.

After its introduction in June 2021, Bermingham said the Volterra embarked on a road show tour throughout North America and Europe to exhibit the vehicle’s plug-in technology and performance capabilities.

Demonstrations took place at seven locations in North America and nine in Europe, attracting attendees from more than 13 countries.

The Volterra is equipped with an Oshkosh-patented, hybrid-electric drivetrain, featuring an electro-mechanical infinitely variable transmission, Bermingham said.

“The (Volterra) is an electrified version of the original Oshkosh Striker,” he said. “It’s an option customers are taking where you can still fulfill the same mission an original Striker serves, but it helps airports achieve their sustainability goals.”

According to Oshkosh Airport Products’ website (, Volterra vehicles feature:

Acceleration from 0-50 miles per hour in less than 25 seconds – a 28% improved acceleration compared to standard diesel Striker models when fully loadedTAK-4 all-wheel independent suspensionHigh-pressure fire extinguishing reel, tailored for challenging aircraft zones such as galleys or cargo holds – developed by EJ Metals in conjunction with Oshkosh Airport Products, this advanced system provides precise and efficient fire suppressionA 3,000-gallon water tank A 420-gallon foam tank A 2,000 gallon-per-minute water pump A 500-pound dry chemical powder systemZero emissions when running on battery powerAutomatic idle management – up to one hour of zero-emissions standby operationLower total cost of ownership – reduced engine maintenance and up to 40% reduced fuel consumptionRegenerative braking increases efficiency and reduces brake wear – the vehicle’s kinetic energy is converted to electricity, recharging the batteries and reducing brake temperature and wear

The Striker Volterra can accelerate from 0-50 miles per hour in less than 25 seconds. Submitted Photo

“The vehicles operate primarily in full electric mode, but it has a hybrid emergency response mode which allows an engine to achieve the same performance requirements of a conventional vehicle,” he said. “When the Volterra drives around the airport doing normal daily operations, it operates off battery power.”

In emergencies, Bermingham said the Volterra combines its battery power with the conventional diesel engine to accelerate the vehicle faster.

“We get a significant benefit in acceleration using the electrified technology,” he said. “It allows the first responders to get to the end of the runway faster than they could with diesel technology alone – seconds can save lives.”  

As for the future of fully electric/hybrid ARFF vehicles, Bermingham said “Oshkosh Airport Products is continually evaluating that.”

“Right now, the Volterra is positioned well to meet the needs of an airport and the regulatory requirements these vehicles have to meet,” he said. “The hybrid approach allows us to get there, but we are seeing a drive toward a fully electric version of (a Volterra). We’ll see where the industry leads us from a technology standpoint.”

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