With the cost of living increasing and the ever-growing desire for businesses to become sustainable, you may be thinking about switching to an Electric forklift truck from an Internal combustion powered forklift. Before you switch over from to electric you will have to identify whether you need a Lead Acid forklift or a Lithium-ion, each of them have their own unique benefits.
Heli’s electric forklifts have seen serious transformation and technical advances putting them on par with the internal combustion forklifts.
Below is a list of things to consider before making the switch to electric forklifts.
Pros and Cons of choosing Electric Forklifts
- Low to zero emissions and a quieter truck will be better for your employees’ health
- Minimal operating costs and low maintenance costs
- Electric forklifts have advanced functionality providing better control and superior performance
- Lithium-Ion Batteries have a significantly higher life cycle (3000 Cycles)
- No risk of operator injury and fatigue through changing and storing gas propane bottles
- New generation electric trucks can be used both in indoor and outside applications
- Forklifts with an IP rating of IP54 and above can work in poor/dusty weather conditions
- Lead acid batteries are Built in a tank which is polyethylene coated to eliminate the risk of the battery shorting out and to maximise impact resistance and durability.
- Lithium-Ion battery systems are equipped with deep discharge and overcharge protection as well as individual cell temperature and voltage monitoring. We’ve also included some additional safeguards to prevent them from short-circuiting too.
- Individual Lead Acid battery cells can be replaced, instead of having to buy a new battery
- Higher upfront cost
- Ventilation and charging stations might have to be installed
- Lithium-Ion Batteries are expensive to replace
- Electric Forklifts have to be over a rating of IP54 to work in poor/dusty weather conditions
- Lead Acid battery technology simply cannot achieve some of today’s material handling demands without spare batteries and battery change-outs, especially in multi-shift 24/7 operations.
Financial cost to move from IC to Electric
What do I need to consider when preparing my facility for the conversion?
The initial cost of purchasing an Electric forklift is higher cost than an Internal combustion. You may also have to consider the additional costs of installing charging points and ventilation if your facility doesn’t have this already. However, overtime the total cost of owning an electric forklift will be cheaper, especially with the introduction of the red Diesel ban and rising fuel prices.
- Lithium-Ion forklifts may require an upgrade in mains power infrastructure to cope with higher peak demands when opportunity charging – this depends on the number of forklifts you have.
- Depending on the number of electric forklifts and spare batteries you have, you will need to ensure you have enough storage space to keep batteries, which can be cumbersome.
When you are ready to move over to Electric forklifts, get in touch with your local Grant Handling depot and a sales representative will be able to give you a free site survey and help you decide if this is the right move for you. Contact us today!
If you are part the way through a contract hire deal with us and you are thinking of changing mid-way through your contract, unlike many of our competitors we do not use a 3rd party to fund any equipment supplied, this enables us to be flexible and work with our customers as their business needs change. Your local depot at Grant Handling can help and advise you if this is the right move for you.
Moving over to an Electric forklift has more long-term benefits than using an Internal Combustion forklift, but it will take time to see these benefits. Its all about choice at Grant Handling, which is why we work with our customers, to find the right product for your application.
Changes in maintenance
Another important factor to consider when moving over from IC to Electric is the change in maintenance. This is different depending on whether you are changing to a lead acid or Lithium-Ion forklift. Electric forklifts typically require less maintenance than IC as there are less moving parts.
- Lead Acid batteries need to be maintained by topping up the battery cells with deionised water
- Lithium-Ion batteries requires no battery maintenance
Health and Safety
- Switching to an Electric forklift will be suitable when operating in an indoor environment as it will improve worker safety from the low to zero emissions and minimal noise.
- Lead Acid forklifts can spill acid and corrosion can occur.
- Lead acid batteries give off Hydrogen during the gassing phase of the charging cycle which is extremely flammable.
- Lithium-Ion batteries can be opportunity charged and charged as little or as often as the operator wants and can efficiently be used 24/7.
- Lead Acid batteries have to be charged fully after their use and then cooled down before it can be used. Limiting its use to one shift per day.
For personalised support contact your local depot.
When you are ready to move over to Electric forklifts, get in touch with your local Grant Handling depot and a sales representative will be able to give you a free site survey and help you decide if this is the right move for you.