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Are Forklifts Going Electric?

More and more businesses in the UK are looking for ways to reduce their emissions and overall carbon footprint. Studies done in 2010 show that warehouses contributed 10.2 million tonnes of CO2, and part of this is due to ICE forklift trucks.

For example, Wagg dog food became the first major manufacturer of pet food to become Carbon Neutral in 2020 and other companies are looking to follow suit.

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular as a way of achieving this status, but what about forklifts?

Why choose electric forklifts?

Let's look at the main benefits of electrified forklift fleet:

  • Quieter and less vibrations

  • Often small machines that are easier to manoeuvre, good for enclosed spaces

  • Capable of lifting heavy loads (such as the Doosan 5-tonne 7 Series)

  • No refuelling means less money spent on powering your forklift (easily charged overnight)

  • Can be used inside as it doesn't produce toxic exhaust fumes

  • Cheaper maintenance due to less moving parts

  • Heavy battery means a smaller counterweight is needed, resulting in a smaller turning circle

Are they more expensive than gas-powered forklifts?

As with electric cars and vans, the upfront cost of an electric forklift is often higher than a traditional ICE model. On average, your business will spend £5000 more on an electric forklift.

The long-term costs are where the electric forklift really saves you money.

Switching to electric forklifts can save your business fleet up to 50% in daily running costs

TCM found that the annual fuel operating cost of a diesel forklift will cost between £5000 and £6000, compared to £2000-£3000 for an electric forklift.

In terms of maintenance, an electric forklift costs around £1000 a year, compared to over £1600 for a gas-powered forklift.

You do need to have chargers installed, but that is simple with the help of Charge And Recharge. Read on to learn more about electric forklifts.

What companies offer electric forklifts?

As the popularity of electric forklifts increases, the choice of manufacturer will also increase.

Some of the most popular forklifts come from Caterpillar, JCB, Still, and Linde.

JCB offer the 30-I9E Electric Teletruck. This zero-emission forklift has a maximum lift capacity of 3000kg. It's reduced turning circle and low cab height make for a manoeuvrable truck that can fit inside containers.

Still offer a range of electric forklifts such as the RX0680 which has a load capacity of 8000kg, or the RX6050 with a lod capacity of 4999kg.

Linde have 8 electric forklifts for you to choose from, ranging from 2000kg (E16-E20 EVO) to 18,000kg load capacity (E100 - E180).

How will electric forklifts affect my business?

Companies that rely heavily on forklifts may need to restructure shift patterns to coincide with charging patterns of electric forklifts.

Forklifts will likely need to be charged daily and businesses should take care to prevent charge dropping below 20%. If you have 8-hour shifts or more, it is extremely important to select the right battery in your forklift.

Overcharging can also be a problem, reducing the lifespan of your forklift. Ensure adequate training is given to staff responsible for the forklifts.

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular every year, including electric vans, lorries and even forklifts.

If your business is looking to make the shift to an electric fleet, contact Charge And Recharge today for commercial EV charge point installations.


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