Electric vehicles are slowly becoming more prominent in day-to-day life. Even though the market share for electric cars has increased, the significant majority of cars sold are still combustion engines due to the higher initial cost and the lack of available charging stations. While electric forklifts suffer from some of the same issues as electric cars, they have a number of advantages that traditional lift trucks do not.
Perfect for Sensitive Industries
Electric forklifts use batteries instead of fuels such as LP gas. This allows it to operate much cleaner than a traditional I.C.E truck. As a result electric trucks are commonly used in the food and beverage sector, pharmaceutical manufacturing and other controlled industries. In these industries, the higher additional cost is worth it for the decreased emissions and clean operations.
Maintenance and Fuel Costs
While having a larger initial price, electric forklifts can be cheaper to run and maintain than a combustion-engine forklift. Fuel costs are replaced by the use of a rechargeable battery and there are less fluids resulting in cheaper routine maintenance. In fact, a study shows that over the course of a year, an electric forklift can save over $4,000 dollars in just fuel over a standard combustion-engine forklift.
Environmental and Health
Unlike internal combustion engines, electric lift trucks do not burn fuel, so they do not emit gasses into the warehouse. Not only is this better for the environment, it is better for the operator. Emissions from gas forklifts can have negative health effects on operators, especially when they are in enclosed warehouses or rooms.
Although there are many advantages to electric forklifts, there are also disadvantages. Battery charging stations have to be installed on-site and older facilities may not be able to handle the high voltage requirements. Electric lift trucks also have lower capacities and power than their I.C.E counterparts There are pros and cons to all kinds of forklifts – in the past ten years, electric forklift technology has increased drastically and can now compete with traditional trucks.