Go Green with Increased Electric Forklift Model Sales

Posted by: admin on December 9, 2013

A warehouse or lumber yard may not be the first place you’d expect environmentally-friendly technology to emerge, but think again. Yes, even the forklift industry is caught up in the “green,” earth-first initiatives.

As prices of lithium-ion batteries continue to drop, get ready for an increased demand for environmentally friendly electric forklifts. According to a study by Navigant Research, yearly sales of electric forklifts in the United States, Mexico and Canada will top $500 million within the next 7 years. That’s a five-fold increase from the latest sales figures from this year.

So why should we expect such a drastic swell in electric forklift sales? The primary reason is the cost of technology. Falling lithium-ion battery prices (which will comprise a greater segment of electric batteries in the future) and decreased fuel-cell technology means that companies can run fleets of electric forklifts for drastically reduced costs than before. This means that warehouses, stores and other businesses will find it easier to invest in electric forklifts.

And with the attractive end result of zero-emission operation, businesses will be looking to purchase more electric forklifts in the future – especially as environmental policies continue to require more stringent emission standards.

Lead-acid batteries still comprise a majority of the forklift batteries on the market, but they have significant drawbacks: limited runtime, long charge time, and short life cycle, just to name a few. While costs remain much lower than fuel-cell and lithium-ion batteries, their prevalence as the forklift industry’s preferred power source will diminish in the next 5-10 years.

As electric forklift sales continue to climb, however, skilled drivers will still be required to ensure safe, efficient operation for both traditional lead-acid battery powered forklifts and environmentally-friendly fuel-cell and lithium-ion battery powered forklifts. Analysts agree may differ on when the latest technological changes are coming, but one thing’s for certain – safety is always the most important part of the equation.

For more information about this subject, please read Navigant’s press release about projected increased in electric forklift sales.


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