“Can EuroBat make Hyster customers ‘lose their bottle’?” That was the question being discussed by Mathew Allen, Solutions Manager Counterbalance Products EMEA for Hyster Europe at the EUROBAT Forum 2017 in June.
The 2017 Forum for EUROBAT, the association for the European manufacturers of automotive, industrial and energy storage batteries, took place on Friday 9th June in Brussels, where invited speakers shared their thoughts on battery legislation, policy and new technologies.
At the event, Mathew Allen presented data on power sources in the lift truck market, comparing internal combustion engine power (from gas ‘bottles’) and battery powered electric vehicles, and discussed some of the latest Hyster® innovations with lift truck batteries.
So, which power option is the future? It depends on the application.
LPG, diesel or CNG (for those who have the infrastructure) may still be the best choice for many with lower emissions than ever before and the benefit of great fuel savings. With so much choice in the Hyster® range, some applications are switching back to IC as their businesses change and grow.
LI-Ion and Lead Acid
Many Hyster® trucks can be equipped with lithium-ion batteries and may be able to offer comparable performance to an IC truck, but is lithium ion the right power choice over lead-acid batteries? Again, that depends on the specific requirements of the individual operation. One of the most significant advantages is that lithium-ion batteries allow for opportunity charging, making it perfect for stop/start operations. Meanwhile, a standard lead-acid battery offers good battery life when well maintained and charged overnight and tends to be the best choice where the truck is in constant use, presenting no opportunity to charge during the shift.
Hydrogen fuel cells
High-throughput, multi-shift operations running 15 lift trucks or more may consider the latest fuel-cell technology. This option is becoming more prevalent in materials handling fleets because it offers the benefits of electricity with the convenience of fuel.
Electric Big Trucks
Many ports and heavy industries have pledged to reduce their carbon footprint. They will soon be able to electrify their Big Truck fleets, producing zero emissions while achieving comparable full shift performance.
Hyster is developing solutions to enable applications to move from profitable low emissions to profitable zero emissions using electric Big Trucks. But it won’t be for everyone.