Li-ION Leading the charge towards greener operations

07 Jun 2024


Linde's cutting-edge lithium-ion forklifts are clean, safe, and efficient.

The demand for electric counterbalance forklifts has now surpassed that of internal combustion models.

This shift results from technological advancements that previously confined these trucks to lighter, indoor applications. These improvements have made electric forklifts more robust and powerful, enabling their use in outdoor environments and challenging terrains, easily handling heavier and bulkier loads.

Not only can they perform the same tasks as IC trucks in the same environments, but they also offer enhanced:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Productivity
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Safety
  • Sustainability

Energy Efficiency of Lithium-Ion

While approximately 60% of electric forklifts currently run on lead-acid batteries, the demand for lithium-ion powered machines is rapidly increasing. This trend is driven by the superior energy efficiency of lithium-ion batteries, especially in the face of rising fuel costs.

Comparison in Energy Use:

A lead-acid battery with a 50 Hz charger converts just 56% of the energy for the truck. With an HF charger, this efficiency increases to 73%. However, with a combination of lithium-ion batteries and matched chargers, efficiency peaks at 85%.

By employing energy recuperation techniques, lithium-ion batteries can save up to 30% more energy than lead-acid batteries.

Enhancing Productivity with Lithium-Ion

Beyond energy savings, lithium-ion batteries enhance productivity. They maintain higher power levels even as the charge depletes, thanks to their high energy density and flat voltage discharge. This results in longer, more consistent performance compared to lead-acid batteries.

One of the most appealing features of lithium-ion batteries is their ability to support fast charging, particularly within the ideal state of charge range of 20% to 80%. This allows for opportunity charging during short breaks, reducing downtime and boosting overall productivity.

Total Lifetime Cost Savings

The long-term benefits of lithium-ion batteries are significant. They can undergo at least 2,500 full charging cycles, nearly double that of lead-acid batteries, and require no maintenance such as water top-ups.

Safety Enhancements and In-House Manufacturing

Switching to lithium-ion enhances workplace health and safety by eliminating the need for battery changing, minimizing operator handling, and removing the necessity of battery rooms. With lithium-ion cells being virtually maintenance-free, operator exposure to hazardous acids is eliminated.

Linde rigorously tests larger lithium-ion battery models (48 V and 90 V) for crash resistance. The integrated multi-level safety system of Linde's lithium-ion batteries operates at the cell, module, and battery levels, constantly monitoring and coordinating vehicle functions and charging processes to prevent damage from various hazards.

These batteries, primarily manufactured in-house at the KION Battery Systems plant in Germany, benefit from the close integration of battery design and forklift manufacturing, ensuring high-quality craftsmanship and tailored solutions.

Sustainability: A Core Focus

As the impacts of climate change become more pronounced, more businesses, including Linde, are prioritizing sustainability. We produce lithium-ion powered trucks with closed-cell systems that prevent emissions and meet the highest standards of energy efficiency. Our certified lifecycle assessments show that the use phase of trucks is the main driver of pollution, and switching to highly efficient lithium-ion technology can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Recognizing end-of-life responsibilities, we ensure that our lithium-ion batteries can be refurbished and reused in various truck applications, further enhancing our commitment to sustainability.

Lithium-Ion Might Not Suit All

At Linde, we assess each customer based on their unique business needs. We understand that lithium-ion may not suit every application, so we consider the suitability of the energy system based on criteria including infrastructure compatibility, environmental impact, and budget.

From our compact three-wheeled E12-E20 EVO series to the heavy-duty E100-E180 series, our portfolio ensures a solution for every application.

Interested in Exploring Lithium-Ion Benefits?

Embracing Linde's lithium-ion technology could be transformative for your business. To learn more about the benefits of lithium-ion, click here.

Or if you're ready to discover how our lithium-ion range could elevate your business, contact us today to speak with a Linde expert.

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Compared to lead-acid battery technology, Li-ION batteries provide a whole range of advantages for electric forklift and warehouse trucks. Learn more by clicking on below.