If you’ve considered upgrading your existing forklift setup, or you’re just unsure which type of battery power is right for your business needs, then you’ve likely already taken a look at Lithium Ion batteries as a potential solution. An increasingly common alternative to acid batteries, these high-charge, lower-cost power options are the ideal choice for many different businesses, offering them the flexibility they need from their forklift.
Cheaper, faster and with better power density, there are many reasons why you might opt for a Lithium-ion battery-powered forklift for your next equipment purchase. Want to know more about why these batteries are the best for your business? Read on for more information to help you make the right decision when it comes to picking vital equipment for your workplace.
Lithium Ion Batteries: what are they?
If you own a laptop, mobile phone or just about any other device, then it’s likely you’re already in close proximity to a form of Lithium-ion battery at any time of day. An incredibly popular choice for a wide range of different purposes, these batteries are highly versatile and incredibly useful when it comes to providing power to a variety of our possessions.
Known for being highly energetic when it comes to recharging, there’s a reason these batteries are a common choice for some of our most popular electronics. As the name suggests, Li-ion batteries are created using Lithium in addition to carbon. Lithium is a very reactive element, which is one of the reasons it can produce such a high energy density – resulting in a charge that’s stored for longer and dissipates far slower.
So, what does that mean in layman’s terms? In comparison to other batteries on the market, Lithium-ion is faster, more reliable, and capable of many more charge cycles than more traditional batteries. Where lead-acid batteries can only hold 25 watt-hours per kg, a Lithium-ion battery can store 150 watt-hours. Compared to NiMH batteries, Lithium-ion also comes out on top; with far less loss of charge and even higher capacity.
What are Lithium-ion batteries used for?
A versatile and flexible choice of power, thanks to its variable size and consistent charging ability, Lithium-ion batteries are used for a wide range of different options. While your first thoughts may be of smaller devices – such as tablets, cameras or mobile phones – Lithium-ion is far more widespread than its use in consumer products.
While Lithium-ion is undoubtedly popular for many small devices that need a constant charge, it’s also an excellent choice for use with larger machinery, with anything from RVs to motor boats, solar panels to alarm systems, utilising the strength of these small but powerful batteries for everyday usage. Because of their lack of reactivity to water, in addition to their small size and low profile, these batteries are used in just about every household and workplace.
Forklifts are just one of the many industrial uses for the Lithium-ion battery, making it a tried-and-true option for many businesses looking to upgrade their fleet to electric. Many factories, warehouses and construction facilities solely use equipment that’s powered by a combination of different battery types or just Lithium-ion batteries.
In fact, some brands even offer batteries that span the full range of their fleet, allowing for better charging schedules to match the requirements of specialised or often-used machinery. For the ultimate in versatility, Lithium-ion batteries are here to stay. With more and more businesses choosing electric for both health and safety purposes and to improve how green their business is, these popular power sources are only going to increase in number.
The benefits of Lithium-ion batteries
If you’re still debating whether Lithium-ion is the right power choice for your business, then these benefits might just give you a little more insight into why this popular option should be your pick of the bunch.
Same price, better charge
With many forklifts and warehouse equipment still running on acid batteries, it can be easy to think that the lesser charge and heavier battery is standard when it comes to powering your machinery. This is especially true when compared with the higher cost of petrol-run fleets; after all, batteries are the cheaper choice. But choosing to switch your electric power from acid batteries to Lithium-ion can provide you far greater freedom at the exact same price.
Li-Ion Batteries are known as extremely expensive, with prices exceeding the truck price itself and only affordable for large rental fleets with very little charging time during a 2 – 3 shift application. This time is over. EP is the largest manufacturer of Li-Ion powered trucks and offers trucks developed for perfect TCO with Li-Ion at mind. As Li-Ion batteries have a higher energy density, can be discharged deeper and charged quicker than traditional batteries, the battery itself can be smaller. While you might need a 24v/150Ah Battery to power a traditional heavy pallet truck of 480kg self-weight, our latest WPL 201 pallet truck can run on 48V/38Ah batteries with the same runtime. Throughout the range EP offers high-quality Lithium-ion powered forklifts at the same price point as other models that use acid batteries, mitigating the fear of a higher cost with better technology. If you can have something better for the same price, why wouldn’t you choose the option that holds a charge better, lasts longer and has countless other benefits? For the exact same cost, you can have a far more efficient fleet.
No accommodations necessary
While acid battery-powered forklifts require a large amount of additional space for a dedicated charge area, there’s no such requirement with a Lithium-ion powered machine. In warehouses or workplaces where space is at a premium, the ability to charge your forklift at a moment’s notice, without waiting for other fleet vehicles, is an entirely affordable luxury.
No need for breaks in productivity or returning to base for that extra bit of juice. Just switch out your Lithium-ion depleted battery with a full one, and you can continue with your day. Alongside the charging accommodations that acid battery forklifts require, the need for a specialised floor coating is another disadvantage of this type of machinery. With a Lithium-ion powered machine, you’re good to go right out the box. No need for special requirements or downtime.
Modernise your fleet
With acid battery forklifts falling more out of favour over time, it’s likely that those with older fleets will soon find their machinery obsolete. With the lesser reliability of acid batteries, being unable to replace existing power packs can be a severe problem. But with Lithium-ion remaining one of the top power sources around the world, it’s unlikely that the more modern style of forklifts is going out of fashion anytime soon. There are many reasons to modernise, whether it’s simply adhering to the latest safety requirements or creating a more productive workplace. So why not upgrade your fleet for the same reasons?
Pallet trucks that use Lithium-ion batteries, such as the EP12-EZ, are now more affordable than a traditional acid battery option. So why not opt for a better-value machine that’s likely to have longer relevance? Smaller, faster and able to turn tighter corners, the more modern your fleet, the better your workplace.
Work to your schedule
For shift work or 24/7 warehouses, there’s nothing as frustrating as having to wait for long charge times on machinery you need to use immediately. Whether it’s heavy-duty use or simply a single transfer of stock, older-style electric fleets will require time to charge – and it’s just not cost-effective to purchase double, or to wait around for your machines to do their thing.
With Lithium-ion, your machines are on your schedule. Just ten minutes of opportunity charging on an EP forklift, like the Max 8 series, can afford you 7% charge – enough time to do the immediately required tasks, and plenty of time to charge a secondary battery to full, ready for the machine’s next use. Waiting around isn’t a requirement with Lithium-ion; a well-managed charging system can put an end to that in no time.
Work in any environment
Multi-shift businesses such as those within the food processing industries will hugely benefit from investing in Lithium-ion technology; for more reasons than you might think. Not only does this battery type allow for round-the-clock productivity, but it also ensures consistent high output even in less-standard conditions.
For workplaces with freezers or otherwise cold storage, Lithium-ion has none of the problems of other models; these batteries can be charged in even sub-zero temperatures with no issue. In comparison to acid batteries, Lithium-ion also holds its charge far better in these more challenging conditions – providing the service you need in the conditions that are non-negotiable for the storage of perishables and other food items.
Lithium-ion batteries for your fleet
Fast, effective, and powerful for longer, there are countless reasons why Lithium-ion is the best choice for your business needs. When it comes to the essential forklifts and palette trucks you use every day, reliability is key to maintaining the best business practices and to staying on schedule in the long term. A power source that can provide that is a must, which is why EP considers Lithium-ion the best battery out there for all businesses.
EP machinery is known for its excellent reliability, intuitive design and effective power options. If you think Lithium-ion might just be the best next step for your warehouse, construction site or workplace, then we’ve got the machinery to exceed your expectations. With a full range of different options to suit each budget, purpose and level of use, there’s a machine to satisfy your exact business requirements.
Contact us today to find out more about why our Lithium-ion fleet is perfect for your business needs. We’d be happy to help.