2020 is clearly a momentous year. Amidst the many challenges posed by an ongoing global pandemic, businesses are looking now, more than ever before, to make savvy operational decisions on a day to day as well as a long term basis.

Something you could have been keeping your eye on is the new technological advances in the lithium-ion battery technology market. There is a compelling move towards increasing our use of reliable and efficient lithium-ion batteries across more and more products compared to even just a few years ago.

A growing lithium-ion technology and forklift market

According to research agency Report Linker, the global forklift market is a force to be reckoned with. “It was valued at $4.3 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $7.4 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 7.04% from 2019 to 2026.

Alongside more centralised warehousing systems and online sales growth, lithium ion technology is named as one of the leading factors which is driving this market change.

The report explains: “A fuel cell is a viable alternative in such a scenario and its use in batteries is growing extensively. Therefore, the increase in popularity of fuel cell-based forklift significantly drives the growth of the market.”

We don’t know about you, but these impressive growth figures certainly make for interesting reading. We advise that you spend time reading the full report if you can. Analysis includes a breakdown by sector, which you can read here.

Ever-evolving products and lithium ion technology

The nature of the modern world we live in seems to centre on ever-evolving products and technology. And with the climate crisis increasingly at the forefront of our minds, it’s timely to hear experts predicting that mass market expansion is just around the corner for this energy-efficient technology.

According to Forktruck Solutions Surveys, 82% of customers will definitely consider lithium-ion powered trucks in their next renewal. Will you be one of them?

What has been driving the move to lithium-ion technology?

This transformation has been driven by the increasingly pressing climate crisis. A continued shift to using cleaner energy sources at every level and a consideration for the future of energy storage solutions put lithium-ion battery technology at the forefront as it provides sustainable changes to transform how we store and consume energy.

Lithium-ion batteries have been widely adopted in the production of electric vehicles already and this increasingly lucrative market goes from strength to strength. In the material handling market, lithium-ion technology has improved and batteries became popular mainly with entry level pallet trucks initially, some of which were introduced by EP Equipment in 2016.

You may have been aware that some of the larger products have been highly expensive to purchase with lithium ion battery power at their core. But all of this is set to change now, with the development of new trucks building on years of technological advances, being produced on a larger scale and benefitting from economies of scale. EP Equipment, who are experts in the field, believe that all material handling products can be powered by lithium-ion technology in the near future. They are one of the industry leading businesses working to make it happen.

Recent legislation to keep in mind

Euro Stage V legislation rules lower emission limits for Particular Matter (PM) and Particulate Number (PN) are required in engines between 19 kW and 560 kW, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation.

The newer restrictions demand that manufacturers reduce PM emissions to just 0.015g/kWh – a 40% reduction from Stage IV.

In response to this change in legislation, designs have become more complex and include engines which aren’t reliant on diesel particulate filters (DPF). Though these trucks may deliver power and are EU-compliant, they can be expensive to purchase. As a result, this could mean that moving to lithium-ion models could be more cost effective.

So what are the main advantages of lithium-ion technology and batteries?

– More environmentally-friendly – li-ion batteries are a cleaner technology
– A longer lifespan – li-ion batteries generally have a longer lifespan than lead acid
– Opportunity charging – li-ion offer real flexibility in your warehouse or workplace
– Lighter weight – li-ion batteries are around a third of the weight of lead acid
– Higher efficiency – li-ion are 95% efficient, meaning most of the energy stored can actually be used
– Faster charging – li-ion takes just 2-3 hours to charge, reducing down time
– Zero maintenance – li-ion batteries don’t require active maintenance

Read more information about the importance of good quality and safe batteries here: https://ep-ep.com/li-ion/

So which forklifts are lithium-ion battery-powered?

EP has a range of lithium-ion powered forklifts which are easy-to-use and comparatively spacious, and seem to be for sale on various websites at a fraction of the cost of other trucks. As we noted throughout this blog, there are many advantages of this technology which EP Equipment benefits from.

Lithium ion trucks are available in sizes capable of loading up to 3.5 tonnes whilst offering zero emissions on site. We thought it might be helpful to feature a small selection of EP products which might be suitable for your business.

EFL181 – Our unique li-ion forklift

The EFL181 is designed to replace diesel forklifts in businesses across the world. It is the next-generation entry-level forklift from EP, with an integrated charger that can be used at every standard power outlet. This forklift is great for small companies and those which simply need occasional use of a forklift. It has an on-board charger so it really can be charged anywhere.

The EPL 154 & 185 – next generation pallet trucks

EP has spent the last 10 years developing a next generation model after the EPT 20-15ET. The new pallet trucks come with a newly-developed lithium-ion technology battery and integrated chargers. It’s a compact truck which means it’s suitable for many business settings including warehouses and logistics.

The JXO – best selling vertical picker

The JX0 from EP Equipment is the new generation stock picker of 2017. The main advantage compared to its competitors is its extremely stable mast and the intuitive user interface. Its strength is smaller volume order picking as well as retail environment work.

For more information about any of these EP products, you can see our products page.

And finally, a quick note on battery quality

We advise that you also bear in mind the importance of the quality of the lithium ion batteries themselves if you’re buying equipment to be powered by lithium technology. Choosing your supplier or partner wisely is important from the outset for many reasons. Some suppliers such as EP Equipment produce their own batteries on-site in their factory to ensure they provide true quality control to both the trucks and batteries they provide. EP Equipment is also equipped with an in-house developed BMS – Battery Management System to ensure the longest lifetime out of the battery and safe operation for their clients.

And please do get in contact with us today for further advice or to place an order.