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There still are fleet managers or warehouse managers who have misconceptions of today’s electric forklifts. Some believe in a number of electric forklift myths. For example, it is a future product that their particular warehouses are not ready to use. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Some of the electric forklift myths include:
• They are too costly to buy, operate, maintain, and repair.
• They are too slow.
• The battery doesn’t produce enough power for many applications
• They have limited lift capacity.
• Electric forklift technology is too new.
• Electric forklifts won’t work in our location.
Let’s see if we can debunk these myths once and for all.
Electric Forklifts Are Too Costly To Buy, Operate, Maintain, And Repair
Yes, electric forklifts cost more than gasoline-powered lifts, but the cost is more than made up during the operational life of the lifts. They have a great return of investment of within 24-months when all operating costs are considered.
These costs include adjusted life cycle depreciation, extended operating life, reduced maintenance and repair costs, energy consumption, labor costs, tire wear, and down time. Moreover, as the size of the forklift increases, the gap in return on investment compared to gasoline lifts have a larger gap because maintenance costs and energy consumption increases exponentially as the size of the lift increases.
Electric forklifts have fewer parts than an internal combustion engine forklift. So electric lifts have fewer moving parts that can fail and need to be replaced.
Electric Forklifts Are Too Slow
Actually, many electric forklifts have a faster travel and lifting speed than many of the internal combustion powered lifts. That’s because electric lifts use 100 percent of their available torque.
The Battery Doesn’t Produce Enough Power For Many Applications
Each electric forklift is different, but can be configured with different power systems to meet specific operational expectations.
Electric Forklifts Are Limited By Lift Capacity
Many electric forklifts are available with a high capacity, pneumatic style chassis and electric forklift manufacturers have responded to the demand for high capacity forklifts that follow Tier 4 compliance. An electric lift is a clean and powerful alternative to internal combustion engine lifts. Electric forklifts of today exceed capacities of 3,000 to 10,000-lbs. due to improvements in electrical components and higher kilowatt-hours.
Electric Forklift Technology Is Too New
The first forklift ever manufactured was an electric unit. In fact, 15 years ago, 35 percent of the sit down counterbalance forklifts sold in North America were electric. Today, about 70 percent of all forklifts sold are electric units. Electric forklifts are favored because of reduced noise, productivity, comfort for the operator, and no heat production.
Electric Forklifts Won’t Work In Our Location
Electric forklifts can be used outdoors in all weather conditions. They can be used in environments that internal combustion lifts are used. Moreover, some electric lifts offer benefits over gasoline-powered lifts that include traction and acceleration. Electric forklifts can perform in all sorts of environments including cold, snowy, or excessively hot and humid conditions.
There may be other reasons a fleet manager would want to use internal combustion forklifts over electric lifts. However, these myths have been debunked.