Li-ion batteries: Are they worth it?

Lithium-ion batteries for forklift trucks

In recent years, new batteries have been developed to power electric forklift trucks, front-loaders, pallet trucks, stackers, reach trucks and order pickers. Despite their higher initial cost than a normal lead acid battery, it is important to note that the reduction in acquisition cost has exceeded all the experts' forecasts (falling by 50%) since 2011, which was not expected before 2020. 

Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries are therefore now far more accessible but is the investment worth it? 

Discover in this article the advantages of li-ion batteries and how they could benefit your business.

What is a Lithium-Ion battery?

Li-Ion batteries are based on the proven technology of lithium-iron-phosphate. An important advantage is the maintenance to ensure optimum efficiency at all operating temperatures, even in cold rooms.

Lithium-ion batteries are characterised by their energy density which is much higher than that of the traditional lead-acid battery.

Record productivity with Lithium-Ion

One of the primary benefits of li-ion batteries is the radical increase in overall productivity. This is because these batteries are designed for heavy-duty use which for example, in a two-shift operation, means carrying out a continuous operation without changing batteries on the same forklift truck. This saves time and has ergonomic benefits for your employees who avoid having to handle the batteries when they reach the end of their energy!

Not only do li-ion batteries allow you to cover intensive use, but they also support intermediate / back-up loads or opportune charging. Their higher energy density allows li-ion batteries to be more compact than others.

  • In 40 minutes of charging, 60% of the total charge is recovered.
  • In 1 hour of charging, a full charge can be achieved.
Faster charging time for lithium-ion batteries
Comparison of battery charging time

In short: li-ion batteries are particularly suitable for intensive use, can withstand intermediate recharges and also charge very quickly. Advantages that guarantee maximum productivity!

Unprecedented energy efficiency with li-ion technology

A second distinctive advantage of li-ion batteries is their reduced energy consumption. Li-ion batteries consume on average 30% less energy than more conventional lead-acid batteries. So what's better for the planet is also better for your wallet!

Zero maintenance batteries

This means that the purchase price of a li-ion battery for your forklift truck will be higher than that of a conventional battery. However, you can be sure of one thing, you will be rid of all maintenance costs - li-ion batteries are maintenance-free!

An investment for lower operating costs

Li-ion: A much longer than average lifetime

The final advantage of li-ion batteries is that their life is guaranteed for 2500 charge cycles and depending on the use, this life span can even be doubled. This is several times the life span of lead-acid batteries.

Applications for li-ion batteries

Li-ion battery technology offers a new way of thinking about "energy" and "flow" in warehouses. 

Productivity and power

The superior performance of li-ion batteries makes them ideal for all applications where the old lead-acid technology quickly reaches its limits, e.g - high power requirements or multi-shift use without a battery change. For the same volume, a li-ion battery contains twice as much energy - resulting in significant savings, reduced battery changes and a lighter infrastructure.

Savings

Li-ion batteries allow the complete elimination of electrolyte maintenance operations and the associated H&S requirements, ensuring a virtually maintenance-free operation for the customer.

Ergonomics

For employees, this change brings more ease and comfort in their daily tasks. Instead of removing discharged batteries from their MHE, then connecting them to a dedicated charging station and leaving them plugged in for more than six hours while monitoring their distilled water levels... they can now be conveniently recharged via a simple plug accessible from the outside.

In conclusion ... if you are considering switching to li-ion, you need to analyse the uses of your forklift trucks to determine whether or not it's worth it. In any case, you can always count on us to help you make a decision!

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