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Are Electric Forklifts Right for Your Operation?

Today we are talking about electric forklifts, and the benefits you can expect when switching to electric. Once considered an afterthought, electric forklift popularity is booming. With improved performance, advancements in battery technology, and new battery types available electric forklifts are an increasingly beneficial option.


Every model of forklift has its own advantages, but choosing the right forklift is key for productivity. Let’s review some of the benefits we see in electric forklifts.

No Tailpipe Emissions

A clean workplace is a safe workplace, and electric forklifts give off zero emissions. With zero tailpipe emissions, you can avoid the many fumes and odors that come with gas. Zero engine oil, no fuel tanks, and no fuel tank storage needed.

Less Maintenance

With electric forklifts, you have longer maintenance intervals since there are fewer moving parts. You also no longer need to replace and dispose of oil and fluids with electric, except for hydraulic oil. This means less maintenance, less downtime, and more productivity.

Little Fuel Consumption

In today’s climate, fuel costs are rising. Another reason many are making the switch. The cost for electricity on average is significantly lower than the cost of fuel. How much would you save from cutting down on fuel costs?

Superior Performance

We are often seeing electric forklifts simply outperforming their gas counterparts. Electric lifts have automatic braking technology, leading to reduced wear while also reducing fatigue for operators. Three-wheel electric forklifts also turn on a tighter radius than gas lifts and have advanced tire technology. This leads to a more responsive machine, which means fewer accidents and more productivity.

Quiet Machines

Lastly, another advantage is that they are quieter machines. Since they run on battery power, they are significantly less noisy than their gas counterparts. Operators are able to hear what’s going on around them, leading to fewer accidents.


Electric forklift technology and popularity grow by the day, but electric forklifts are not the solution for every application. Let’s review some of the common disadvantages of electric forklifts.

Higher Upfront Cost

Electric forklifts have a higher upfront cost than LPG, gas, and diesel equipment. That said, the cost of ownership is lower in the long run.

Environmental Prone

Electrics are easily damaged in poor weather conditions. Any wet conditions, such as rain or snow, can severely damage the forklift. Many electric forklifts are not designed for outside usage, but heavy-duty models are often viable for outdoor applications.

Note: Many of the Jungheinrich Electrics are designed to be used outdoors and in weather, click here to learn more about Jungheinrich!

Battery Charging

If your operations are multi-shift, electrics may not be the ideal solution. Traditional lead-acid batteries can take up to eight hours to recharge and have another eight hours to cool off. However, with proper battery maintenance and opportunity charging your operation can overcome these challenges.

Note: With Lithium-Ion batteries coming to the market, battery changing is becoming a thing of the past. There are also lead-acid sealed batteries that allow for regular charging and do not require traditional “cooling” time. Interested in learning more about Lithium-Ion batteries? Click here to read our Lithium-Ion blog!

Despite these issues, many warehouse managers agree the pros far outweigh the cons. Now is the time to ask yourself, should we make the switch? To learn more about electric forklifts and if they are right for you, contact us today!

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