Linde’s innovative lithium-ion forklifts are clean, safe and efficient.

The demand for electric counterbalance forklifts has now surpassed their internal combustion counterparts.

This shift can be attributed to advancements in the technology which had previously limited these trucks to lighter, indoor applications. These advancements have meant that electric forklifts are more durable and powerful, making them suitable for use in outdoor environments and challenging terrains, carrying heavier and bulkier loads with ease.

And not only can they lift what an IC truck can, in the same environments, they also offer improved: 

  • Energy efficiency
  • Productivity
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Safety
  • Sustainability

Energy efficiency of lithium-ion

While lead-acid batteries currently power around 60% of electric forklifts, the demand for lithium-ion powered machines is accelerating fast. This shift is due to the energy efficiency of lithium-ion batteries, especially where rising fuel costs are a concern.

Linde lithium-ion battery and mounted charger

Comparison in energy use:

A lead-acid battery with a 50 Hz charger converts just 56% of the energy for the truck. With an HF charger, this efficiency jumps to 73%. However, with a combination of lithium-ion batteries and matched chargers, its efficiency peaks at 85%.

By using energy recuperation techniques, lithium-ion can save up to 30% more energy than lead-acid batteries. 

Enhancing productivity with lithium-ion

Beyond energy savings, lithium-ion batteries offer productivity gains. They maintain higher power levels even as the charge levels drops, thanks to their high energy density and flat voltage discharge. This results in longer, more consistent performance compared to equivalent lead-acid batteries.

Unlike conventional batteries, one of the most appealing features of lithium-ion is their ability to support fast charging, especially with their ideal state of charge being 20% to 80%. This allows for opportunity charging during short breaks, reducing downtime and enhancing overall productivity.

Linde lithium-ion battery powered counterbalance forklift getting charged

Total lifetime cost savings

The long-term benefits of lithium-ion batteries are substantial. They can undergo at least 2,500 full charging cycles, nearly double that of lead-acid batteries, and require no maintenance like water top-ups.

Safety enhancements and in-house manufacturing

Switching to lithium-ion enhances workplace health and safety. It eliminates the need for battery changing, minimising operator handling and the necessity of battery rooms. With lithium-ion cells being virtually maintenance-free, operator exposure to dangerous acids is prevented. 

Linde rigorously tests the larger lithium-ion battery, models 48 V and 90 V, for crash resistance. The integrated multi-level safety system of Linde's lithium-ion batteries operates at the cell, module and battery level, and constantly monitors and coordinates vehicle functions and charging processes to prevent damage from various hazards.

These batteries, primarily manufactured in-house at the KION Battery Systems plant in Germany, benefit from the close integration of battery design and forklift manufacturing, emphasising high-quality craftmanship and tailor-made solutions.

Sustainability: a core focus

As the effects of climate change are being felt across the globe, it's no surprise that more businesses are prioritising sustainability, including Linde. That's why we are producing lithium-ion powered trucks with closed-cell systems that prevent emissions and meet the highest standards of energy-efficiency. Our certified lifecycle assessments show that the use phase of trucks is the main driver of pollution, and switching to highly efficient lithium-ion technology can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Recognising end-of-life responsibilities, we also ensure that our lithium-ion batteries can be refurbished and re-used in various truck applications, to further enhance our commitment to sustainability.

Lithium-ion might not suit all

At Linde, we assess each customer based on their unique business needs. We understand that lithium-ion may not suit every application, so we consider the suitability of the energy system based on criteria including infrastructure compatibility, environment impact, and budget.

From our compact three-wheeled E12 -E20 EVO series to the heavy-duty E100-E180 series, our portfolio ensures a solution for every application.

Want to find out if a switch to lithium-ion could benefit your business?

Embracing Linde's lithium-ion technology could be a game changer for your business. To learn about the benefits of lithium-ion, click here.

Or if you're ready to discover how our lithium-ion range could lift your business to the next level, contact us today to speak with a Linde expert.