Jungheinrich, the German-based manufacturer of lift trucks and warehouse systems, will introduce their latest lithium-ion batteries that are meant for use in large battery-powered platform trucks and horizontal (or low level) order pickers.
The lithium-ion batteries can be charged in 1.5 hours, which Jungheinrich equates to 30 minutes of charging per shift. The battery can be charged during normal breaks throughout the workday which will reduce or eliminate battery changing. More up time, lower costs for battery changing equipment, and fewer chances for injury while changing batteries add up to what looks like a pretty good product development. There is little to no use of lithium-ion batteries in forklifts in the US and the buzz about new energy sources seems to be around hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Jungheinrich is launching the new lithium-ion battery in conjunction with a new low-level order picker that can use both a traditional lead-acid battery and the lithium-ion battery. This seems like a smart idea to encourage early adoption.
Jungheinrich hasn’t elaborated if this is a worldwide launch or if it will be limited to main European markets. I would expect the launch will be limited to Germany and other key European markets. I’ll keep an eye out for it in the US and share what I find. Here are a few more positive points that Jungheinrich expressed about the technology:
- Industrial trucks fitted with lithium-ion batteries consume up to 30% less energy than trucks that use lead-acid batteries
- Service life is three times longer
- Lithium-ion batteries utilize 90% of discharge capacity while lead-acid typically uses 80%