Kalmar, part of Cargotec, is to introduce a medium electric forklift powered by emission-free lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology. The new forklift is the latest step on the company's journey towards offering an electric version of every product in its portfolio by 2021. It is the first forklift in the medium-capacity range to be powered by Li-ion batteries, and the battery technology will initially be available for several models with a wheelbase of 3,500 mm.
Kalmar has a long and proud history in the electric equipment arena, having launched its first light electric forklift truck in 1979, followed by the industry's first Li-ion powered light electric forklift in 2016 and medium electric forklift powered by lead-acid batteries in 2017. In addition, Kalmar has already launched electric powered versions of its empty container handlers, Ottawa terminal tractors, shuttle and straddle carriers, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and yard cranes.
Driven by the need to comply with increasingly strict environmental legislation, reduce fuel costs and simplify maintenance processes, electrically powered equipment is becoming increasingly common across many different industries. Kalmar's electric forklift offering is available with a choice of lead-acid or Li-ion battery technology, depending on customer requirements.
Li-ion batteries are ideal for multi-shift operation models as they can be fast-charged during breaks in work, significantly improving the productivity of forklifts. A full charge can be achieved in less than 2 hours. The technology enables 24/7 operation by eliminating the need for battery changes and dedicated charging areas. Because charging is emission-free, charging stations can be located strategically to maximise equipment utilisation and uptime in even the most demanding operational environments.
Stefan Hultqvist, Vice President Forklifts, Kalmar: "We're delighted to be able to announce yet another industry first as we continue our drive to provide customers with innovative new eco-efficient, reliable and easy-to-maintain machines to help them achieve their business goals. Demand for electrically powered forklifts is rising all the time, and now we can offer our customers even greater convenience and environmental performance in the medium lifting capacity range."