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Electric forklift trucks are older than you might think: it was in 1971 that Linde Material Handling GmbH unveiled the f irst electrically driven forklift truck at the Hannover Trade Fair. Since then, there have been plenty of developments in “green” heavy-duty vehicles, while Linde celebrated its 111,111th electric forklift in the 386 series in October 2017. Above all, the batteries have become much more powerful. Intralogistics made the crucial leap forward with lithium ion batteries . which perform significantly better than lead-acid batteries. Thanks to greater discharge depths and constant voltage supply, more power is available even when the charge is low, and energy is actually recovered on braking. The l atest generation of Kalmar vehicles can lift up to 9 t.

In addition, communication between the battery and the charger provides more efficient and faster charging. Even with an interim charge of just 30 minutes, the 24 V battery from Jungheinrich , where the millionth forklift truck came off the production line in 2017, is able to charge up to 50% of its capacity, for example. With the 80 V battery, the interim charging time is 53 minutes. The 24 V battery is fully charged after 80 minutes, the 80 V battery after 105 minutes. The option of fast and interim charging, in breaks or downtimes for example, ensures 24/7 availability of the vehicles and at the same time increases flexibility in day-to-day warehouse operations.

And the Li-ion batteries are completely maintenance-free and do not release gas. As a result, neither time nor money is required for maintenance, battery upkeep or additional infrastructure. The service life of these high-performance energy cells is three times longer than traditional batteries. Last but not least, the record order for more than 1,000 Li-ion batteries in summer 2017 demonstrates that electric drives are here to stay in intralogistics .