Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has introduced a medium electric forklift (9-18t capacity), 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. Read more
Jungheinrich AG and Triathlon Holding GmbH have come together to found JT ENERGY Systems GmbH, a joint venture focused on the production and recycling of lithium-ion battery systems.
Jungheinrich holds a 70 per cent share in the joint venture with Triathlon taking the remaining 30 per cent. The company is due to begin operations in August 2019. JT ENERGY Systems intends to create around 100 new jobs at the plant in the next few years.
Both Jungheinrich and Triathlon are known for their industry-leading level of expertise in the field of lithium-ion technology across a wide variety of applications. This extensive knowledge will be combined within JT ENERGY Systems. The aim of the joint venture between Jungheinrich and Triathlon is for the two companies to expand their production capacities to cover the ever-increasing demand for lithium-ion battery systems and to further develop their technological leadership in this field. JT ENERGY will supply products to both companies.
Chairman of the board of management of Jungheinrich AG Hans-Georg Frey said: “For our customers, energy efficiency and maximum truck availability are key competitive advantages. We support them in this with a range of trucks and products that utilise the benefits of lithium-ion technology. The exponential sales growth we have experienced in recent years shows that the intralogistics sector is making a decisive move toward lithium-ion technology.
“Jungheinrich recognised this trend early on. Today, we act as a one-stop shop offering everything from our own energy storage devices and power units to battery chargers, and our comprehensive expertise in energy makes us innovation leaders within the sector. This collaboration with Triathlon will enable us to leverage further untapped potential in the market for electric trucks and drive the development of this future technology forward.”
Managing director of Triathlon Holding GmbH Martin Hartmann said: “We are proud to be taking this step with a company as well respected as Jungheinrich AG. We believe that the joint venture will see us achieve greater economies of scale and scope that will in turn increase our competitiveness considerably. Going forward, this move will give our customers and partners access to an even broader range of cutting-edge lithium-ion battery systems based on the latest technology.”
JT ENERGY Systems is due to begin operations in August 2019.
Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has launched a new range of fully electric forklift trucks in the 9–18 ton range.
According to Kalmar, the electric forklift trucks offer the performance of a powerful diesel truck without the accompanying air emissions, noise and vibration, and with reduced operating costs.
The battery capacity of the forklifts reportedly enables them to operate for a full eight-hour shift, and Kalmar noted that they are future-proofed to operate with new lithium-ion battery technology.
“At Kalmar, we aim for zero emissions in our offering development across the board,” said Peter Ivarsson, Director – Forklift Trucks, Kalmar. “We’re proud to be the first leading manufacturer to offer a full range of electric forklift trucks with this level of lifting capacity. Our electric machines offer savings in terms of faster and simpler maintenance, making them a winning concept in the long run.”
Romeo Power, an energy storage technology company founded by top engineers and designers from SpaceX, Tesla, Samsung and Amazon, has introduced THUNDER PACK – C, claimed to be the first lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack designed to be adapted for any electric forklift make or model. The THUNDER PACK – C is safer, non-toxic and said to be far more energy efficient with significantly longer cycle life than lead acid batteries that still dominate the global forklift market, now forecasted to reach $55.9 billion in 2021.
Romeo Power THUNDER PACKs are warranty-backed to last 4,000 cycles (approximately 12 years), deliver quick recharge, require no maintenance, and produce zero emissions and zero odours. In contrast, traditional lead-acid forklift battery packs have much shorter cycle life, long recharge and cool-down periods, need constant maintenance, run out of energy in as few as six hours, and emit hydrogen sulphide gas and sulfuric acid that smells bad, is messy, and hurts the environment.
“In our experience, forklift buyers want three things: more safety, longer drive time, and less downtime,” said Michael Patterson, Romeo Power founder and CEO.
All Romeo Power battery packs are engineered to exceed the most stringent government safety requirements and include an advanced battery management system based on control-oriented, physio-chemical models. Combined with the company’s innovations in thermal engineering, manufacturing processes and the materials chosen to connect components, Romeo Power battery packs have smaller space requirements than other battery packs on the market and are said to offer enhanced state-of-charge (SOC) and state-of-health (SOH) monitoring.
Batteries are big business
The global forklift market, valued at $35.3 billion in 2014, is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.9 percent and now forecast to reach $55.9 billion by the end of 2021, according to a February report by Persistence Market Research (PMR).
In 2014, 55 per cent of global forklift sales were electric models. In 2015, 60 per cent were electric. In North America, electric forklifts now represent nearly 64 per cent of sales.
Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has released the new three-wheel battery-electric 8FBE counterbalance forklift.
The forklifts have anti-roll back features, a tighter turning circle, and a low mast height to allow easier container loading. They also have a long battery life.
The 8FBE is the smallest counterbalance forklift in the company’s range, providing enhanced maneuverability, efficiency, and safety standards.
New motors and controllers in the forklift increase operating time in standard mode compared with the previous Toyota 7FBE model.
Improvements made to the System of Active Stability (SAS) include new Automatic Vehicle-Speed Control that manages the forklift’s speed, acceleration and deceleration according to lift height and load weight, assisting with stability in transporting loads and preventing lost loads.
New Automatic Turn-Speed Control regulates the forklift’s turning speed according to lift height and weight as well as desired turning radius, providing stable turning, and reducing the chance of a vehicle tip-over.
A leading grower of apples and cherries relies on a fleet of Toyota battery-electric forklifts at its orchards and packing sites.
Bonny Glen Fruits, based near Mount Canobolas in Orange, NSW, is a family-based business that sells fruit nationally and exports to China.
It has six Toyota 1.8-tonne payload forklifts, including three at its packing facility on Canobolas Road.
Managing director Bernard Hall said he bought the company's first Toyota forklift in 2001, one year after the business was founded, and has continued buying Toyota forklifts ever since.
"We bought our first Toyota forklift from the (then) local agent and haven't bought any other make since," he said.
"We still have the original forklift and commissioned our latest Toyota just six weeks ago. These days, we have a Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) branch in Orange, with a really customer-focused manager in Richard Bopping who ensures we receive good service."
Bernard Hall regularly operates his Toyota forklifts and said the qualities he most appreciates in them are reliability and smooth operation.
"They're smooth, comfortable, reliable and user friendly, as well as being powerful and manoeuvrable and having important safety features," he said.
"The biggest thing is smoothness. They're quite precise to operate and there's no jolting or noise when you go over bumps."
TMHA Orange branch manager Richard Bopping said Bonny Glen Fruits had been a valued Toyota customer for more than a decade.
"This family business is thriving in tough economic conditions through good management and marketing, taking advantage of the large Chinese marketplace for their fresh produce," he said.
"Toyota's strength in the Australian forklift market place means we can offer factory branch support in key regions like the central west of New South Wales.
"That level of service and local-branch support is a key reason customers give for choosing and remaining with Toyota."
TMHA offers a comprehensive range of three and four-wheel Toyota battery electric forklifts, all with