Electric forklifts offer lower operating and maintenance costs than propane or diesel lifts and offer several health and safety benefits.
Companies that convert from internal combustion (IC) to electric forklifts reduce operating costs in three ways:
- Fuel – 40 cents of electricity performs the same work as $1.50 of propane, customers can save $3,300 on fuel per forklift, per year.
- Maintenance – With fewer parts to repair, electric forklifts cost up to 40% less to maintain.
- Operations – With no tanks to change and no need to change batteries, companies with a fleet of forklifts can reduce labor costs by $75,000 per year.
Rebates are available for:
- New construction
- Fleet retention
- Refurbished fleet additions of qualifying class I and class II forklifts.
To be eligible, lifts must operate a minimum of 20 hours per week. Electric thermal storage (ETS) rates can be applied to forklifts but are not required to qualify for the rebate.
Forklifts are classified by vehicle design and power source, and by their use. Class 1, 2 and 3 trucks are electric. Class 1 forklifts are counterbalanced rider trucks with typical lift capacity of 3,000 to 20,000 lbs. Some models can lift up to 40,000 lbs. A Class 2 narrow-aisle forklift typically has 3,000 to 5,500 lbs. lift capacity, with high reach capacity. Class 3 forklifts are electric hand/rider or pallet trucks. Class 4 and 5 trucks are IC.
Outdoor forklifts, regardless of fuel, use pneumatic tires to improve handling on rough surfaces. They also have enclosed motors and electronic systems to ensure safe operation in wet, dusty, windy conditions. They sometimes have an enclosed cab for driver comfort.
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