Electric trucks provide high levels of productivity and no CO2 emissions. Today, the electricity is stored in a lead acid or gel battery, which needs a recharging period of between 6 or 12 hours, limiting the possibilities for continuous use in operation. Battery change is the current method adopted to ensure continuous availability, but this comes with its additional costs.
Li-ion battery trucks provide a more effective way to store and supply electricity in electric trucks. Li-ion batteries have higher power efficiency than lead acid batteries – between 10%-20% less energy loss – improving truck availability.
Lithium Ion technology is now available for a key range of warehouse trucks and electric counterbalance forklift trucks.
Internal combustion engine forklifts provide high levels of productivity and quick refuelling, but have CO2 exhaust emissions as a challenge. Electric forklifts also provide high levels of productivity and no CO2 emissions. However, battery recharging takes between 6-12 hours, meaning the truck is either unavailable or battery exchange is required to provide continuous availability.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology has the potential to address the above constraints of both IC and electric trucks by providing a productive truck and refuelling in a matter of minutes for continuous use and no CO2 exhaust emissions.
In order to become a mainstream fuel in the future, producing sufficient quantities of hydrogen in a cost-effective way with low environmental impact is a challenge that needs to be met. A developed infrastructure for supply of hydrogen at point of use for trucks also needs solutions. Hydrogen fuel cell is one area that Toyota is exploring as a future energy technology.
Internal combustion (IC) engine trucks provide high levels of productivity. In addition, refuelling is easy and can be carried out in a matter of minutes, effectively allowing for continuous use. The challenge with IC engines is to reduce fuel consumption – which in turn will result in lowering running costs, less fossil fuels use and reduced exhaust and CO2 emissions.
With the Toyota Hybrid forklift we are meeting this challenge. Fuel consumption in this IC engine hybrid truck is halved compared to conventional IC trucks, and CO2 emissions are also halved. In addition, the Toyota Hybrid Forklift brings new user benefits for IC engine trucks including improved driveability, with auto-braking and auto-rev on the hydraulic levers – features that are more commonly associated with electric trucks.