North American forklift lithium battery market. Industry blogs in Forkliftaction News

Anton Zhukov is an electrical engineer. This article was contributed by OneCharge. Contact IHT to evaluation of lithium-ion forklift batteries.
In the past decade, industrial lithium batteries have become more and more popular in the United States. Lithium battery packs are used in many industries, including material handling equipment, defense, and aerospace; in medical, telecommunications, and data centers; in marine and power storage applications; and in heavy mining and construction equipment.
This review will cover a segment of this big market: batteries used in material handling equipment (MHE) such as forklifts, forklifts, and pallet trucks.
MHE's industrial battery market segment includes various types of forklifts and forklifts, as well as some adjacent market segments, such as airport ground support equipment (GSE), industrial cleaning equipment (sweepers and scrubbers), tugboats, and personnel transport vehicles Wait.
The MHE market segment is very different from other lithium battery applications, such as automobiles, public transportation, and other on- and off-highway electric vehicles.
According to the Industrial Truck Association (ITA), approximately 65% ​​of the forklifts currently sold are electric (the rest are internal combustion engine driven). In other words, two-thirds of new material handling equipment is battery-powered.
There is no consensus on how much lithium technology has gained from the existing lead-acid technology in the United States and Canada. It is estimated that it will vary between 7% and 10% of the total sales of new industrial batteries, which will increase from zero in just five or six years.
The advantages of lithium batteries and lead-acid batteries have been tested and proven by major companies in various industries, including logistics and 3PL, retail, manufacturing, paper and packaging, metal, wood, food and beverage, cold storage, medical supply distribution and other industry experts are guessing The growth rate in the next few years (estimated compound annual growth rate of 27%), but they all agree that the adoption of lithium will continue to accelerate, similar to ours in the passenger electric vehicle market (using similar lithium technology). By 2028, lithium batteries may account for 48% of all new forklift batteries.
Lead-acid battery technology used in electric forklifts has a history of more than 100 years. No wonder electric forklifts were (and still are) built around lead-acid batteries, and lead-acid batteries determine the format of the power pack and the overall design of the forklift. The main characteristics of lead-acid technology are low battery voltage (24-48V), high current, and heavy weight. In most cases, the latter is used as part of the counterweight to balance the load on the fork.
MHE continues to focus on lead acid, which determines the engineering design, sales and service channels of the equipment, and other details of the market. However, lithium conversion has begun, and its potential to make material handling more efficient and sustainable has been demonstrated. With economic and sustainability factors driving the shift to lithium technology, the transition is already underway. Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Toyota, Hyster/Yale, Jungheinrich, etc. have already launched their first lithium-powered forklifts.
All lithium-ion battery suppliers have discussed the advantages of lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries: longer fleet uptime and overall increase in operating efficiency, two to three times the life cycle, zero routine maintenance, low life cycle costs, zero Pollutants or exhaust, etc.
Several companies offer battery models suitable for various applications, such as working in cold storage areas.
There are two main types of lithium-ion batteries on the market. The main difference lies in the cathode material: lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) and lithium nickel manganese cobaltate (NMC). The former is generally cheaper, safer, and more stable, while the latter has a higher energy density per kilogram.
The review covers some basic standards: company history and product line, model number and OEM compatibility, product features, service network and other information.
A company’s history and product line illustrate the focus of its core expertise and brand on a particular market segment, or vice versa—the lack of that focus. The number of models is a good indicator of product availability-it tells you how likely it is to find a compatible lithium-ion battery model for a particular material handling device (and how quickly a given company can develop new models). CAN integration of the battery with the host forklift and charger is essential for the plug-and-play approach, which is an important requirement in many applications. Some brands have not yet fully transparent their CAN protocol. Product characteristics and additional information describe the differences and commonalities of battery brands.
Our review did not include the "integrated" lithium battery brands sold with forklifts. Buyers of these products cannot choose the battery capacity, regardless of their specific application.
We did not include some imported Asian brands because they have not yet established an important customer base in the US market. Although they offer very attractive prices, they still fall short of expectations on very important criteria: maintenance, support and service. Due to the lack of industry integration with OEM manufacturers, distributors and service centers, these brands cannot be viable solutions for serious buyers, although they can indeed be good choices for small or temporary operations.
All lithium ion batteries are sealed, clean and safe. This is especially important when dealing with food, medicine and electronic products. However, choosing a lithium-ion battery can be very complicated.
This review covers some of the most famous brands in the United States and Canada, which are competing for the growing share of lithium forklift batteries in North and South America. These are the seven lithium-ion forklift battery brands that are driving customers and forklift manufacturers (OEMs) to adopt lithium technology.

Post time: Dec-08-2021