There are 2 main options for powering a forklift, Electric and Internal Combustion (IC). Electric forklifts are powered solely by an on-board battery and internal combustion (IC) use a traditional engine that runs on one of several types of fuel.
Electric Electric forklifts are powered by large, heavy lead-acid batteries. The batteries typically provide enough power for one standard eight-hour shift, which translates into 6 or 8 hours of constant usage. However, this largely depends on how the hydraulic functions are used. Electric powered forklifts provide several advantages. Firstly, they produce zero emissions and second, they have a lower per hour cost of operation than a IC powered forklift. They do, however, have a higher initial cost than an IC powered forklift.
Internal combustion (IC) engines run on a variety of fuels: gasoline, diesel fuel, liquid propane gas (LPG), or compressed natural gas (CNG). The main benefit of IC forklifts is their ability to be refuelled quickly. Their price points are the inverse of electric: they are cheaper to buy initially, but cost more per hour to run. Typically, IC forklifts can lift heavier loads than electric powered units.
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