You may wonder if lithium-ion is worth the cost for a single-shift operation: yes, it is. Since the rise of Li-ion years ago, it has always been clear that Li-ion is the perfect fit for multi-shift operations. You don’t need a second battery or even a second truck, since it is possible to opportunity charge in between working sessions, during a free moment. There’s no need for a separate charging room anymore and charging goes way quicker than with lead-acid batteries. But you don't have to be a big company with a high-intensity warehouse to feel the advantages of Li-ion-powered vehicles. If you have a smaller operation or site with just one shift, you can read down below how Li-ion can also benefit your trucks.
Optimise your use of space
Single-shift operations quite often have limited space in their warehouse and are thus looking for smaller vehicles. Lithium-ion trucks have a smaller battery compartment, resulting in a compact chassis, which makes it easier to manoeuvre between the smaller aisles. Our latest Li-ion-powered pallet truck BT Levio LWI160, was even designed around its battery to make the truck relatively small and light. Of course, downsizing your truck’s chassis can only happen if your truck allows you to choose the size of its battery compartment.
Additionally, you can use that separate spare room you had for charging lead-acid batteries for something else thanks to Li-ion. Li-ion batteries can be charged anywhere at any time.
Let your drivers focus on their main tasks
Do you have a single-shift operation where your forklift drivers have multiple tasks, besides driving their truck? Or do your truck drivers struggle to get their vehicle to the charging station in time? Lead-acid batteries require battery handling knowledge and your drivers need to be trained properly on how to take care of the batteries (water toppings, safe battery handling, battery lifecycles, charging times and plugging off, etc). This requires a lot of their time and attention, affecting their productivity.
With Li-ion batteries it’s as easy as charging your smartphone, your drivers will love it! They simply plug in the truck when they go on their break; there’s no need to wait around anymore or do anything extra regarding the truck's battery. When the driver gets back, the battery is charged and ready to complete the shift. Of course, the battery can also be charged during the shift between truck activities when the truck is standing still, this is called ‘opportunity charging’. Lithium-ion batteries are also a lot less dangerous than their lead-acid counterparts. With Li-ion, your truck can stay plugged-in as the battery cannot overcharge itself and will shut down if something is wrong. Even when the battery overheats or if it’s too cold, it will shut itself down. This makes Lithium-ion batteries safer and a lot less dangerous. Li-ion batteries really leave no room for mistakes and have a minimal risk of being damaged or exploding.
Li-ion has become much cheaper over the past ten years while the price for lead keeps on rising. But it’s not only the sales price that you have to take into consideration: with Li-ion you also need 20% less electricity as compared to lead-acid batteries, which is important since electricity costs are far from declining. On top of that, Li-ion is 30% more energy-efficient and the trucks are just as fast, dynamic and vigorous with a low battery percentage as when they are fully charged. A huge difference from lead-acid battery trucks that gradually lose their power as their battery percentage decreases.
Li-ion batteries don’t need any service or maintenance, have a longer lifespan than their lead-acid cousins and come with a 7-year warranty, which means the battery will deliver peak performance for up to seven years, depending on your driving hours. All of these innovative characteristics will reduce your overall cost. Your Li-ion battery and your truck will happily age together since their lifespans are similar, so you don’t have to worry that someday your truck might need a new battery.
Since you won’t need any kind of expensive installation with Li-ion and thanks to its energy-efficient properties, you will reach your return on investment within two to three years of usage. The more you drive your trucks, the faster you can profit from your investment.
A clean solution
Li-ion batteries are a lot cleaner than lead-acid batteries too: you don’t need water to top up so you can’t spill any, they can’t leak acid so there are no more rusty stains, there's no more dust gathering on your batteries, etc. Lithium-ion batteries also require less energy to charge and have a longer lifespan than the older lead-acid system. Li-ion supports you in running a smoother and more energy-efficient operation. They can also reduce your carbon footprint if green electricity is used in the charging process.
So, it's clear that the advantages of Li-ion energy are not limited to big multi-shift operations. It can help smaller single-shift operations to become more efficient, safe, cost effective, carbon neutral and it frees up some extra space in the warehouse. If you think lithium-ion might be something for you, don't hesitate to contact us or check out our Li-ion information page.