KION is working on combining environmentally friendly features with performance. The STILL hybrid forklift, for example, combines an internal combustion drive with the braking power recovery of an electric forklift truck. The result is a radically lower CO2 value.
The material handling business will also benefit in the medium and long term from the fact that the automotive industry is now strongly promoting the lithium-ion battery. The potential of this battery is huge. Its service life is twice as long, its energy density is higher, its weight is lower, its charging time is shorter and its power supply is more stable than other batteries. The trucks can be built to be more ergonomic and compact, making them more maneuverable – particularly in tight spaces. We will be implementing the lithium-ion solution in the pallet trucks first. There are experts who also see this potential in fuel cells. The KION Group is currently testing equipment in real operation with fuel cells.
Hydrogen engines could present an alternative. But currently it is quite expensive to produce hydrogen, customers also don’t have the suitable infrastructure to do so. The deciding factor may be whether or when this technology will be economically viable. We are still many years away from that stage. In this respect the fuel cell, which can also be operated with methanol, has the advantage of time over the hydrogen engine.
To reduce the risk of accidents, Linde Material Handling offers customers a rear-area monitoring system as an optional extra.
Tugger trains can be maneuvered precisely – a key benefit when operating in narrow aisles.
A look at the production facilities
Modern manufacturing methods are used to produce Linde forklift trucks.
Besides a fuel tank, the hybrid truck is fitted with an energy store situated at the rear.