Making The Jump From Lead Acid to Lithium Ion – What To Expect

Dec 11, 2020
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lithium ion forklift battery

Lithium ion batteries can reduce your operational costs, improve efficiency and even enhance safety at your facility. But all of those benefits come with a catch—buying lithium ion batteries is quite a bit more expensive than going with traditional lead acid batteries. Here’s what to expect if you do switch battery technologies.

Faster Charging Means Greater Flexibility

The first thing you’ll notice when transitioning to lithium ion batteries is that your charging speeds will increase dramatically.  They also don’t require a cool down period, so you can fully charge them and get right back to work.  By eliminating eight hours of idle time per day per truck, you can optimize work schedules and even reduce the number of extra batteries or forklifts you have in service. 

Opportunity Knocks

Thanks to opportunity charging, battery swaps are a thing of the past.  Lithium-ion batteries can be charged during breaks and periods of lower activity so that you can avoid the expense and hassle of keeping extra batteries. 

Fewer Batteries = Lower Costs

Having fewer batteries means you can free up space in your building for other uses.  It also means that you can get rid of battery swap equipment and reduce the number of chargers you maintain. 

Very Low Maintenance

With lithium-ion batteries there is no more watering, cleaning, equalizing or other repetitive tasks.  All of that maintenance time, equipment and expense can be completely eliminated. 

Consistent Power Output

With traditional lead acid batteries, there are reductions in power as the battery charge nears depletion.  Toward the end of a shift, forklift operators may experience a noticeable lag in performance as their lead acid batteries wear down. 

Lithium-ion forklift batteries maintain consistent power and voltage during the entire charge cycle. This means that your workers can be 100% productive right up until they clock out. 

Lead Acid Battery Disposal

Lead acid batteries aren’t exactly new technology, and luckily that means that there are plenty of recycling programs out there, as well as companies that recondition and resell used lead acid batteries.  Before you purchase your lithium ion batteries, make sure you’ve mapped out a way to dispose of your old batteries and chargers. 

Short Term Expense, Long Term Savings

Lithium ion batteries are quite a bit more expensive in terms of up-front costs, but when you calculate all of the benefits they deliver, they can often save you money.