Car manufacturers convert to hydrogen-powered forklift trucks

hydrogen-powered forklift trucks

Whether or not they offer hydrogen-powered vehicles, a number of manufacturers are using hydrogen-powered forklift trucks in their warehouses. And some of them are making this a focal point for development.

Two months ago, Plug announced an agreement with a major player in the automotive industry in the US. Given that the American company is already working with GM and Stellantis, it’s not hard to guess who that player is. Of course, it’s Ford, whose Blue Oval City campus will be producing electric vehicles and advanced batteries in Michigan. At this same site Plug will be deploying an infrastructure to supply hydrogen to the fuel cells powering the forklift trucks. The plant is scheduled to go into service in 2025.

In the same press release, the company states that it is also collaborating with other automotive players such as BMW, Daimler and Honda. German manufacturer BMW is indeed a pioneer. In 2010, it introduced hydrogen-powered forklift trucks in the USA, as mentioned in this press release. And it is also using this solution in Germany, at its Leipzig site.

Some giants are already using hydrogen forklift trucks

Car manufacturers are nowhere near using as many hydrogen-powered forklifts as Amazon and WalMart, the biggest consumers of this type of equipment, with 15,000 (20,000 by 2025) and 9,500 respectively. But it is a symbolic use, to boost productivity and avoid wasting time recharging.

The other leading player is Toyota. This Japanese giant has a unit exclusively devoted to this type of vehicle, with 15 years of experience in hydrogen. The company also has a European subsidiary. Toyota claims that the return on investment is fairly rapid, even though a refuelling infrastructure needs to be installed first. Without forgetting to mention Hyundai, which is also a player in this market, via its HD Hyundai XiteSolution subsidiary.

Do you want to learn more about forklift trucks and hydrogen mobility as a whole? Then our page dedicated to the topic should interest you. You can access all our articles related to mobility here.

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili

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About the author

Laurent Meillaud

Laurent Meillaud

Freelance automotive journalist and consultant, author as well, focused on technologies and new trends for more than 30 years, convinced that hydrogen is one of the energies for the future.

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