The growing impact of lithium-ion power in the traditional lead acid traction market could be seen last week at Modex in Atlanta— a major US supply chain trade fair.
Exide, one of the USA’s big four and predominantly lead-acid makers, launched a lithium-ion battery aimed the forklift and autonomous guided vehicle market while Navitas announced a lithium-ion deal with Hyster— one of the largest global players in materials handling equipment.
The Exide product under the GNB labelled Liftforce LPX can fully charge in just 15 minutes, up to eight times faster than a traditional lead-acid battery, and provides increased cycle life and lower maintenance requirements for Class I, II, and III forklifts as well as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs).
Navitas announced it had signed an aftermarket sales agreement with Hyster-Yale Group to sell its Starlifter lithium-ion forklift batteries through authorised Hyster and Yale dealers.
“We reviewed a number of lithium battery vendors, visited their sites, and tested their products,” said Sarah McLawhorn, director of aftermarket solutions for Hyster-Yale Group. “Based on all of the assessments, we picked Navitas Systems and its Starlifter series to be the inaugural company in our Aftermarket lithium-ion battery programme”.
The Starlifter lithium batteries have full communications integration with Hyster and Yale electric sit-down model lift trucks. The plug-and-play configuration allows a lithium battery to integrate seamlessly into the truck, retaining full functionality of the battery state of charge indicator and low battery warning system. “Starlifter is an intelligent battery. Onboard electronics measure the state of charge and state of health of the battery on a moment-by-moment basis.”