Forklift Battery Price: When it comes to buying a battery for your forklift, the true cost of a forklift battery involves much more than just the initial price.
Often times, what appears to be the cheapest option can end up being the most expensive option in the long run.
Someone who oversees operations in a warehouse or other facility that uses forklifts on a regular basis knows why that is not good for their business bottom line.
How do you know what the true cost of a forklift battery is?
Here’s what you need to know when calculating the true cost of a forklift battery to determine the best option for your fleet.
Forklift battery types
Electric commercial forklifts generally run on one of two types of batteries:
- Forklift lead-acid battery
- Forklift lithium-ion battery
Forklift lead-acid battery
Lead-acid batteries are considered the traditional method of powering forklifts. With a removable top, lead-acid batteries generate electricity through a chemical reaction between lead plates and sulfuric acid. In order to work, workers must periodically refill the units with water, allowing the chemical process to begin.
Forklift lithium-ion battery
Lithium ion batteries are a newer technology that is catching the attention of more and more warehouse managers. Lithium-ion batteries are more energy-dense than lead-acid batteries and include several safety and convenience features. For example, lithium ion batteries do not require water maintenance because the cells are sealed.
Average price of a forklift battery
Initially, for a single battery, the lithium-ion is the more expensive option of the two. Prices vary, but when you simply compare the starting price of a single battery, a lithium-ion battery can cost about twice as much as a lead-acid battery.
If you have a warehouse, multi-shift or manufacturing, or if your business operates on low profit margins, this article is a must-read.
If you’ve never considered lithium-ion batteries due to cost, we’re going to share two statistics that might make you change your mind.
In the United States, an equipment manufacturer saves more than $ 1 million a year by switching to lithium-ion batteries. After looking at the numbers, the company found that it was spending $ 4,800 per day:
- Pay employees to change batteries, twice per shift.
- 15 minutes of inactivity with each exchange (90 minutes per day)
- Spending money on electricity (lithium-ion batteries are 40 percent more energy efficient)
Lithium ion forklift battery maintenance
Increase Productivity – Lead-acid batteries cause your forklift to lose power when discharged, but lithium forklift batteries don’t have this problem. In addition, the lithium-ion batteries do not require maintenance, watering or replacement.
Try this simple experiment: Ask your operators to keep track of how much time they spend changing, charging, and maintaining forklift batteries each week.
You can find out how the company is spending a good chunk of the profits on those “cheaper” forklift batteries.
lead acid vs. lithium-ion battery comparison
How To Choose The Right Forklift Battery?
When buying forklift batteries the decision depends on an economic factor, lead batteries are economical at first, but over time lithium batteries exceed the initial cost of the purchase with energy savings and maintenance
Two of the most common chemical types of batteries are lithium-ion and lead-acid. With these differences in chemistry come differences in performance and cost. While lithium-ion and lead-acid battery options can be effective storage solutions, here’s how they stack up in key categories:
|FORKLIFT BATTERY||LEAD ACID||LITHIUM-ION|
|Battery efficiency over time||x|
|Battery depth of discharge||x|
Forklift battery specifications
These are averages and may vary based on how well the batteries are maintained. A lithium-ion forklift battery needs to be replaced less frequently, which is a major driver for business owners to prefer them to conventional lead-acid batteries, which need to be swapped out for new ones more often.
|FORKLIFT BATTERY||LEAD ACID||LITHIUM-ION|
|Battery equalization||Every 5 to 10 charges||Automatically|
|Battery temperature||Time-controlled||Much higher temperature limit|
|Battery water level||Every 10 cycles||Never needs water|
|Battery lifespan||1000 and 1500 cycles||2,000 and 3,000 cycles|
Forklift Battery Price
Forklift batteries cost between $2,000 and $6,000 depending on specs and size.
Forklift battery chargers range in cost from $ 500 for a portable charger that plugs into a standard 120-volt AC outlet, to $ 3,000 for a charger that must be plugged into the building’s electrical system by a licensed electrician. The price varies depending on the charger specifications.
Total cost of a forklift battery:
Lead-acid batteries are the lowest-cost alternative when it comes to purchase price, although there are significant drawbacks such as maintenance requirements, safety, inefficiency, and the need for a charging room.
Lithium-ion batteries are priced higher (perhaps two to four times higher than lead-acid). However, these batteries are more energy efficient, store more energy in a smaller unit, fast charge, are safer and last longer.
You may need to install charging stations. And if you want to replace lead-acid to Li-ion batteries, you will need a specialist to adapt the equipment. Take into account the difficulty of recycling.
Forklift battery voltage
For both lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, it is important to match the size of the battery voltage to the charger voltage.
This will maintain the life of the charger and ensure proper charging and subsequent operation of your electric forklift.
If the battery doesn’t charge properly, or if it doesn’t have enough charge at the beginning of a shift to be productive until the end of the shift, it won’t be able to meet the demands of your production schedule.
To avoid headaches in the future, you should buy the forklift battery and its charger from the same manufacturer.
Your technical support will be much easier if the battery and charger are from the same manufacturer.
How to buy the right forklift battery? Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a battery, take a moment to learn how to choose the battery for your forklift.
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