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How to Choose Between an IC or Electric Forklift

February 27, 2024

  1. How to Choose Between an IC or Electric Forklift

Whether it's a large fleet requiring economies of scale, or a small to medium warehouse with narrow aisles, the right choice depends on the unique site requirements and intended application. Learn more about the PROS and CONS of each forklift type to find the best fit for your company.

Electric Forklifts

Find our inventory here: Inventory - New Equipment - Page 1 - Atlas Toyota

  • Declining Battery Cost
    • The cost of electric forklift batteries is on a downward trend
    • Evolving lithium-ion battery technology offers efficient and quick charging, eliminating the need for watering
  • Higher Initial Investment:
    • The upfront cost of electric forklifts is higher than IC vehicles
  • Operational Cost Savings:
    • Electric forklifts can be up to 75% less expensive to operate than propane-fueled counterpart
    • Designed for easy maintenance with fewer moving parts
  • Charging Challenges for Multi-Shift Operations:
    • Multi-shift operations may require additional forklifts or extra fully charged batteries to maintain continuous operation
    • Installation of charging infrastructure demands technical skill and time
  • Maneuverability:
    • Electric forklifts have a tighter turn radius, making them suitable for smaller spaces
    • Advancements make certain electric models suitable for outdoor use
  • Performance:
    • Advances in technology enable outdoor use, but traditionally offer lower capacities of over 15,000 lbs
  • Environmental Effects:
    • Provide a cleaner work environment with reduced noise and vibration, promoting operator well-being

IC Forklifts

Find our inventory here: Inventory - New Equipment - Page 1 - Atlas Toyota

  • Versatility:
    • IC forklifts are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications
    • Propane-fueled IC forklifts can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Regular Engine Maintenance:
    • IC forklifts require routine engine maintenance, including oil changes, spark plugs, belts, and inspections
    • Engine maintenance generates more disposal waste
  • Quick Refueling:
    • Propane tanks can be swapped out in a few minutes, minimizing downtime
    • Ideal for operations with multiple work shifts
  • Emission Concerns:
    • IC forklifts emit harmful substances like carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons
    • Noisy operation increases the risk of hearing loss
  • Performance:
    • Suited for heavy-duty applications, high speed, long runs, and capacities over 35,000 lbs
  • Environmental Effects:
    • Emit harmful substances and odors, contributing to a less clean work environment

Consider the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):Initial costs of electric forklifts are high, but overall life-cycle costs, including maintenance, charging, and ROI, are lower compared to IC.

When deciding between electric and IC forklifts, careful consideration of pros and cons is crucial. Specific applications, operational needs, and environmental factors play a significant role. The decision should not solely focus on initial costs but rather on the total life cost of the forklift. 

Find your options now in our Inventory:

IC Inventory: Inventory - New Equipment - Page 1 - Atlas Toyota

Electric Inventory Inventory - New Equipment - Page 1 - Atlas Toyota


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