A Forklift truck is one of the majorly used powered industrial truck for lifting of heavy items rapidly and an entire inventory reducing the pain points of manual lifting. Forklift trucks are mostly powered by electricity, propane, diesel or gasoline. As they need constant power supply to function properly, deep cycle industrial grade batteries are used that can be discharged up to 80% on a regular basis. A variety of industrial batteries ranging from size to density are used by the forklift trucks. Electric forklift trucks dependent on the batteries to operate which are easy to maintenance and lower cost.
There are two main choices in the forklift battery industry—the lead-acid battery and the industry newbie Lithium Ion (Li Ion). They operate in their own ways respective to their own systems, setups, charging requirements, and price tags. Studies have estimated that lead acids will be the industry leader throughout the upcoming years due to its affordable price and weight. A report by Research Dive has predicted that Lead-acid segment has the significant share in the global forklift battery market and it has generated a revenue of $3,228.2 Million in 2018 and is anticipated to generate revenue of $5,462.3 Million by 2026.
Growth Drivers and Opportunities – A Precise Outlook
The end-users of battery-powered forklifts are the automotive, mechanical, logistics, food and beverage, timber, chemical, paper printing, wholesale and retail companies. Owing to their low GHG emissions and noise levels, electric forklifts are preferred by the most of the end-users. Its ability to decrease the requirement on fuel and reduce cost makes the electric forklifts more preferable. For instance, the cost of propelling an electric forklift is 50% less than the cost of propelling an internal combustion engine (ICE) forklift and also have a longer lifespan than ICE forklifts.
“The usage of lead-acid batteries in material handling equipment is cost-efficient and offers high resilience in harsh environments that involve chemicals, dirt, and vibration. Lead-acid batteries require low maintenance than other types of batteries. Planning for the use of lead-acid batteries and their replacement is consistent, simple, and predictable. Technical innovations such as the advent of fast charging during operator downtime improve the cost efficiency of electric forklifts and their batteries”, opines a senior analyst at Technavio, a leading technology research and advisory company.
An all-encompassing rise in demand for forklifts across the globe is one of the significant factor boosting the growth of the forklift battery market. Moreover, technical innovations such as smart grid energy battery services along with cloud based forklift battery are anticipated to boost the demand for forklift battery. One relatable example is the Advanced Charging technologies or ACT that are offering proactive and predictive forklift batteries with advanced features such as customized report and analytics, automated alerts and automatic data upload with 24/7 access.
Another factor influencing the growth of the market is the convenience of solar powered forklift batteries. The solar panels absorb the sunlight, the energy gets converted and then generated into forklift batteries. California is recognized as leading country in using Forklift Batteries with Solar energy.
Lithium Ion segment is also influencing the global market of forklift battery with its integrated features such as maximum lifespan, more efficient, and productivity along with low cost battery maintenance. This battery is more energy efficient and cost effective. Lithium ion forklift battery has recharge efficiency of 98%+ that drives energy savings as well as decreases damaging effects of heating batteries. This has made the forklift battery market the fastest growing segment.
Asia-Pacific to Reign the Market
Significant progress in renewable power generation capacity, falling battery prices (nearly 50% in three years) and enormous growth in logistics operations in countries such as China Japan and India is going to influence the market. In addition, rapid growth in urbanization attributed to rising demand for constructions along with need of fast and efficient logistics operations, the demand for forklifts is increasing in the Asian countries.
Recent Developments - Mergers and Acquisition
- Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA), a leading manufacturer of forklifts under the Jungheinrich® brand, has launched its Jungheinrich Lithium-ion battery technology in January, 2020.
- AeroVironment Inc. has launched a patent-pending advanced version of its ConnectRx for its PosiCharge ProCore line of electric forklift chargers for the material handling industry.