Electric vs. LPG, Which forklift is best for you?

Electric vs. LPG

When shopping around for a new or used forklift you’ll be faced with several different options, 4-wheel or 3-wheel, pneumatic or cushion tires, propane, or electric?
The last question posed we’ll be the one we dive into further. The power source for your forklift is important to take into consideration – several factors can contribute to your final decision. One of the key factors is where your forklift will be operated, indoors, outdoors, or both.

Electric Forklifts

If your company is operating solely inside, an electric (battery) powered forklift is going to be the best option for you. Unlike its counterpart, they’re no harmful emissions that come from an electric forklift. Zero harmful emissions make an electric forklift the perfect application for food storage facilities or any other warehouses with contents that shouldn’t be exposed to harmful gases and emissions.

Aside from the concerns regarding emissions, electric forklifts come in a variety of sizes for narrow aisles applications. Reach trucks, order pickers, stackers, stand-ups, all provide the easiest maneuverability in tight areas.

Read about the differences between reach trucks, order pickers, and stacker in this blog post.

There are a few cons with electric forklifts – cost, battery changing, and charging. It can take up to eight hours for a battery to fully charge, and switching these batteries isn’t like an LPG tank. You can’t just pick up a forklift battery by hand and switch it out in a few minutes. Batteries also require the additional expense of a charger/charging station. However in the long run, these forklifts will be less costly as they typically require less maintenance than an internal combustion forklift.

Toyota Electric Forklift

LPG Forklifts

If you’re working primarily outdoors, an LPG forklift is the right fit for your company. True an LPG forklift has emissions, but it is still more environmentally friendly than a gas or diesel forklift. When installed with the proper tires an LPG forklift can get you over various types of terrain (dirt and gravel). The right tires and a full tank of fuel allow for these forklifts to work independently, without the worry of needing to be close to a charger or spare battery.

Just like battery-powered forklifts have their niche with working in narrow aisles, an LPG forklift has its variety of styles to help get the job done. When it comes to operating an LPG forklift indoors, there are several pieces of equipment for larger jobs. Liquid petroleum is the fuel source for several forklifts that lift over 15,000 lbs!

Similar to the electric forklifts, nothing is perfect, and there are some negatives against LPG forklifts. While switching out tanks avoids any unnecessary downtime, an LPG truck typically requires more maintenance than an electric one. The upfront cost will save you money, but in the long run, it could be more costly to keep your LPG forklift running properly.

Toyota IC LPG Forklift

Interested in purchasing an electric or LPG forklift?

 View our Toyota models today.