Linde is extending its range of fuel cell-powered material handling vehicles to include a lift-truck model.
Originally introduced as a battery-electric machine, the company’s E25R Roadster vehicle, designed without an A-pillar to provide operators with improved visibility, will now benefit from the advantages of the more innovative powertrain system.
With the addition of the counterbalanced lift-truck, Linde Material Handling now offers the option of fuel cell-power for 80% of its vehicles, including pallet trucks, tow tractors and reach trucks.
“Our customers are looking for economical energy solutions and more and more often the CO₂ footprint is playing a decisive role in this context,” said Markus Weinberger, International Product Manager, Energy Solutions, Linde Material Handling.
“We can now offer them a wide range of possible energy solutions, from electric drives with lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries to fuel cell-powered vehicles or combustion engine drives using diesel, LPG or natural gas. The best solution always depends on the local conditions.”
The company has been working on the development of series-production industrial trucks with fuel cell power since 1997. In those two decades, the first prototype was presented to the world in 2000, with the first trucks hitting the production line in 2010.
“As the strengths of the Roadster come to bear especially in indoor areas, its combination with fuel cell technology seemed ideal to us,” said Weinberger, “After all, energy production is through a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen so it does not generate any harmful emissions during operation.
“Our investigations and practical tests prove that fuel cell systems can become economical with a fleet of around 20 vehicles plus. If the company already has its own hydrogen infrastructure because hydrogen is needed in its production anyway, the concept becomes even more attractive from an economical point of view.”
Interested in powertrain technologies? Check out the Powertrain Technology Conference, which takes place during iVT Expo. Both the conference and iVT Expo take place on February 13-14, 2019 in Cologne, Germany.