Toyota releases industry-first purpose-designed lithium-ion-powered pallet truck

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Toyota has finally unveiled to the market its 1600kg capacity BT Levio LWI160, the materials handling industry’s first-ever purpose-designed lithium-ion powered pallet truck ­(PPT) and already an award-winner – back in 2020 the LWI160 landed a prestigious Red Dot awards for its ground-breaking design.

Thanks to the unique modular, compact lithium-ion battery solution, it has opened the possibility to re-think design standards of material handling equipment. The result, a truck with optimised component position, smaller dimensions, light weight, and low energy consumption.

This has been achieve because, unlike standard powered pallet truck designs, the battery compartment has been removed. Because of this the truck is lighter and, with no lifting or lowering of a battery compartment, it is much more energy efficient, leading to maximum uptime and reduced CO2 emissions.

Losing the battery compartment also means that the LWI160 is smaller than traditional lead-acid battery-powered PPT models: it is just 419mm long and 726mm wide and weighs only 269kg – which is almost 50 per cent less than the lead-acid version.

The dramatic reductions in the truck’s dimensions and weight mean that a low steering force is required, which makes the new model easy to manoeuvre and, therefore, ideal for use within lorries and mezzanine floors or at sites where space is at a premium, such as retail stores.

The new LWI160 offers outstanding slope performance –  when operating on inclines is required, and the truck’s compact measurements mean that the operator has an unrestricted view of the fork tips and the pallet load, which reduces the risk of accidental damage to goods.

For optimum operational flexibility, lithium-ion batteries can be fully charged anywhere there is a power socket, utilising the on-board charger, which in just over an hour can be fully recharged. And where a larger battery is preferred, external chargers are available, but again can be recharged in just over an hour.

Like all models in the Toyota warehouse equipment range, the Levio LWI160 is fitted with Toyota’s I_Site telematics technology. I_Site provides valuable data to ensure productivity and safety are optimised while forklift fleet running costs are kept to a minimum.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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