What is the correct battery voltage for your electric forklift truck


Electric forklift trucks have become increasingly popular in recent years. They are being used mostly in warehouses. The electric forklift is cleaner, quieter and more maintenance friendly than a forklift with a combustion engine. However an electric forklift does require charging on a regular basis. This is no problem for an 8-hour working day. After working hours, you can easily charge the forklift at the charging station. Electric forklifts are available with various battery voltages. What battery voltage does your forklift need? In this blog, we have a look at the various battery voltages for an electric forklift truck.

Construction and operation of the battery

Why are electric lift trucks available in different battery voltages? In order to give a good answer to this question, it is important to know how a battery is constructed and how it works. A battery consists of separate cells arranged in series, each of which has a voltage of 2 volts. Do you want to know the voltage of a battery? Then multiply the number of cells by 2. For example, a battery with 24 cells has a voltage of 48V.

Amperage battery

There are positive and negative plates in a cell: large or several next to each other. The surface of these plates determines the current strength (Ampere). In a normal wet lead-sulfuric acid battery, these plates are contained in dilute sulfuric acid with a specific mass of approximately 1.28 g / cm3. When a demand is made for electricity – for example when the truck starts moving – the acid is absorbed into the lead plates. A chemical reaction then creates electricity. The larger the surface of the plates, the more current the battery supplies. The battery is empty when the specific weight of the sulfuric acid is approximately 1.28 g / cm3 1.13 g / cm3. This means that too much acid has been drawn into the plates.

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What is the correct battery voltage for your electric forklift truck

An example to explain

Some people claim that an 80V battery is better than a 48V battery. That is not always true. Electric forklift trucks nowadays have a high acceleration and top speed. If a 2.5t forklift truck lifts pallets from 2.0 to 2.5t day in, day out, then a high-powered motor is needed. At a higher power, many amperes go through the controller, cables and the electric motors. This causes a great resistance and therefore heat development. If your forklift requires to do a lot of heavy lifting a higher voltage is required. For example an electric forklift truck with a battery of 80 Volt is recommended.

Are you limiting the maximum speed and is a load of 2.0 to 2.5t only occasionally moved? Then a 48 Volt battery is a good choice. Also keep in mind that a battery with a higher voltage is more expensive to buy. After all, an 80V battery is equipped with 40 cells and 39 cell connectors, a 48V battery contains only 24 cells and 23 cell connectors.

Battery voltage and applications

Different usage of a forklift will require batteries with different voltages. A few examples below:

Unilift Electric Forklift Trucks

At Unilift South Wales we provide a wide ranger of new electric forklift trucks for sale. If you have a smaller budget we can also deliver a quality used electric forklift. If you are not sure what forklift truck is suitable for your business why not hire a forklift from us. We have great offers for you to rent a forklift first before you decide to buy. Please contact us today to discuss your forklift requirements.