Compare LPG Forklift to Hydrogen Forklift

Hydrogen fuel cell for a forklift without covers

Compare LPG forklift to hydrogen forklift. To understand the fuel and maintenance savings available by switching from a propane (LPG) forklift to a hydrogen forklift, calculate your savings below. Our savings calculator will help identify the costs of running a propane forklift compared to a hydrogen fuel cell forklift. Your savings are based on the information you provide and some key industry data points.

Propane Forklift

Propane forklifts are a very popular PIT (powered industrial forklift) in the United States. The reason is that the forklift is inexpensive to buy and easy to refuel. But most warehouse managers do not realize that the cost of forklift maintenance and the cost of fuel is far higher than an electric forklift that is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell.

propane forklifts parked in a row
Toyota Propane Forklifts

Electric Forklifts Equipped with Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Electric forklifts powered by hydrogen fuel cells are less expensive to fuel and less expensive to maintain.

Forklift fuel cell being fueled with hydrogen
Forklift fuel cell being fueled with hydrogen

Compare LPG forklift to hydrogen forklift. Calculate your maintenance and fuel-saving below. You will find that LPG forklifts are far more expensive to run than electric forklifts powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Buy Hydrogen Forklifts Here

If you are interested in hydrogen fuel-cells for forklifts, visit this link.

Plug Power Sells Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Forklifts

Plug Power calls their fuel cells for forklifts, GenDrives.

GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells are designed specifically with material handling power in mind. As a drop-in replacement, our units fit into an existing electric lift truck’s battery compartment as a one-to-one battery replacement.

Fuel cells for forklifts allow you to drive productivity and streamline operations while maximizing forklift fleet uptime. They are also a good approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in warehousing.


What is the Ampere-Hour Capacity of a Forklift Battery?


Forklift Battery Model Decoder – if you are trying to find out the ampere-hour capacity of your forklift battery, look no further. You can calculate the ampere-hour capacity of your forklift battery here using just the model number of the battery for reference.

If you want to know the ampere-hour capacity of a forklift battery, the information is hiding in the battery model number. Use this handy decoder to unlock the secrets contained in the forklift battery model number.


Enter the forklift battery model number in the spaces provided below

Decode the model number of a lead-acid battery. This decoder will tell you the voltage and the ampere-hour capacity of your lead-acid battery based on information contained in the battery model number only.

Available Ampere-Hours in a Forklift Battery

Because a forklift battery is never supposed to be discharged below 80% depth of charge, meaning there is always supposed to be 20% AH left in the battery so that the battery is not damaged, the available ampere-hours is 80% of the total number of amps.

How to calculate the kilowatts (kW) in a forklift battery

Also shown below is the calculated (approximate) kilowatts in the battery. This is calculated by multiplying volts by the amps and then dividing it all by 1000.

Explanation of the meaning of the forklift battery model number

Here is a detailed explanation of the meaning of each component of the forklift battery model number.

18 refers to the number of cells. Multiply this by 2 to get the voltage of the battery: 36 volts in the case of our example.

125 refers to the number of amps per cell.

13 refers to the number of negative plates in a cell. Take 13, minus 1, and divide by 2. This equals 6. Now multiply the middle number (number of amps per cell) by half the last number (minus 1). In our example, the number is 6.

The True Cost To Charge A Forklift Battery


Many companies have no idea how much they are spending to charge a forklift battery. Costs are hidden, and difficult to calculate, until now. Use this online calculator to estimate the cost to charge batteries for forklifts.

Estimate the Cost to Charge your Electric Forklift Batteries – It is more than you think!

This calculator is provided to support your internal discussions about reducing operating costs in your warehouse. Please use this as an informal estimate only. Please consult with your accounting firm before making business decisions based on the information provided here.

The Data Points of Charging a Forklift Battery

Here are the key data points that will go into the calculation of the cost of charging a forklift battery.

Forklift battery voltage

Forklifts and lift trucks that fall into the category of PIT (powered industrial trucks) run on these voltages in North America:

  • 24 volts
  • 36 volts
  • 48 volts
  • 80 volts (rarely)

In Europe, forklift voltages are often 80 volts.

Ampere hour of the forklift battery

The ampere hour capacity, also known as the AH of a battery, describes the total capacity of the battery’s cells. The ampere hours capacity, AH, is found hidden in the model number of the battery. To find out what the AH is of a forklift’s battery, follow the red cable from the connector up to the battery and then remove the plastic cover. The battery model number will be listed there.

Sometimes, there is a sticker on the side of the forklift battery noting the ampere-hour capacity of the battery.


How to Calculate the Ampere-Hour Storage Capacity of a Forklift Battery

There is a lot of information available in the forklift battery model number. To calculate the energy storage capacity of a battery, take the middle number from the model number and times by the last number once you have subtracted 1 and divided it in half. Here is an example:

Model number: 18-125-15

15 – 1 / 2 = 7 x 125 = 875 ampere-hours (AH). Find out more and calculate the AH in your forklift battery.

The Efficiency of a Charger

The efficiency of a forklift charger is based on the Average Power Conversion Efficiency, which means the ratio of DC output power to AC input power. Said another way, it is the comparison of the AC kWh drawn from the wall versus the number of DC kWh that are delivered to the battery.

The Columbic Efficiency of a Forklift Battery

The efficiency of a battery to accept a charge is what is called Coulomb’s Law. The coulombic efficiency is the rate at which electrons transfer.

If you are charging a lithium-ion battery, use 99%. Otherwise, 85% is a good number to use for a lead-acid forklift battery. If you are fast charging the battery, decrease the efficiency (less that 85%). If the battery is newer and being charged in a cooled area, raise it to 90%. Remember, the ability of a battery to accept a charge will never be 100%, so you need to discount the energy being received into the battery. The older the forklift battery, the hotter it charges at, the faster you try to charge it, and the greater than 70% you complete the charge with, the lower your coulombic efficiency will be.

Peak Demand Charge

To understand the peak demand charges a business needs to pay, think of peak demand as the highest rate paid for the highest usage in any 15 minute period.

If you think you are paying only 10 cents per kW, but you are charging all your Lithium-ion batteries all at the same time when the team goes on break at 11 am, you can be certain your entire day will be charged at the peak demand rate you were paying at 11 am.

Commercial customers typically face demand charges ($/kW) based on their peak demand during each billing period. This peak demand is usually defined as the highest average electricity usage occurring within a defined time interval (often 15 minutes) during the billing period. For many commercial customers, demand charges can account for 30 to 70
percent of the total charges on a monthly electric bill. Demand charge rates vary considerably across utilities, locations, building sizes, and building types. Because peak
demand is based on how and when a customer uses electricity, even two customers that consume similar amounts of electricity and are billed under the same utility rate may incur vastly different demand charge expenses, depending on their peak demand.

So, if your normal rate is 10 cents per kWh, divide it by .3 in order to gross the amount up by 70%.

Enter the number of lift trucks (forklifts, pallet jacks, turret trucks)

A lift truck is the term we use to refer to PIT (powered industrial trucks). Count the number of units in your material handling fleet. This will impact the cost to charge forklift batteries.

The number of forklift batteries to charge

How many batteries do you have for your PIT fleet? Do you have only one battery per lift truck? Then this number is likely the same as the number you entered for lift trucks. If it is more, then you are likely changing batteries. If it is the same, you are likely opportunity-charging batteries. If you have a single shift, it is possible that you are simply parking your lift trucks and charging them.

The Price of a Forklift Battery

Use this calculator to look up the approximate retail price for a forklift battery based on the forklift type.

These forklift battery prices are based on published prices as of December 2020. You can expect a 3% to 5% price increase each year.

Forklift Battery Price

Look up the price of a forklift battery by selecting the type of lift truck, and then the width of the battery compartment in inches. The width dimension refers to the number of inches that the forklift battery measures down the length of the forklift from the front to the back of the forklift battery compartment. It is not the width of the forklift, but the length of the forklift battery compartment space (only).

Forklift Battery Maintenance Cost Calculator


If you are trying to estimate the costs to maintain a forklift battery. look no further. This forklift battery maintenance cost calculator will model for you the costs that go into the proper maintenance of a forklift battery and a forklift battery charger.

The Cost to Water Forklift Batteries

Battery companies will water your batteries for a charge. Using competitive battery watering service pricing, our calculator will estimate the cost to water your batteries on a regular basis.

Batteries need watering based the charging schedule. Batteries require water because during the charging cycle, the charger breaks apart the bonds of the water molecule into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen. Those gases then escape from the battery into the atmosphere reducing the amount of water in the battery.

Your battery maintnenance technician then returns the water to each cell roughly every 2-weeks, but as often as every week in busy work applications.

The Cost to Repair Battery and Charger Connectors and Cables

Every time a forklift battery is charged, the charger and forklift connectors are inserted into each other to begin the charging process. Once the charge connection is complete, the cables are separated. Often, operators pull the connectors apart by the cables, damaging the cable insulation, the charger wire tips, and putting stress on the SB connectors. If the operator drops the connectors to the ground after the charging even, the connectors risk cracking, and the cables risk being damaged by forklifts rolling over the cables. We estimate that the cost to keep connectors and cables in good repair is $130/year. You can change this amount up or down.

Annual Battery Wash

Companies that perform regular battery washes save money in the long run. When acid escapes from the battery cells, it accumulates between the cells, at the bottom of the tray, and on the edges of the tray. Over time, it cause the tray to corrode and weaken. That is why many companies elect to wash their batteries.

Forklift Charger Maintenance

Many forklift and charger service companies offer an annual charger service. This usually involves an inspection and blowing out the cabinet. It is usually a good idea to have your chargers inspected regularly.