Choosing The Right Forklift Battery Solution

Choosing The Right Forklift Battery Solution

Battery-powered forklifts now account for around 60 per cent of the market, and on an upward trajectory, as the demand for gas and diesel-powered forklifts declines due to employee welfare and environmental concerns. This means for those purchasing forklifts, the type of battery used is crucial to maximising energy and workplace efficiency

Currently, the two most commercially available and affordable battery choices are lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. The type of battery required is dependant on project requirements and specifications. We have a look at the different key aspects to consider when selecting batteries for your forklift operations.

Recharge times

If your business only makes use of the forklift for a couple of hours a day, then lead-acid batteries will be more than capable, as the capacity of these batteries under normal circumstances will be sufficient, and batteries can be recharged overnight.

However, for multi-shift operations and times of high demand where fleets of forklifts are required, lithium-ion batteries are a more efficient solution. High energy density coupled with quick recharge times means that lithium-ion batteries can accommodate multiple shifts whilst also reducing idle time.

This quick recharge time will remove the need for a second ‘on-charge’ battery, further reducing the footprint of a warehouse dedicated to charging forklift batteries, allowing for more space for storage and distribution.

Most alternatives to lithium-ion will require a backup battery due to the length of time required to recharge, which utilises vital space. Also, unlike other forms of batteries, the performance of forklifts will not start to deteriorate as lithium batteries run out of power.


Whether lead-acid or lithium-ion, the lifetime of the battery will become significantly reduced if the charging cycles are interrupted or if the battery is not fully recharged or is overcharged, or if the incorrect type of battery charger is used.

The development of features that optimise the performance and lifecycle of lithium-ion batteries as a system compared to flooded lead-acid batteries means repair and maintenance efforts are considerably reduced, and in most cases not necessary at all.

Some lithium-ion batteries can also be connected to warehouse management systems (WMS), which will help to notify managers of potential servicing or maintenance requirements before the performance of forklifts starts to suffer.


Both battery types have the potential to present health and safety issues, however, if handled and disposed of correctly, these issues will not arise.

Lead-acid batteries biggest hazard is the risk of sulphuric acid spills when not stored or handled properly. The manufacturer's guidelines should always be adhered to, and aside resistant goggles and gloves should be worn when handling.

The primary concern with lithium-ion batteries is the risk of fires. This can happen if overcharging, deep discharging, or mechanical faults significantly increase the temperature of the battery. However, lithium-ion batteries are manufactured with built-in safety measures to mitigate these risks.

If your business depends on forklifts to operate, the type of industrial battery chosen will have a major impact on the companys overall efficiency. By assessing your operational demands and selecting a battery dependant on requirements from a trusted energy storage manufacturer you can ensure an efficient and cost-effective operation.

If you’re looking for forklift hire in Birmingham, get in touch today.