Fuel cell forklift

A fuel cell forklift (also called a fuel cell lift truck or a fuel cell forklift) is a fuel cell powered industrial forklift truck used to lift and transport materials.

Toyota L&F fuel cell forklift, displayed at Eco-Products 2015.



In 2013 there were over 4,000 fuel cell forklifts used in material handling in the USA.[2] Fuel cell fleets are currently being operated by a number of companies, including Sysco Foods, FedEx Freight, GENCO (at Wegmans, Coca-Cola, Kimberly Clark, and Whole Foods).[3] Europe demonstrated 30 Fuel cell forklifts with Hylift and extended it with HyLIFT-EUROPE to 200 units.[4] With other projects in France [5][6] and Austria.[7]


PEM fuel-cell-powered forklifts provide benefits over petroleum powered forklifts as they produce no local emissions. While LP Gas (propane) forklifts are more popular and often used indoors, they cannot accommodate certain food industry applications. Fuel cell power efficiency (40-50%)[citation needed][8][9][10] is about half that of lithium-ion batteries (80-90%)[citation needed],[11] but they have a higher energy density which may allow forklifts to run longer. Fuel-cell-powered forklifts are often used in refrigerated warehouses as their performance is not as affected by temperature as some types of lithium batteries. Most fuel cells used for material handling purposes are powered by PEM fuel cells, although some DMFC forklifts are coming onto the market. In design the FC units are often made as drop-in replacements.[12]


2013 -Toyota Industries (Toyota Shokki) has revealed a new fuel cell powered forklift truck, co-developed with Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.,[13] 2015 - HySA Systems (UWC) revealed fuel cell powered forklift and refueling station based on metal hydrides. Customer was mining company Implats from South Africa. This was first project of this type in African continent.


  • SAE J 2601/3 - SAE J 2601/3 - Fueling Protocols for Gaseous Hydrogen Powered Industrial Trucks (forklifts)[14]


  1. ^ History
  2. ^ "60 World-Changing Innovations". Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association. 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Fact Sheet: Materials Handling and Fuel Cells" Archived August 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Hylift
  5. ^ First hydrogen station for fuel cell forklift trucks in France, for IKEA
  6. ^ HyPulsion
  7. ^ HyGear delivers hydrogen system for fuel cell based forklift trucks
  8. ^ Eberle, Ulrich and Rittmar von Helmolt. "Sustainable transportation based on electric vehicle concepts: a brief overview". Energy & Environmental Science, Royal Society of Chemistry, 14 May 2010, accessed 2 August 2011
  9. ^ Von Helmolt, R.; Eberle, U (20 March 2007). "Fuel Cell Vehicles:Status 2007". Journal of Power Sources. 165 (2): 833–843. Bibcode:2007JPS...165..833V. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2006.12.073.
  10. ^ Garbak, John. "VIII.0 Technology Validation Sub-Program Overview". DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Program, FY 2010 Annual Progress Report, accessed 2 August 2011
  11. ^ Valøen, Lars Ole and Shoesmith, Mark I. (2007). The effect of PHEV and HEV duty cycles on battery and battery pack performance (PDF). 2007 Plug-in Highway Electric Vehicle Conference: Proceedings. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Fuel cell technology". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
  13. ^ Toyota Industries reveals new fuel cell forklift
  14. ^ Hydrogen fuel cell codes & standandards