Narrow Aisle Ltd – the Flexi articulated lift truck-based intralogistics solutions specialist – reports that over 20 per cent of the companies that enquired about new trucks during the second quarter of 2020 named lithium-ion as their preferred forklift power choice.

“We are witnessing a clear uptick in interest and demand for lithium-ion powered Flexi articulated trucks – especially amongst retailers and third party logistics specialists – and it is mostly being driven by the significant shift to ‘online commerce’,” says John Maguire, Narrow Aisle Ltd’s managing director.

He continues: “Truck users appear to be moving away from LPG and diesel-driven forklifts in significant numbers. Time and again, the companies that we are working with explain that they are evaluating the environmental impact of their logistics operations and, as a result, are looking to replace diesel and LPG trucks with cleaner, more environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient alternatives.

“Retailers and 3PL operators are among the growing number of lift truck users that are taking a more intelligent, fact-based approach to capital expenditure. This means that they calculate the cost of running a truck over an entire lifetime of its use – rather than just basing purchasing strategy on the lowest up-front cost. They find lithium-ion an attractive proposition.”

John Maguire believes that the private motorist’s shift from diesel-engine cars coupled with the increasing use of electric technology across the automotive sector is helping to heighten both awareness of and interest in lithium-ion-powered materials handling equipment.

“No doubt the high profile evolution of electric-powered vehicles, which is being led by companies such as Tesla in the automotive industry, is driving demand for the latest lift truck technology that Narrow Aisle offers,” he says.

Narrow Aisle Ltd launched its Flexi LiTHiON range of lithium-ion powered articulated warehouse trucks two years ago and the trucks have become a popular choice among a wide range of customer groups.

The Flexi LiTHiON requires zero maintenance and delivers extended multi-shift availability – making the trucks the ideal ‘green’ energy solution for modern order fulfilment operations, retail warehouses, temperature controlled stores, chemical stores and automotive manufacturing facilities.

John Maguire adds: “Over last 18 months to two years there has been a major change in attitudes to alternative forklift power sources. And lithium-ion battery technology has come of age at precisely the right time to meet the market’s environmental, productivity and safety demands.”