The main benefits of electric forklifts are no harmful emissions, low maintenance and running costs, less noise during operation, and more responsive control.

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Electric forklifts have gained popularity over the last few years. With big changes to their design and performance, electric forklifts are fast becoming a legitimate alternative to LPG and diesel forklifts for many businesses. Also due to their lack of emissions, electric forklifts are ideally suited to indoor applications.

In the past, one of the biggest drawbacks to electric forklifts was their power--or more accurately, their lack of it. Older electric forklifts would lose power over the day as their battery drained, and wouldn't be able to handle even light or medium loads.

Even as models improved, electric forklifts have kept the stigma that they simply can't put out the same power as a diesel or LPG model. And while this is somewhat true (the best diesel forklifts are able to outshine both LPG and electric models) in most cases electric forklifts are capable of keeping up with the best.

Charging time--and as a result, downtime--is the other major issue many past owners had with electric forklifts. Unlike diesel or LPG versions, electric forklifts require a substantial time for the battery to recharge, with most batteries requiring a full 8 hours. There are some models available with quicker charging times and this will only get better as technology improves.

And while electric forklifts may be marginally less powerful and need to be charged for around 8 hours, they are cheaper to own and run, quieter, and more efficient to operate for the majority of businesses.

How are they cheaper? While they may have a higher initial outlay than LPG models, electric forklifts have almost no fuel cost as they simply need to be charged, and have almost no maintenance cost. With no engine or transmission to keep maintained, a lot of expensive and time-consuming maintenance is avoided with electric models.

And it's not surprising that fuel adds up over the years. In fact, studies show that over a 5 year period, electric forklifts were more than 8% cheaper to operate than an LPG doing the same workload. This gap would only get bigger as the years go by as well.

Finally, electric forklifts offer greater flexibility in use. While older electric models may have been restricted to flat and even indoor surfaces, modern electric forklifts have enough power and rugged design to work in outdoor environments.