Inside Logistics

Electric forklifts to dominate, study says

Electric forklifts are expected to account for 58.5 percent of the global forklift truck sales by 2023


November 8, 2019
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SANTA CLARA, California – Global trends such as stricter emission norms, rapidly expanding e-commerce, automated warehouses, and technological advancements like electric and fuel cell forklifts are shaping the future of the forklift market.

Electric forklifts are expected to account for 58.5 percent of the global forklift truck sales by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent between 2018 and 2023, with major contributions from North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

“More than 60 percent and 80 percent of the US and European markets, respectively, will comprise electric-powered forklifts, while in Asia-Pacific, China and India will contribute almost 40 percent of the total unit volumes of electric-powered forklifts,” said Saideep Sudhakar, research analyst, mobility, Frost & Sullivan.

“The emphasis on reducing carbon footprint and total cost of ownership will also boost the deployment of fast-charging and highly efficient chargers in the global warehouse and manufacturing industries.”

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Global Forklift Battery Charger Market, 2018-2023, analyzes the market opportunities, trends, and challenges in the adoption of forklift battery chargers across diesel, LPG, electric and hybrid forklifts. It also studies the key market participants and the kinds of products they are developing to meet the needs of customers in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

“Global focus on stricter emission regulations and higher energy efficiency will provide impetus for the electric and hybrid forklift market across different categories with increasing usage of high-frequency chargers,” noted Sudhakar.

“Fast charging is being widely used across North America and Europe with companies modernizing warehouse operations, deploying multi-shift operations, and eliminating battery change-out rooms.”

Successful forklift battery charger manufacturers are likely to gain additional growth opportunities by:

  • Collaborating with local vendors and OEMs to build the brand while marketing their products globally.
  • Partnering with research institutes and governments and investing in pilot projects to establish the technical feasibility of emerging chemistries.
  • Developing lithium-ion batteries to make the most of their growing demand in pharma, manufacturing, and food processing industries.
  • Offering fast-charging batteries to tap demand across North America and Europe, where companies are modernizing warehouse operations, deploying multi-shift operations, and eliminating battery change-out rooms.
  • Providing fuel-cell forklifts that are quieter, deliver a faster recharge, and are more efficient.

The market is likely to be dominated by Enersys, Exide, and Ametek Prestolite due to their strong product platforms, joint ventures with key regional participants in Europe and Asia-Pacific, and superior operational efficiency across global manufacturing facilities.