Loop Energy to provide power supply for heavy duty forklift

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by Emily Atkins

Loop Energy, a Burnaby, BC-based designer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cell solutions, has won a contract to supply the fuel cell system for a new hydrogen-powered eBull forklift product being built by Wiggins Lift Co.

Loop Energy will deliver the system and begin commissioning in the second quarter of 2023 to support commercial deployment of the hydrogen-electric forklifts in late 2023.

Wiggins provides material handling vehicles to port, marina and warehouse operators across the US. Its decision to manufacture hydrogen-electric forklifts is due to the operating benefits fuel cell engines offer, including fast refuelling times and the ability to meet a range of duty cycles.

The California-based company was one of the first manufacturers to provide battery-electric forklifts. With growing customer demand, it aims to be an early mover in the hydrogen-electric material handling vehicle segment.

Wiggins’s transition is partly motivated by ports in California targeting to achieve net zero by 2030. Faced with a strained electrical grid, hydrogen has emerged as an accessible, zero-emissions solution to complete port operations.

The Port of Los Angeles Shore-to-Store project included unveiling two new high-capacity hydrogen fueling stations in 2022. Wiggins has customers operating its electric forklifts at the Port of Stockton and Port of West Sacramento and expects to fulfill deliveries to the Port of San Diego, Port of Long Beach and Port of Hueneme this year.

Powered by a Loop Energy S300 (30 kW) fuel cell system, Wiggins’ eBull forklift will transport boats, bulk cargo and equipment at ports and marinas. The intense and long duty cycles of these material handling vehicles mean that operational uptime and fuel consumption are key contributors to an operator’s total cost of ownership.

“Loop Energy is proud to be selected by a market leader such as Wiggins in the push to decarbonize material handling vehicles across ports in California,” said Loop Energy president and CEO, Ben Nyland.

“Wiggins vehicles operate in some of the world’s busiest and most productive ports. Their decision to choose our fuel cells further validates our technology and hydrogen’s role in transforming this large market segment.”

With capacities ranging to 88,000 pounds, Wiggins’ high-capacity, specialized forklifts have established the company as a global supplier for materials handling machines.