Lithium-ion battery pack adaptable for any electric forklift

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

VERNON, California — Romeo Power, the energy storage technology company founded by top engineers and designers from SpaceX, Tesla, Samsung and Amazon, has introduced Thunder Pack – C, the first lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack designed to be adapted for any electric forklift make or model.

Romeo Power Thunder Packs are warranty-backed to last 4,000 cycles – approximately 12 years – deliver quick recharge, require no maintenance, and produce zero emissions and zero odors. In contrast, traditional lead-acid forklift battery packs have much shorter cycle life, long recharge and cool-down periods, need constant maintenance, run out of energy in as few as six hours, and emit hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfuric acid that smells bad, is messy, and hurts the environment.

“In our experience forklift buyers want three things: more safety, longer drive time and less downtime,” said Michael Patterson, Romeo Power founder and CEO.

All Romeo Power battery packs are engineered to exceed the most stringent government safety requirements and include an advanced battery management system based on control-oriented, physico-chemical models. Combined with the company’s innovations in thermal engineering, manufacturing processes and the materials chosen to connect components, Romeo Power battery packs have smaller space requirements than other battery packs on the market and offer enhanced state-of-charge (SOC) and state-of-health (SOH) monitoring.

“Romeo Power battery packs are just unbeatable,” said Dan Crowley, CEO of Madison, WI-based Power Designers USA, a battery charger company that provides battery packs and charging solutions for forklifts and other materials handling equipment. “Thunder Pack’s design, materials and thermals, combined with Power Designers’ advanced charging algorithm are totally winning the day with our customers – especially big, name-brand packaged goods and food companies with massive fleets of forklifts in their warehouses.”

The global forklift market, valued at $35.3 billion in 2014, is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.9 percent and now forecast to reach $55.9 billion by the end of 2021, according to a February report by Persistence Market Research (PMR).

In 2014, 55 percent of global forklift sales were electric models. In 2015, 60 percent were electric. In North America, electric lift trucks now represent nearly 64 percent of sales.

The increase in electric forklift sales is due to several factors, including efficiency and cost. The need for a machine or equipment that can maneuver heavy goods with ease to various locations is also an important reason that drives this market, according to a January study by Allied Market Research. And other triggers such as an increase in productivity, reduced injuries and accidents along with operator comfort are major considerations that supplement the market growth, the study found. But the main influence is reduced emissions in the work environment, according to, the materials handling, logistics, and supply chain association.

Yet, electric forklifts are still powered predominantly by lead-acid batteries, which emit hydrogen sulfide gas and sulfuric acid that smells bad, is messy, and hurts the environment.

“Our ability to adapt Thunder Pack – C for any electric forklift make or model is huge, not to mention we’re manufacturing it in America,” said Patterson. “When you combine that with zero maintenance, zero watering, zero battery room, no gassing, no equalize charging, zero hazard and significant cycle life increase, we think we have everything we need to disrupt this market and change it for the good, forever.”

Configuration18-125-17 drop-in replacementWorks with 95% of forklifts on the market
Capacity900 AH / 30 kWh20kW / 40kWh
Voltage36V24V, 36V, 48V
Cycle LifeUp to 4,000 full cyclesUp to 4,000 full cycles
Dimensions38.27 x 20.15 x 30.50Configurable for 224 different tray options
Weight2,808 lbs.Depends on configuration
Warranty4,000 cycles (approximately 12 years)4,000 cycles (approximately 12 years)