The Costs and Benefits of Electric Forklifts

Electric forklifts have gained significant traction as a viable alternative to their traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. As fleet owners look for alternatives to meet state compliance and take advantage of long-term savings, examining the costs and benefits of electric forklifts becomes crucial.

This article analyzes the benefits of electric forklifts and the costs associated with switching to electric, and explores how fleet owners can save when they transition.

Electric Forklifts Costs: Considerations

electric forklift meteringA major hesitation that many fleet owners and forklift operators face when switching to electric vehicles is the heavy financial costs associated with purchasing electric forklifts. Electric forklifts generally have a higher upfront cost compared to their diesel or propane counterparts. The initial investment includes the cost of the forklift itself along with necessary charging infrastructure. A new electric forklift can cost up to $40,000, and those with higher carrying capacities can cost up to $80,000. This is roughly 50% higher than the costs of a traditional ICE forklift, and also comes with the costs of batteries and installing in-house charging stations, which can add an additional $5,000 to the price of a new electric forklift.

While these prices are understandably off-putting to warehouse operators, the costs of electric forklifts can quickly be outweighed by their benefits.

The Benefits of Electric Forklifts

A number of states in the US are encouraging a transition to electric forklifts and other material handling equipment (MHE) through rebate programs that support sustainability goals. Many warehouse operators are hesitant to invest in electric forklifts due to their high costs; however, the advantages of electric forklifts extend to operational and financial benefits for warehouse owners and operators, which can lead to long-term savings that offset the initial investment costs completely.

Maintenance Costs and Energy Efficiency

One of the most significant advantages of electric forklifts is their reduced operating costs. Electric forklifts boast significantly lower operating costs compared to internal combustion forklifts. Electricity is far less expensive than the propane or diesel used by ICE forklifts and is far more fuel-efficient, which can be a major source of long-term savings, especially for warehouses that operate large fleets of heavily-utilized forklifts.

Additionally, electric forklifts require significantly less maintenance over their service life, with some brands reporting no major repairs for the first 20,000 miles of usage. This can result in major long-term savings in operational and maintenance costs, with ICE forklifts requiring an average of $1,500 in repairs per year, as compared to an average of $500 per year for electric forklifts.

Improved Air Quality

Another advantage electric forklifts hold over their ICE counterparts is their zero tailpipe emissions. This contributes to improved indoor air quality and is ideal for indoor applications where ventilation may be a concern. This not only ensures a healthier work environment for operators but also aligns with sustainability goals. For operators in California who are required to abide by AQMD WAIRE Program fees, this can be a significant source of savings.

Improved Performance

One aspect of electric forklifts that often goes overlooked is their enhanced performance over ICE forklifts. Electric forklifts offer smooth and consistent acceleration, making them well-suited for indoor applications where precise handling is essential. They also have impressive torque at low speeds, which enhances their performance in tight spaces. For warehouses operating fragile materials, this can greatly reduce liability associated with damaging products.

Additionally, electric forklifts offer smoother and quieter rides, which many operators have reported leading to better working conditions and reduced concerns for worker health and safety.

Not only do these benefits help bring in long-term savings to warehouse operators and forklift owners, but many states offer rebate and funding programs that help make the transition to electric forklifts even easier. Learn how SCT can help you sign up and earn with our Smart Rebates program.

Learn how warehouse operators are taking advantage of funding opportunities to further offset the costs of their electric vehicles: Success Stories: How Businesses Are Offsetting the Cost of Transitioning to Electric

Related Posts

About Us

smart charging technologies

SCT specializes in developing IoT monitoring technology and is the largest aggregator of LCFS & CFP energy credits.

Share With Your Network

Popular Posts

· News

SCT Introduces IoTAh, Cellular & Cloud-based Forklift Truck Monitor

ORLANDO, Fl., January 15, 2024 Smart Charging Technologies (SCT) is pleased to announce the launch of IoTAh®, an innovative, cellular and cloud-based forklift truck monitoring and data logging device.  IoTAh offers fleet managers an affordable tool, with no monthly subscriptions, to manage their forklift truck fleets through operational diagnostics, right sizing, and effective fleet management.…

Salma Naggar


· News

SCT Announces Distribution Agreement with SYNNEX

ORLANDO, Fla., June 7, 2021 Smart Charging Technologies LLC (SCT), the developer of the newly released smart IoT DC micro UPS, Switch Always On, today announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with SYNNEX Corporation (NYSE: SNX), a leading provider of distribution, systems design integration services for the technology industry. This agreement will enable SYNNEX…

Thiker Shreah

Switch Always On

· News

SCT Granted US Patent for Direct Current UPS With Cloud Server

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 23, 2021 Smart Charging Technologies LLC (SCT) is pleased to announce that it has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its smart IoT DC micro UPS, Switch Always On, designed to provide uninterrupted power and connectivity for networking devices. The USPTO awarded SCT US Patent…

Thiker Shreah

Switch Always On

· News

SCT Launches New Smart IoT DC Micro UPS for Networking Devices

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 11, 2021 Smart Charging Technologies LLC (SCT) today announced the release of Switch Always On, a smart IoT DC mic­­ro power supply (UPS) designed to provide uninterrupted power and­­­­ connectivity for networking devices. Switch Always On features multiple configurable DC output ports (5V and 12V), a high-performance lithium-ion backup battery, remote power cycling,…

Thiker Shreah

Switch Always On