The scale of electric powered vehicles is about to take a giant leap as Hyster Company announces that testing is underway on high capacity lift trucks with electric motors. The company suggests that, in the near future, ports and heavy industry will be able to electrify their Big Truck fleets, producing zero emissions while achieving comparable full shift performance.
“The Hyster® brand is synonymous with heavy duty trucks, so we are the natural candidate to champion this new generation of large electric trucks,” says Brett Schemerhorn, President Big Trucks, Americas for Hyster. “Using a modular approach and innovative technology, applications will soon have maximum flexibility when selecting trucks to provide the best zero emissions solution for their needs.”
“The modular approach to the design will allow flexibility in the onboard power source,” he continues. “Initial introductions are likely to be based on lithium-ion batteries. However, through our relationship with Nuvera Fuel Cells, we expect that implementation of hydrogen fuel cells will be achieved in the next phase. Hydrogen fuel cells will allow for rapid refueling, increased productivity and longer run time between refills.”
To help heavy industry and ports maintain a low total cost of ownership, Hyster pioneered profitable low emissions with Tier 4 / Stage IV diesel engines on its Big Truck range. It is now leading the industry by developing solutions to enable applications to move from profitable low emissions, to profitable zero emissions using electric trucks.
“As with Tier 4 / Stage IV, when applying electric motors to Big Trucks, it is all about achieving a balance between the vertical movement of the load and the power take-off in combination with the traction,” says Jan Willem van den Brand, Director Big Truck Product Strategy & Solutions for Hyster. “This balance needs to be achieved in order to ensure efficiency, while avoiding oversized electric systems and an unacceptable range of movement.”
To drive efficiency and manage costs, the new electric trucks will be built to match the needs of the specific application. Previously the duty cycle of the application drove the power output determination, including factors such as engine power, tractive effort, load capacity and speed.
“With electric motors, there are additional duty cycle variables to consider,” explains van den Brand. “Hours of operation and number of moves, power costs (Hydrogen vs Electricity) and infrastructure set up costs, such as considerations of time and cost for charging or refuelling, must all be considered when electrifying a Big Truck.”
A project to electrify a Hyster® laden container handler is currently underway. More information on this project and Hyster® electric truck innovations will be revealed at the TOC Europe show in Amsterdam in June 2017.