• Jury of international trade journalists selects the BYD ECB18C as the winner in the “Counter Balanced Truck up to 3.5 t” category.
• Colourful IFOY Award ceremony for the “Intralogistics Oscar” at the CeMAT in Hannover.
• IRU-Präsident Christian Labrot presents the prestigious IFOY trophy.
The IFOY Award in the category “Counter Balanced Truck up to 3.5 t” goes to the newly developed ECB18C from BYD (Build Your Dreams). In a tight finish, the winner was the 80-volt lithium-ion stacker – the first time a Chinese made-vehicle has been crowned the world’s best forklift truck of the year.
The name of the winner was a well-kept secret up to the last moment. Last Tuesday evening its identity was revealed at the CeMAT opening in Hannover, when Christian Labrot, President of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) presented the metal and glass trophy to the delighted winners.
The determining factor in the decision was the overall package offered by the European-type Chinese truck in combination with the value added by the battery technology. In the opinion of the jury, “It need not fear comparison with its European competitors. Moreover, the winning machine solves one of the biggest problems of electric forklifts: its iron phosphate battery can be recharged extremely fast, as often as needed and without memory effect, which means it can handle three-shift duty without any problem”, say the jury. All that needs to be done is to charge the forklift during the breaks. The scientific IFOY Innovation Check also found the market relevance, customer benefit, degree of innovation and the type of implementation of the ECB18C to be very high.
Chinese truck with “European character” and trendsetting battery technology
BYD brought the ECB18C on to the European market in December 2015. The 3-wheel forklift is powered by an 80-volt iron-phosphate battery with threephase technology and can lift 1.8 tons to a height of 6 metres.
Alongside all the advantages of the lithium-ion technology, the use of iron phosphate generates particular benefits. The power density is higher, the service life longer and the operational reliability better. Resistance to low temperatures down to -40°C additionally means longer operation in cold stores.
According to BYD, the in-house-developed batteries have a service life equivalent to that of the machine itself. BYD still guarantees 65 percent capacity after 10 years of operation. Moreover, the battery is completely maintenance-free and can be charged anywhere – without the need for an expensive charging station or replacement batteries. A battery change is no longer necessary. During the IFOY Test, the BYD ran for almost five hours in the most heavy-duty mode, easily bridging the gap to the next break, when the battery can be almost completely recharged.
Despite its powerful performance, energy consumption of the BYD is below the test average. Thanks to the different drive modes, the driver can also influence energy consumption.
The trucks designed for the demanding European market by BYD are more highly developed than rival machines made in China. They are all equipped with twin drive motors for additional manoeuvrability and maintenance-free wet brakes instead of drum brakes. The software settings are also adapted to European standards, ensuring extremely responsive handling.
The overall finish of the BYD is far superior to that of its Chinese competitors. It is fitted with a bright, modern colour display made in-house by BYD. The armrest can be adjusted to suit the sitting position of the driver. Practical mini-levers make mast operation extremely convenient, and the IFOY Test confirmed the precision of mast operation. The duplex mast in the IFOY Test provides a good view of the fork tips, and all-round visibility is also good. The forklift is remarkably compact yet is in no way restrictive for the driver. Foot and leg room are generously dimensioned.