The company began the introduction of li-ion batteries across its product range in 2010 amid much derision from competitors wedded to lead acid batteries. The much improved performance and advantages of li-ion powered machines soon had competitors developing their own lithium-ion powered machines, or retrofitting their own units with outsourced li-ion batteries
While all types of batteries show performance declines in cold temperature situations, Li-ion batteries capacity only declines by 10% at 0⁰C compared with 50% for the lead acid equivalent. Furthermore, lower temperatures experienced in typical cold stores can cause the electrolyte in lead acid batteries to freeze and crack the battery casing in prolonged usage in cold store environment.
The advantages of li-ion over lead acid batteries in lift truck applications, is well documented and includes:
Greater energy density provides extended shift times
Lower charging times – typically 80 minutes from almost flat – full
No electrolyte therefore no leakage problems, no dangerous gassing or freezing.
Longer working life – Jungheinrich guarantee its batteries for five years suggesting replacement only after eight. edit.
This means that all trucks in this range whether manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic machines can perform successfully in low temperatures, in all racking configurations.
Jungheinrich engineers have been perfecting the technology since its inception and have overcome low temperature battery issues allowing its new EKX range of VNA (very narrow aisle) machines to perform at temperatures as low as -28⁰C – which covers virtually all cold store applications.
Low temperature operation machines include specially designed features including special steel construction, anti-stick-slip additives, low viscosity oils and purpose designed pumps, tanks and hydraulic equipment to cater for the environment. Operators are not forgotten either with cabin heaters and windscreen and window de-misters.
Compared with conventional reach trucks the EKX machines are much narrower between 1 750mm and 2 100mm compared to 3m for a reach truck allowing greater storage density especially if specified with a 12,5m Stack and Retrieval capability