Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association


Materials Handling

Materials Handling

Already commercially viable, motive power fuel cell units are delivering economic, operational and environmental value to large warehouses and distribution centers through improved productivity, additional commercial space, superior safety performance, reduced operational costs, and the elimination of the handling and storage of toxic materials

Most large retailer warehouses operate around-the-clock and require forklifts that use huge amounts of energy to lift and move products.

In the past, lead-acid batteries have provided the energy needed for indoor forklifts. But batteries require long recharge periods, hold less energy with each charge, they need to be replaced every 2-3 years, and their hazardous materials make them costly to dispose of properly.

Enter fuel cells. With a hydrogen fuel cell system, the forklift can refuel at an indoor fuelling station right in the warehouse in a matter of minutes, and its power won't decrease as the forklift uses the hydrogen. The fuel cell and small hydrogen tank is a direct replacement for a battery - all the other equipment remains the same. And, because the fuel cell contains no hazardous materials, disposal is safe and inexpensive.

With an estimated 3 million electric forklifts in service today, and an annual global market of $3.7 billion, the demand for hydrogen fuel cell power material handling equipment will continue to grow as companies realize the environmental and economic benefits of incorporating fuel cell forklifts into their warehouses and distribution centers.

Just ask any of the forklift users – including Walmart, BMW, Coca-Cola, FedEx, General Motors, Sysco, United Natural Foods and Whole Foods -- who are reaping the benefits of putting Canadian fuel cell technology to work in forklifts!