Fleets of forklifts are a necessary component of many industrial operations. Many organizations are abandoning gasoline-powered vehicles in favor the greener alternative of electric vehicles used with an efficient battery management system.
Green Benefits Of Electric Vehicles
You can't use a gasoline-powered forklift inside a warehouse, but that doesn't make them any safer when used outside. In addition to producing large amounts of greenhouse gases, gas engines also put out emissions that cause health problems including lung cancer and genetic damage. Nearby workers are exposed to disturbingly high levels of these dangerous chemicals. Fuel kept onsite is an explosion or fire waiting to happen, and a gasoline spill can contaminate the water table.
Electric vehicles give off no dangerous emissions, which is why they are the choice for fleets used indoors. However this lack of emissions is exactly the reason to use them outdoors as well. They improve local air quality, keeping workers healthy, and the batteries are safer to use and store than gasoline is, especially when used as part of a comprehensive battery management system.
Reuse And Recycling
The most environmentally responsible policy is to use any resource as long as possible. For batteries, that means implementing a battery management system to make replacing and recharging the units simple and safe. The flexibility of replacing drained batteries with new ones, and then recharging outside the vehicle allows the units to be charged at optimal times. This improves their ability to hold power and extends their useful life, minimizing replacement.
Eventually, despite the most efficient battery management systems, all batteries wear out and can't hold power for very long. This is the time for the units to be taken to a recycling center where the resources in the cells can be recovered and used again, possibly to make more batteries. Maximizing the useful life of each battery ensures this recycling is done only as a last resort.
Keeping Batteries Clean
A battery management system is more than just equipment to replace power cells. Supporting devices allow batteries to be moved, stored and recharged quickly and safely. Periodically, batteries need to be cleaned. Corrosion builds up on the terminals, which is not only dangerous to workers, but causes the power cell to slowly discharge even when not in use.
Washing batteries creates the risk of heavy metals such as lead getting into the groundwater. Heavy metals cause serious environmental damage, which is why dedicated battery washers have been designed to recover these dangerous elements for proper storage and disposal. Dumping battery wash wastewater down the drain is both irresponsible and illegal. The wash units are simple to operate and require less effort, and therefore incur less cost, then washing manually.
For managers not impressed by the environmental advantages of electric fleets and battery management systems, explain the cost benefits. Well maintained batteries greatly reduce operating costs, and everyone loves a better bottom line.