Industryweek 2161 13501hybrid

Fuel Cells In The Warehouse

Jan. 29, 2007
Technology offers cleaner operations, lower maintenance costs and shorter fueling times.

The buzz at last month's ProMat show in Chicago was on a type of material handling innovation that doesn't actually exist yet: fuel cell-powered lift trucks. At least two major lift truck manufacturers -- Toyota Material Handling U.S.A. Inc. and Raymond Corp. -- are developing fork lifts powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Raymond was recently awarded a $750,000 contract from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to research hydrogen fuel cell applications, while Toyota displayed a prototype of what one of these vehicles could look like, dubbed the FCHV-F (Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle).

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recently conducted a trial of fuel cell-powered lift trucks at two of its distribution centers in Ohio, which in effect was a test of technology developed by Cellex Power Products Inc., running on pallet trucks from Crown Equipment Corp. and Nissan Barrett.

Toyota's prototype Fuel Cell Hybrid VehicleThe principal attractions to fuel cell technology in a warehousing environment include cleaner operations (the byproducts from hydrogen are water and heat), lower maintenance costs and shorter fueling times. The drawback at present is the investment required to install hydrogen fueling stations, which is why large distribution centers are seen as the likeliest customers in the short-term. The most optimistic predictions estimate that fuel cell-powered lift trucks could enter the market within two to five years.

See Also

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Empowering the Modern Workforce: The Power of Connected Worker Technologies

March 1, 2024
Explore real-world strategies to boost worker safety, collaboration, training, and productivity in manufacturing. Emphasizing Industry 4.0, we'll discuss digitalization and automation...

How Organizations Connect and Engage with Frontline Workers

June 14, 2023
Nearly 80% of the 2.7 billion workers across manufacturing, construction, healthcare, transportation, agriculture, hospitality, and education are frontline. Learn best practices...

Transformative Capabilities for XaaS Models in Manufacturing

Feb. 14, 2024
The manufacturing sector is undergoing a pivotal shift toward "servitization," or enhancing product offerings with services and embracing a subscription model. This transition...

Shifting Your Business from Products to Service-Based Business Models: Generating Predictable Revenues

Oct. 27, 2023
Executive summary on a recent IndustryWeek-hosted webinar sponsored by SAP

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!