Narrow Aisle ends production of LPG lift trucks 11 March 2021

Narrow Aisle – manufacturer of the Flexi range of articulated forklift trucks – has announced that, as part of its corporate responsibility towards the environment, it will no longer offer LP Gas-powered Flexi models.

It says that it is the first manufacturer in its sector to drop LPG-powered articulated trucks from its product portfolio.

The company is focusing on the further development and production of battery-powered trucks with emphasis on lithium-ion technology which it says is ideally suited to the needs of modern, 24/7 logistics and e-fulfillment operations.

John Maguire, managing director of Narrow Aisle Ltd, commented: “As a company Narrow Aisle has pledged to operate in the most environmentally responsible way possible. Lithium-ion-powered trucks match the performance of LPG types but without the drawbacks of high fuel costs, noise and emissions, maintenance downtime and increasing legislation issues. The move towards battery-powered vehicles is gathering pace in the automotive industry and we are delighted to be taking a lead within our sector of the materials handling industry by announcing this elimination of LPG-powered Flexi trucks.”

Although historically a popular fuel source for IC-engine lift trucks, sales of LPG forklifts have been in decline for a number of years due in part to concerns over workers’ health and the wider environmental impact of IC engine emissions.

The cost of running LPG truck fleets in comparison with materials handling equipment driven by advanced battery electric technology, has also contributed significantly to the fall-off in demand for LPG forklifts, according to Narrow Aisle.

John Maguire said: “The control systems and catalytic converters required to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from LPG emissions add significantly to a truck’s operating costs. Furthermore, there are many differing emission control and operating noise level standards and rules across the world which make the manufacture and operation of engine powered tracks more and more difficult in many markets.”

Narrow Aisle launched its first lithium-ion-powered Flexi model in 2018.The truck monitors the battery function constantly and reports the battery status in real time. According to the supplier, the combination of fully integrated digital motors and lithium-ion power is so effective that truck availability is typically increased by 25%.

John Maguire, added: “For any multi-shift operation, switching from LPG to lithium-ion-powered materials handling equipment really is a ‘no-brainer’. A lithium-ion battery can be fully charged in under an hour and provides consistent voltage which means trucks do not slow down as the battery discharges. And, they do not emit any exhaust gases, which is clearly better for the working environment.”

Operations Engineer

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