If you have ever worked in a warehouse, you might know how important it is to have your forklifts in good shape. This includes making sure their batteries are in good shape. A standard battery for a forklift can cost you up to $5000! But wait, is that the actual price of one forklift battery? Not exactly!
The actual cost of your forklift battery involves a lot more than the one-time payment you make. With these actual costs clouded between your day-to-day affairs, it becomes difficult to identify how much money your forklifts are actually demanding.
Here we will be discussing forklift batteries, forklift battery prices, and those hidden factors that can change the costs of your forklift battery.
Most warehouses will employ one of the following two types of forklift batteries:
Lead-acid batteries are the traditional form of batteries that have been in use since they were first discovered in 1859. They are also the first rechargeable battery type formed. These batteries usually supply large amounts of power even in small sizes and thus are more popular in conventional use, particularly in automotive vehicles and forklifts.
Lithium forklift batteries are a much more recent invention; they were first manufactured in the 1990s. In the electrochemical process of Li-ion batteries, lithium ions are what drive the discharge. These are generally used for powering small gadgets, earbuds, earphones, mobile phones, and laptops.
Now that you know the common battery types, let's move on to pricing.
Lead-acid batteries happen to be much cheaper than Lithium-ion forklift batteries. To give you a general idea, a lead-acid battery can cost you around $5000-$12,000, whereas a lithium-ion forklift battery will cost you roughly $17,000-$20,000 (almost twice the cost of a lead-acid battery!)
However, in reality, the actual costs of your batteries are not what they seem. The battery that might seemingly be cheaper may end up costing you a lot more. That is the case with lead-acid batteries.
This is because lead-acid batteries tend to be less efficient, have a lower lifespan, have less power storage and discharge capacity. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries tend to be much more efficient, have a longer lifespan, a higher storage capacity, and make an overall more worthy investment. That's not all; lithium-ion batteries are eco-friendly, more lightweight and compact, require lower maintenance and have a low self-discharge rate.
Therefore, we can safely say that putting your money into a lithium-ion battery would be more worthwhile than going with a lead-acid battery that may need replacement twice as quickly as a lithium-ion one.
As mentioned earlier, there are several hidden factors that play a role in the overall price of your forklift battery; we will be going over some of the most common ones you can identify:
If your warehouse operates in multiple shifts, you will have a charged lead-acid battery installed into a forklift and then removed for discharge at the end of the shift. This can be less economical since you will need to purchase more batteries to make sure a fully charged battery is readily available for use after a shift. Moreover, you need the space to charge each battery.
Comparatively, lithium-ion batteries can be charged whenever needed throughout the day as these batteries do not run out as fast and so can prove to be more economical.
Next, you need to consider charging time; the more time taken to charge a lead-acid battery can become costly for your business quite easily. This is because a typical lead-acid battery needs around 8 hours to charge, the equivalent of an entire shift.
Comparatively, lithium-ion batteries take approximately 1-2 hours to recharge and can be charged whenever needed during breaks without putting a halt in your operations. Also, consider the time lost in cooling down lead-acid batteries after charging (this can go up to 8 hours after charging). Once again, lithium-ion batteries do not need time to cool down.
Lead-acid batteries should never be completely discharged; if they discharge below 50%, it can reduce the lifespan of your battery. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries can safely be discharged to around 20%, and they do so a lot more slowly. This means that lead-acid batteries must be removed for charging a lot more during operating hours and so increasing labor costs.
Lead-acid batteries tend to have a much shorter lifespan; most will generally last for 500-1000 charging cycles. If you are frequently using your batteries, you might need to replace them a lot sooner than you think.
Comparatively, lithium-ion batteries have a much longer lifespan of 1500 cycles. A lithium-ion forklift battery 12v can last up to 3000 charge cycles. Moreover, since you don’t need to invest in any maintenance, your battery has a lower risk of getting damaged easily or further reducing its lifespan.
Lead-acid batteries tend to require a lot more maintenance than lithium-ion batteries. Watering your lead-acid battery, for example, is an additional step your labor must perform. Not watering your lead acid battery can leave the plates of your battery exposed, leading to damage; lithium-ion batteries do not require much maintenance because their cells are enclosed.
Now that you know the basics of forklift batteries, their costs, and their actual costs down the road, you are in a much better position to choose a suitable forklift battery.
Through our entire argument, we deduce that lead-acid batteries tend to be costlier in terms of time, labor, and maintenance that could be put towards a more productive sector of the business, hence leading to hidden forklift battery costs you may not even be considering.
Comparatively, lithium-ion batteries are more expensive but are well worth every cent. Not only will they last you a long time, but they do not require any special maintenance. In this way, you are indirectly saving costs on labor, time lost in maintenance, slow charging cycles, etc.
Bottom line, you should definitely consider investing in a quality lithium-ion battery for your warehouse. Luckily, you can get all types of high-quality batteries from Brava Batteries. You need a 12v forklift battery or a 48 volt forklift battery; Brava Batteries has it all.