While IC models continue to account for the lion’s share of forklift demand in African markets, manufacturers are also noticing a growing appetite for electric units among end users.
Hangcha’s 3-tonne diesel model, for instance, remains the company’s best seller in Africa. However, with warehousing, logistics, ports and factories driving demand for forklift trucks across the continent, Zhang emphasises that innovation continues to represent a key focus for the manufacturer.
“Hangcha has introduced lithium-ion forklifts that enjoy the same great performance delivered by IC models, while benefitting from reduced noise, zero emissions and low total cost of ownership,” he tells Plant & Equipment. “Our XC Series forklifts are therefore proving popular with customers in Africa, and we plan to introduce more lithium-ion models to these markets in
Heli is investing heavily in this type of technology too, according to Song, who tells Plant & Equipment: “We are continuously upgrading our products to ensure they are comfortable, environmentally friendly and intelligent. We are continuing to innovate with models such as our lithium battery forklifts, which are fast charging, simple to maintain and reliable, with long lifecycles and a low overall cost of use.”
Phelan says that Hyster’s forklift offering has also expanded to include electric models. “One recent addition is our J10-18XD ‘big truck’ models, which feature lithium-ion batteries,” he explains. “These machines deliver performance that is comparable to IC units but with no tailpipe emissions. We also have plans to expand our IC range of tough, scalable, counterbalanced lift trucks with a new design concept that has been designed to meet particular customer requirements.”