Hyster reveals hydrogen powered forklift

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Hyster has bolstered its green credentials with the reveal of its new hydrogen-powered forklift.

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From left, Scott Nargar, Hyundai Motor Company Australia manager of future mobility and government relations; Claire Johnson, Hydrogen Mobility Australia CEO; John Alexander, MP for Bennelong; Tony Fagg, Hyster-Yale Managing Director, Asia Pacific.

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The environmentally-friendly forklift offers the performance and refuelling speeds of typical conventionally powered machines but with the sustainability of electric motors.

The forklift uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power the electric motors. Hydrogen is pumped directly from the bowser to the forklift’s storage tank, and is then mixed with oxygen inside the fuel cell to create electricity.

Unlike a regular fossil fuel engine the fuel cell does not burn the hydrogen, rather it fuses chemically with the oxygen and produces electricity and water as byproducts. The electricity is used to power the motors, leaving water as the primary emission.

"The new hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts can be re-fuelled in as quick as three minutes," Hyster-Yale Asia-Pacific managing director Tony Fagg says."

"Which saves significant downtime compared with battery-operated forklifts that can take up to eight hours to recharge. This means the whole fleet can be used to its fullest potential – maximising product and operator utilisation – and provide gains in uptime and productivity."

Hyster says the technology has potentially very broad applications across industries such as warehousing, infrastructure, materials handling, manufacturing, food and beverage processing, frozen and fresh produce distribution and transport.

"We believe that, not only are these the first hydrogen-powered forklifts in Australia or New Zealand, but also that such practical hydrogen-powered vehicles as these show the way ahead for a whole new generation of future-focussed work vehicles, and perhaps ultimately for passenger vehicles."

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