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Forklifts & Powered Equipment

Gas or Electric: Which Fuel Type Is Best for Your Business?

Posted November 24, 2021

As with other equipment, forklifts come built with a couple of different fuel types. Where gas forklifts used to reign supreme, the ease of use of electric forklifts has shifted their popularity. However, electric forklifts are not necessarily best suited for every environment. Looking to invest in a new forklift? Let’s take a deep dive into each fuel type and find the best one for your industry.


Gas Forklift Pros

Typically, gas or internal combustion (IC) forklifts have a lower upfront cost than their electric counterparts. Coming in at about 10-15% cheaper than electric lifts, IC forklifts are a great option if you’re trying to save some money or have a smaller budget for your lift truck. Productivity levels with IC forklifts are always consistently reliable as they don’t require battery charging—just add some fuel and you’re ready to go.


Electric Forklift Pros

Although slightly more costly than their gas-powered counterparts, electric forklifts boast a longer lifespan as they have fewer moving components. These types of lifts require less maintenance. Electric forklifts are best suited for indoor use as they release zero emissions and are much quieter than IC lifts.

Power Up an Electric Forklift


Gas Forklift Cons

While gas forklifts may save you some cash up front, they do require engine maintenance. Without the proper maintenance, your lift truck could lose efficiency and cost you more money to repair. In addition to engine maintenance, gas and diesel lifts can’t be used indoors.

Some lifts are powered by liquid propane, but there are limitations on when and how to operate indoors. Depending on the industry you work in, a gas lift may not be suitable. For example, industries in which food is handled usually require an electric forklift.


Electric Forklift Cons

As mentioned before, the upfront cost of an electric forklift is more expensive than that of an IC forklift. Additionally, if you’ve only got one forklift for your business, you’ll have to ensure it’s plugged in every night—especially if they’re used for more than 8 hours.

There’s a forklift for every material handling job and using the right fuel type for your business may benefit you in more ways than one.

Still not sure what forklift is best for your business? Call us and our forklift experts can guide you to the right forklift for your business.

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