Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology is now available as an option in almost all Cat® electric ounterbalance and warehouse truck ranges. While lead-acid batteries remain a popular choice for our customers, and still have much to offer, they present various challenges which Li-ion can overcome.
Perhaps the most noticeable change when switching to Li-ion is the use of opportunity charging. Instead of exchanging batteries between shifts, you can simply plug into a fast charger during short breaks and keep the same battery going 24/7.
This, together with other efficiency, environmental and safety benefits, makes Li-ion a very appealing alternative.
Cat Li-ion advantages over lead-acid
Switching to Li-ion requires a higher initial investment, but this should be viewed against Li-ion’s ongoing savings on energy, equipment, labour and downtime.
- Longer life – 3 to 4 times lead-acid lifespan – reduces overall battery investment
- Higher efficiency – energy losses during charging and discharging are up to 30% lower, so electricity consumption is reduced
- Longer runtime – thanks to more efficient battery performance and use of opportunity charges, which can be given at any time without damaging the battery or shortening its lifespan
- Consistently high performance – with a more constant voltage curve – maintains greater truck productivity, even toward the end of a shift
- Faster charging – enables full charge in as little as 1 hour with the fastest chargers
- No battery changing – fast opportunity charges – 15 minutes for several hours of extra runtime – enable continuous operation with just one battery and minimise the need to buy, store and maintain spares
- No daily maintenance – the battery stays on board the truck for charging and there is no need for water top-ups or electrolyte checks
- No gas – or acid spills – avoids the space, equipment and running costs of a battery room and ventilation system
- Inbuilt protection – intelligent battery management system (BMS) automatically prevents excessive discharge, charge, voltage and temperature, as well as virtually eliminating misuse
Batteries and chargers with different capacities are available. Your dealer will identify the best combination for your needs. You should also ask your dealer about optional 5-year warranties, subject to annual check-ups, which give extra peace of mind.