Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) will launch what it claims to be the world’s first engine-powered hybrid forklift truck in Japan in December.
The first model will be a 3.5-tonne payload diesel-electric hybrid – the "Geneo-Hybrid".
Growing awareness of the global environment and rising crude oil prices have accelerated the need to reduce CO2 emissions and increase forklift fuel efficiency, said Toyota Material Handling Australia president Steve Harper.
"Last year, the Australian market for battery-powered forklifts represented 50.2 per cent of the total counter-balance market, so battery-powered machines are increasing their share," he said.
"On the other hand, battery-powered forklifts require the installation of charging facilities and can have problems with continuous operation in some applications, so at the moment battery-powered forklifts only represent a tiny percentage of the total market for machines over three-tonne capacity."
Against this background, TICO has developed its hybrid system, utilising the hybrid technology from Toyota Motor Corporation to match forklifts that travel while handling a load and require frequent starting and stopping.
The new "Geneo-Hybrid" Toyota machine combines a diesel engine, electric motor and battery power to achieve world-class fuel efficiency. It reduces CO2 emission and fuel consumption by 50 per cent, while keeping the same operating performance as a current 3.5-tonne diesel-powered forklift.
TICO says it will strengthen the development of technology that has high operational performance and strong environmental benefits, by offering technological advances in battery forklifts and developing clean engines.
It says the result will be a reduced environmental impact for customers and improved economic efficiency.
Geneo-Hybrid – features
- Utilising power electronics technology that has been cultivated over many years thorough battery forklift development, TICO developed the highly efficient hybrid system for forklifts to provide excellent reliability, durability and low maintenance costs.
- Adapts the Series Hybrid System for travelling, and Parallel Hybrid System for load handling, as the best hybrid structure for forklift operation.
- Adapts the nickel-metal hydride battery, a proven system in hybrid cars, for electric storage device.
- 50 per cent reduction of CO2 emission and fuel consumption, while having the same operating performance as a current diesel-powered forklift.
- The same comfortable manoeuvrability as a battery-powered forklift in travelling and load-handling operation.