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Why electric is not the only way to quash carbon

When it comes to reducing the carbon emissions from operating forklift trucks, renewable options such as biofuels and green gases can offer an effective way to hit sustainability targets. Andy Kellett, National Account Manager FLTs at Calor, explains why these alternatives are generating much interest.

More than ever before, UK businesses and industrial sectors are reviewing how their daily operations are impacting the concerted national effort to reduce carbon emissions. The warehousing and materials handling industry is no different. Not only is road transport coming under increasing scrutiny on the role they play in sustainable operations, but non-road machinery such as forklift trucks (FLTs) are in the spotlight too with regards to how they can be decarbonised. As a result, a number of different options are emerging for powering FLTs with lower levels of emission compared with traditional sources.

When evaluating different options, it is important to ensure that the company’s operational needs are met. What’s more, in a highly competitive sector such as materials handling where margins are being cut and contracts are being won or lost based on cost, the capital outlay and running costs involved for all fuel options must be fully examined. Here, we look at two of the most common myths about how to operate FLTs sustainably and separate fact from fiction.

Fiction: The only way to operate forklift trucks sustainably is to go electric

Fact: Whilst there has been a notable shift to using electric FLTs for warehouse operations, ‘the only way is electric’ is simply not true. There are in fact other sustainable options available.

We offer BioLPG which is a non-fossil fuel and a renewable alternative. With it you get certified CO2 savings and same great efficiency and torque as diesel or LPG truck.

Whilst electric trucks may seem to solve the emission issue at point of use, usually LPG trucks have a better power to weight ratio and are better to deal with steep gradients. What’s more, there is almost no downtime for recharging with LPG and BioLPG run trucks whilst with Electric your battery recharge may take from 2 to 10 hours.

Fiction: Electric forklift trucks are cheaper

Fact: If we look at the whole picture that might not be true. It’s not only the cost of the power source that you will need to consider – the cost of installing new infrastructure needs to be factored in too. But if you are already running LPG trucks, there is no additional investment or any change of infrastructure required in order to move to sustainable BioLPG because it is a drop-in fuel. Whereas if you are planning to move to electric fleet, you will need to consider the purchase of additional batteries and possibly needing to upgrade your electrical infrastructure in addition to the cost of the FLT fleet.

To find out how BioLPG can be your trusted partner on your cost and emission saving journey, visit


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