Who is Making Fuel Cells for Forklifts and Materials Handling Equipment?

posted Mar 5, 2014, 11:06 AM by Kay Mann
The companies below are the makers of fuel cells that are installed in forklifts. The forklifts themselves are manufactured by Raymond, Crown, Hyster, etc. Some fleets include older battery electric forklifts retrofitted for fuel cell electric power.

1. Plug Power 85% Market Share (as of July 9, 2013)
According to Fuel Cells 2000, http://www.fuelcells.org/pdfs/FuelCellForkliftsGainGround.pdf  there were over 4,000 fuel cell forklifts in use in the U.S. as of July 2013.  While Latham, NY-based Plug Power currently has an 85 percent market share, other companies are getting in on the action as European logistics firms look to put fuel cell lift trucks in their warehouses.  Plug is setting its sights high with a goal of shipping 3,000 units in 2014. The company currently has a sales backlog of 1,133 orders. Recent customers include BMW in Spartanburg, SC, Ace Hardware in Wilmer TX, Proctor & Gamble in Mehoopany, PA , Kimberly-Clark in Graniteville, SC.

2. Oorja Protonics, with the help of funding from the Department of Energy, has been testing materials handling equipment powered by its direct methanol fuel cells. Oorja recently became an Approved Service Provider for UniPro, the largest cooperative for food and produce distributors in the U.S.

3. Nuvera unveiled a new Orion fuel cell stack designed to be easily integrated into forklifts and other industrial vehicles.  http://www.nuvera.com/index.php/products-services/orion-fuel-cells/orion-fuel-cell-stack-specfications-page  Forklifts using fuel cells from other manufacturers are using Nuvera’s PowerTap on-site hydrogen generation and refueler, which can produce up to 50 kg of hydrogen per day. PowerTap is a steam methane reformer and Nuvera claims about 45% of the hydrogen will come from water, producing 70 tons less carbon dioxide and avoid 330,115 kWh of electrical consumption annually.
4. Infinitium Fuel Cell Systems Inc. (IFCS) of Texas signed an agreement with ITM Power, based in the U.K., for ITM to become the exclusive European distributor of its fuel cell systems for materials handling equipment.

5. HyPulsion, a joint venture between Plug Power and Axane, has fuel cell forklifts are at an IKEA plant near Lyon, France being refueled by an Air Liquide refueling station.

*This information was posted by Kay Mann for Rick Smith, President of the Hydrogen Energy Center.