There’s often controversy surrounding whether you should adopt Internal Combustion (IC) or electric forklifts for your operations. Of course, with any debate, there are pros and cons to every side. However, in today’s culture, more emphasis has been placed on operating green, or mitigating the environmental repercussions modern manufacturing creates.

As with any financial decision, it pays to do your research. Below we’ve outlined the major advantages of choosing electric forklifts for your operations -- and some disadvantages you may experience along the way.

The Green Initiative
IC trucks emit hazardous fumes during operation. Electric forklifts generate zero emissions, reducing your environmental impact and eliminating an employee’s exposure to contaminated air. Using electric forklifts, eliminates your need for ventilation. 

Fewer Repairs, More Savings
Because electric forklifts have fewer parts to maintain, they typically break down less and require fewer costly repairs. AC motor technology eliminates brushes, leading to better speed control and no spark hazards.  Additionally, cost per hour of operation is significantly less than IC trucks.

Additionally, electric forklifts only require a battery charge before returning to work, so fuel costs are lower!

Benefits of Electric Forklifts
Here are few of the many benefits to electric forklifts.
●  Cheaper to operate - Electric forklifts require no fuel and very little maintenance. The batteries are rechargeable and replaceable.
●  Longer lifespan - Electric forklifts typically last longer before major components start to fail. In some cases, the lifespan of an electric forklift is nearly double.
●  Eco-friendly - Electric forklifts do not produce harmful emissions. 

Challenges of Electric Forklifts
Of course, there are (minor) disadvantages to electric forklifts. These include:
● Greater initial upfront cost. Electric forklifts do cost more upfront, but they have lower lifetime fuel costs. 
● May not be as good for outdoor use. Electric forklifts have advanced significantly over the years, but in some extreme conditions, IC may be better suited. 
● Opportunity for downtime. Although this can be mitigated through opportunity charging, downtime can occur if batteries aren’t charged or equalized properly.

Although there are risks for electric forklifts, we’d argue the benefits outweigh the disadvantages when considering the total cost over the lifetime of the product.

Crunching the Numbers
Curious if electric forklifts are the right fit for you? We offer an IC vs Electric Cost Calculator on our website so you can crunch the numbers yourself. After you input your data in the required fields, our Cost Comparison Over Time graph shows you the savings you can expect over time.

Our calculator also shows you a carbon footprint comparison of fossil fuel versus electric per year -- for those who are looking to reduce their environmental impact. 

Getting Started with Hawker
We’re proud to provide the motive power industry with cutting-edge battery and charger application solutions for their operations. If you still have questions about making the switch to electric for your forklift, we encourage you to give us a call at 1-877-7HAWKER or by clicking here!

We can’t wait to show you the power of electric motive power for your bottom line.


With sales and service centers across North America, HAWKER can provide the best solution for your business’ needs. From forklifts to AGVs, we offer a range of solutions that will bolster production while keeping your operation sustainable and environmentally-conscious. Contact your local HAWKER representative today by calling 1-877-7HAWKER or click here.

Do you know the latest safety stats on forklifts? Click here for the top 10 Rules of Forklift Safety!