Linde Material Handling, a KION Group company, has expanded its range of forklift trucks to include the first Linde Roadster with fuel cell drive.

The forklift and warehouse trucks manufacturer said its customers were looking for economical energy solutions with the CO2 footprint playing a decisive role in this context.

For two decades now, Linde Material Handling has been working on the development of series-production industrial trucks with fuel cells.

“In 1997, we were ahead of the game, focusing intensively on this promising technology, and production of the first trucks started in 2010,” said Markus Weinberger, International Product Manager Energy Solutions.

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Source: Linde Material Handling

“Today, we offer the largest range of fuel cell-powered industrial trucks on the market. Around 80% of our models can be ordered with this promising energy option. These include pallet trucks, tow tractors and reach trucks as well as counterbalanced trucks including the Roadster model.”

Energy production is through a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. The electricity generated in this way feeds a lithium-ion battery, which in turn supplies the traction and lift motors; at the same time, the accumulator serves as an intermediate storage for recovered braking energy and as a “power reserve” for peak periods of demand. The only by-products during the process are heat and pure water. The latter is pumped off during hydrogen refuelling.

“Our customers are looking for economical energy solutions and more and more often the CO2 footprint is playing a decisive role in this context,” Weinberger explained.

“Our sales consultants can offer them a wide range of possible energy solutions, from electric drives with lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries to fuel cell powered vehicles or combustion engine drives using diesel, LPG or natural gas. The best solution always depends on the local conditions.”

About Linde Material Handling

The roots of Linde Material Handling date back to the beginning of the 20th century. Together with Hugo Güldner and Georg von Krauss, Carl von Linde founded the company in 1904.

In 1955 the development of the first vehicle with a hydrostatic drive and the first truck with this drive concept in 1960 laid the foundation for Linde Material Handling’s rise to one of the world’s largest manufacturers of forklift trucks and warehouse equipment.

In September 2006 Linde AG (then operating as The Linde Group) announced a new structure following the completion of its acquisition of BOC.

Linde AG sold its materials handling businesses (Linde Material Handling, STILL and OM Carrelli Elevatori S.p.A), operating as KION Group, to a partnership of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for approximately €4bn.