Crown Equipment Corporation, a global forklift manufacturer, announces that it has built its 500th new forklift to be operated with fuel cells. This is in addition to the Crown forklifts already in operation that have been retrofitted during the last few years to accommodate fuel cells. The achievement represents a notable milestone signifying the increased adoption of this technology in the material handling industry.
A Crown SR 5000 Series moving-mast reach truck was the 500th truck to be built with a fuel cell. The truck designed for fuel cells, which will be delivered later this year as part of a larger order, maintains similar features and benefits presented by the standard model. The Crown SR 5000 is the latest forklift to be qualified as part of Crown’s fuel cell qualification program for its line of electric forklifts.
To date, Crown has qualified more than 20 of its electric forklift models to operate with various fuel cells, offering an unprecedented 29 qualified combinations of fuel cell packs and lift trucks. Some of the current line of Crown forklifts powered by fuel cells include the Crown PC 4500 Series center control pallet forklift, the Crown SP 3500 Series stockpicker, and the Crown FC 4500 Series counterbalanced forklift. Applications have varied from Walmart Canada’s sustainable distribution center in Alberta to the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated production center in North Carolina.
“An increasing number of our customers are considering fuel cell-powered forklifts as a viable option. They are coming to us with questions and asking for help determining if and how this technology can be integrated into their fleets and facilities,” says Ernst Baumgartner, Crown’s fuel cell project manager. “Crown continues to work closely with fuel cell manufacturers to guide the evolution of the technology and increase levels of fuel cell integration with lift trucks.”
The company’s fuel cell initiative is a component of its commitment to environmental sustainability throughout its business. A copy of Crown’s 2010 ecologic report highlighting the company’s sustainability initiatives and accomplishments can be downloaded from the company's website.