NEW BREMEN, Ohio (August 31, 2010) — Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world’s leading forklift manufacturers, has qualified 20 of its electric forklift models to operate with various fuel cells. The company now offers 29 qualified combinations of fuel cell packs and trucks. With this accomplishment, Crown has taken a significant step forward for the industry in certifying the performance, efficiency and safety standards of counterbalanced, stockpicker, reach, tow and pallet trucks powered by fuel cells. Many of these forklifts are already in use at customer locations throughout the world.
In 2009, Crown was the first lift truck manufacturer to introduce a fuel cell qualification program. The program approves Crown electric forklifts for use with fuel cell packs and provides certifications to customers. To qualify a fuel cell pack and truck combination, Crown’s engineers first review key performance metrics for a battery-powered truck, such as traction, plugging, and lift and travel speeds. They then replace the battery with a fuel cell power pack and measure the same indicators. Through both modeling and application testing, the research team determines specific design modifications needed to ensure the fuel cell-powered forklift matched the performance, efficiency and safety standards to which the truck was initially designed.
“This accomplishment further demonstrates Crown’s leadership position in the strategic deployment of fuel cell-powered forklifts,” said Eric Jensen, Crown’s manager of new technology, research and development. “We’ve been steadfast in our position that deployment of a fuel cell forklift fleet must be carefully evaluated and tested for appropriate use in a warehouse. This research-based approach means that our customers can confidently know they have the right truck for their chosen fuel cell, allowing them to meet their performance, safety and environmental sustainability goals.”
Crown continues to work closely with a variety of fuel cell manufacturers and customers to qualify trucks as new fuel cell pack models are introduced and fuel cell technology continues to advance. The company is also moving forward with the next phase of its fuel cell research program, which focuses on increasing levels of fuel cell integration with the truck.
“Forklifts are a key early market for fuel cells,” said Lisa Callaghan Jerram, senior market analyst for Fuel Cell Today, a leading analyst firm providing market-based research on the fuel cell industry. “Based on our market research, we have found strong growth in this sector in the past three years.”
Crown conducts its fuel cell testing at a 25,000-square-foot research facility near Dayton, Ohio, that is dedicated solely to this purpose. The company’s fuel cell initiative is a critical component of its commitment to environmental sustainability throughout its business. A copy of the 2010 Crown ecologic Report highlighting the company’s sustainability initiatives and accomplishments can be downloaded at www.crown.com.
About Crown Equipment Corporation
Crown is one of the world’s largest lift truck manufacturers. Crown’s award-winning line of lift trucks maintains a reputation for exceptional product design, engineering and manufacturing. From the smallest hand pallet truck to the highest lifting turret truck, Crown seeks to provide users with safe, efficient and ergonomic lift trucks that lower total cost of ownership and maximize uptime. Headquartered in New Bremen, Ohio, Crown manufactures lift trucks that are sold throughout the world. For more information, visit www.crown.com.
Crown Equipment aknowledges the contribution of the State of Ohio, Department of Development and the Third Frontier Commission which provided the funding in support of the qualification of lift trucks for battery replacement fuel cell projects.