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Difference Between Electric and Diesel Forklift

February 6, 2023
Difference Between Electric and Diesel Forklift

Forklifts are perhaps the most widely used machinery, carrying, stocking, and transporting heavy materials across warehouses and large workplaces. Forklifts are versatile and valuable tools used for moving materials safely and efficiently. There are different types of forklifts available in the market, depending on the size, fuel used, etc. However, the two main forklifts that are widely used across the warehouse industry are diesel forklifts and electric forklifts.

Let’s understand the different types of forklifts along with their fundamental differences.

Diesel vs Electric Forklifts

Diesel and electric forklifts do the same primary job. They lift, load, unload and move products and materials from one place to another. Both these types of forklifts can lift and transport heavy loads safely. What separates the two is their usage.

1. Diesel Forklift

Diesel Forklift

Diesel forklifts, also called internal combustion forklifts, run on diesel. These forklifts have sturdy designs making them suitable for various industries, including warehouse, construction, agriculture, etc.

Benefits of Diesel Forklifts

  • Size: Compared to electric forklifts, diesel ones are bigger, making them suitable for outdoor tasks.
  • Load Capacity: Diesel forklifts are big, they can handle heavy loads and materials. Moreover, they can accelerate faster, making them ideal for bigger jobs.
  • Higher Torque: Diesel forklifts have bigger engines, generating higher torque required for heavy-duty operations.
  • Stability: These forklifts can work on rough terrains and remain much more stable than electric forklifts.

Drawbacks of Diesel Forklifts

  • Maintenance: Diesel forklifts require regular maintenance to check for issues such as fuel leaks.
  • Health Hazards: Since these forklifts are fueled by diesel, they generate more emissions than electric forklifts. Moreover, diesel forklifts are dangerous in non-ventilated areas.

2. Electric Forklifts

Electric Forklifts

Unlike diesel forklifts, electric forklifts run on batteries and are widely used in retail operations, grocery stores, and manufacturing centres.

Benefits of Electric Forklifts:

  • Minimal Pollution: Since these forklifts run on batteries instead of fuel, they don’t emit any harmful emissions like carbon monoxide. Thus, creating a healthier environment for employees.
  • Quiet Operation: Forklifts that operate quietly don't create the same health hazards as loud forklifts.
  • Easy Maintenance: Electric forklifts are comparatively easier to maintain and require trained employees to oversee battery conditions.

Drawbacks of Electric Forklifts

  • Battery Drainage: In heavy lifting situations, electricity from electric forklifts loses power faster than from diesel forklifts.
  • Slower Acceleration: Forklifts powered by electric motors accelerate slower than those powered by diesel motors. Despite this, companies have reported that fast forklifts aren’t as safer as electric forklifts that have long-lasting tires.

Final Thoughts

Forklifts remain a critical piece of machinery in the warehouse industry. While both types of forklifts are excellent at handling heavy loads, one should purchase a forklift from a reputed manufacturer only.

Hyundai Construction Equipment India offers robust, high-quality diesel, Electric and Gas forklifts for heavy-duty operations. These forklifts are available in diverse load handling ranges, providing faster operation cycles and ease of use. Thus, if you are looking to purchase a forklift, Hyundai Construction Equipment India is the way to go.


Vivek Thakur

Head MHE

Vivek is the Head of Material Handling Equipment at Hyundai Construction Equipment India, with over 20+ years of experience in the Material Handling industry. Vivek is involved in making overall business development strategy, sales, planning, dealer management and customer relation.

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