Fuel Cells Continue to Lift Logistics Sector

Thursday, 8 August 2019 ( #935 )
Tens of thousands of fuel cell-powered forklifts and other logistics vehicles have entered operations around the world, proving to be a vital tool for a range of customers. The benefits of these zero-emission forklifts include reduced time and space requirements for fueling, along with longer running times than battery-operated vehicles - and at full power throughout the entire shift. With new and existing customers continuing to deploy fuel cell material handling vehicles, and research and development (R&D) further improving system durability and expanding markets, it is a great time to attend the Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition (FCS&EE) to see and hear the industry's latest advancements first-hand. The 2019 FCS&EE will be held November 5-7, in Long Beach, California, and is the longest running and largest U.S. conference and exposition for the fuel cell and hydrogen industry. The FCS&EE brings together hundreds of stakeholders, researchers, companies, government officials, and current and prospective customers come together to showcase and learn about the latest technological and commercial developments. In the logistics sector, there have been some important sales of fuel cells to companies to power forklifts and vehicles such as medium and heavy-duty delivery vans and trucks, with existing customers returning and new customers joining the market. Most recently:
  • In April, Lipari Foods selected Plug Power's GenDrive fuel cells as the power supply for its full fleet of material handling vehicles at its facility in Warren, Michigan.
  • Walmart expanded its fleet of more than 2,000 forklifts powered by Plug Power fuel cells with the deployment of 182 more at a new Import Distribution Center in Mobile, Alabama.
  • The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are demonstrating several different fuel cell-powered vehicles by a variety of companies, including heavy-duty drayage trucks and a fleet of container handling loaders.
The U.S. is far and away the world leader in fuel cell-powered material handling vehicles in operation, but other countries are starting to make headway:
  • Building on its experience operating the largest single fuel cell fleet in the U.S. at its South Carolina manufacturing plant, BMW has deployed 70 new forklifts at the company's factory in Leipzig, Germany.
  • The French retailer Carrefour also built on prior experience with fuel cells, adding a fleet of 137 vehicles to its newly-opened distribution facility in Vendin-le-Vieil, France.
  • German delivery giant DHL will deploy 100 fuel cell delivery vans being built by StreetScooter and Plug Power, which will combine fuel cells and batteries to significantly expand the range over purely battery-powered options.
The fuel cell industry is making an impact on material handling and the FCS&EE provides the perfect opportunity to learn more about how fuel cells can help your business increase its productivity. Registration for the 2019 Fuel Cell Seminar is now open and more updates on exhibitors, keynote speakers, and technical sessions are coming soon. For more information on the Fuel Cell Seminar, please visit