Linde forklift truck with fuel cell technology
Key Factor: Energy

Smart Energy Systems from Linde

Compatible for the Future

With the trend for sustainability and the global energy revolution, recent years have seen the emergence of economically viable alternatives for the energy supply of industrial trucks. These bring with them a whole range of operative benefits in comparison to conventional systems. Depending on the requirements, they are more cost-effective, more efficient, and safer than IC trucks, for example. As such, industrial trucks with lithium-ion batteries or fuel cell power are gradually coming to the fore. Linde is a pioneer in the most promising technologies for the energy revolution in intralogistics.


Proven Systems for all Requirements

Linde Material Handling is driving forward the optimization of established energy systems, such as lead-acid batteries, while at the same time developing entirely new systems. Already today, there are effective, proven and safe complete solutions available that are based on lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells and can be tailored to companies’ requirements. With the transition from the pilot stage to day-to-day operations, companies increasingly need to ensure that their infrastructure is compatible for future technologies. As an intralogistics solutions provider, Linde enables the seamless and cost-effective planning, implementation, and operation of these modern energy systems –— if necessary, as a turnkey solution.

Lithium-ion Technology for Top Performance

Truck availability represents a challenge for electric forklift trucks. In the past, combustion engines had the edge here. However, with advances in lithium-ion technology—from proven applications like smartphones to use in industrial trucks—the situation has changed considerably. Lithium-ion batteries provide users with significant operative advantages in comparison to lead-acid batteries and are therefore set to supersede traditional technology. Making the switch is extremely easy and Linde can help you to calculate the cost-effectiveness before you decide to switch to lithium-ion batteries.


Fast Interim Charging

Lithium-ion batteries are easy to charge, even during short work breaks, and save the time and money required for battery changeovers.

High Energy Efficiency

Lithium-ion batteries deliver around 30 percent more energy thanks to a higher energy density. The overall system efficiency is also higher.

No Performance Loss

Even if the charge level is dropping, lithium-ion batteries deliver full power down to a value of just two percent.

Low-Maintenance and Safe

Lithium-ion batteries are a user-friendly solution: No battery gases or acids are emitted and they are easy to clean.

Order picker with lithium-ion batteries from Linde in use in a refrigerated warehouse

Powerful, Clean, and Safe to Use

Advantages like fast interim charging and uninterrupted performance come to the fore particularly in energy-intensive usage in refrigerated warehouses, multi-shift operation, or the beverage industry.

The elimination of contamination through battery gases and acids means that industrial trucks with lithium-ion batteries are also suitable for use in application areas with demanding hygiene requirements, such as in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Success Stories on the Use of Lithium-Ion Batteries

Seamless Shift Changes for Fresh Goods

Many bakeries have freshly baked rolls available from as early as 6 a.m. In order to do this, ingredients often need to be delivered during the night. Deliveries are made by wholesalers such as Gusto AG, based in Hohenpolding near Munich, where Linde order pickers with lithium-ion batteries recently began providing logistical support.

Read success story

Reliable Endurance Performers

The NORA center Wolfsburg has made it its mission to quickly supply car workshops with original spare parts from the Volkswagen Group and other manufacturers. Intralogistics has an important role to play in meeting the customers’ tight deadlines. Linde electric forklift trucks, and now also a truck with a lithium-ion battery, have a significant impact here.

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Fuel Cells for Flexible, Long-Term Use

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe so it makes sense to use it for energy recovery. That said, the development costs involved were so huge that a budget from NASA, among others, was required in order to finally make the idea for a hydrogen-driven fuel cell a reality. The result combines the countless advantages of a lithium-ion battery with an even higher level of availability, a particularly long service life, and exceptional sustainability. Whether or not fuel cells are the right energy system for a particular application depends on the specific infrastructure requirements and the operating conditions in question. Linde advises companies here with requirements analyses and feasibility studies and, if required, then implements the project from start to finish.

Linde forklift trucks with fuel cell technology in use at BMW

Fast Refueling

It only takes three minutes to fully refuel Linde fuel cells. They therefore provide availability of a similar level to combustion engines with none of the emissions.

Cost Saving

Since battery changes are no longer required, and thanks to the fast refueling times, productivity is increased; this, coupled with falling hydrogen prices, leads to savings on energy and labor costs. A service life of around 10,000 hours reduces life cycle costs.

Safe and Clean

No battery change means no hazardous acids: Fuel cells are particularly safe for users and are also suitable for use in sensitive working environments that have to comply with pharmaceutical or food standards.

Space-Saving Solution

The technology does not require battery space or charging stations as refueling is carried out at a central hydrogen fueling station. This creates extra room for valuable warehouse space.

Forklift truck with Linde fuel cell technology

Energy System for the Toughest Requirements

Fuel cells can offer major advantages for some industries. They are ideally suited to any application where a high level of availability and a consistent level of performance are required. This especially applies, for example, to production environments in the automotive industry or in demanding multi-shift operations in the online mail order sector. Clean technology is also an ideal solution wherever hygiene plays an important role, such as in the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Practical Examples of Fuel Cell Technology in Use

Study with BMW Group Confirms Cost-Effectiveness

Linde Material Handling relies on strong and experienced partners in the development of industrial trucks with fuel cell technology. In line with this, in 2013, a comprehensive investigation was launched into the economical and technical possibilities in a joint initiative with the BMW Group and the Chair for Materials Handling, Material Flow, Logistics at the Technical University of Munich under the name “H2IntraDrive.”

Practical Test in DB Schenker Handling Warehouse

“E-LOG-BioFleet” is a joint venture between Linde Material Handling, Fronius International, DB Schenker, OMV, HyCentA Research and Joanneum Research. The project—based in a DB Schenker handling warehouse in Hörsching, Austria—involved the practical testing of ten pallet trucks with hybrid fuel cell power and Europe’s first indoor hydrogen refueling facility.

Efficient Plant Logistics at Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is testing out the use of forklift trucks powered by fuel cells under the slogan “Daimler Goes Green.” The setting for this is world’s largest Sprinter plant in Düsseldorf. The popular transporters are produced in three-shift operation here.