Hydrogen Fuel Cell Forklifts Make Australian Debut, Driving Emissions Tech Ahead

Japan is at the forefront of some pretty neat technology that is aiming to change the way we look at and operate emissions vehicles. In fact, carbon dioxide emissions are exactly what they're trying to eliminate. While the road is long, we're making strides slowly but surely. Already, these advanced vehicles are being tested in Australia. If you're interested in previewing the future of forklift technology, then read on.


Modern forklifts are generally powered in five ways: diesel, electricity, gasoline, propane, and battery. That's a list that will need to be updated in the near future as Toyota just employed two hydrogen fuel cell forklifts to move car parts around at a center in Australia. Dubbed the Toyota Material Handling fuel cell forklifts, they're the first of their kind to be used by forklift operators outside of Japan.


“The forklifts have a much quicker refueling time. They only take around three minutes to fill the H2 tank compared to eight hours to recharge a conventional battery. This means we can use these forklifts more often,” said Bob Walmsley, who is the GM of Corporate Compliance and Project Development at Toyota Material Handling in Australia.


The hydrogen fuel cell forklifts also emit zero carbon dioxide. Even further, forklift repair services, parts replacement, and general maintenance are predicted to be easier and faster than traditional forklifts. A couple of lucky forklift operators will be driving the future of material handling around a Toyota warehouse and, potentially, the future of vehicle emissions technology as a whole.


It'll be interesting to see where the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel cell technology go in the years to come. The two forklifts will be shipped to Australia sometime in the next month. The fuel cell forklifts entering Australia is running in tandem with another trial that Toyota is spearheading with a Melbourne City Council. Over a 12 week period, the city council will be driving three Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles. Powered by hydrogen and electricity, the Mirai also emits zero carbon dioxide. Strong moves by Toyota and Australia.


As research and equipment expertise continue, these communities are confident they can reach an eventual goal of zero carbon emissions. Who'd have thought that forklifts would be some of the frontrunners of completely environmentally friendly transportation? That certainly lifts our spirits.

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