How to Make Sure Your Business is Ready for 2040
It’s likely that you’ve heard about the new legislation regarding the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans.
From 2040, all new petrol and diesel cars and vans (and in all likelihood, petrol and diesel engines in general) will be banned from sale in the UK and France in a bid to increase air quality in our towns and cities. It’s also quite likely that many other European countries will follow suit over the next few years.
This ultimately means that we’ll need to start thinking about how we can start making changes to reduce our reliance on petrol and diesel engines, before the ban comes into force.
How will the 2040 ban affect the material handling industry?
Although 2040 seems a fairly long way off, is 20 years really enough to ensure that new infrastructure and processes are put in place to support the ban when it finally comes in?
This is a challenge that will affect almost every industry but will have a very specific impact on the material handling industry.
As it stands, the majority of forklifts are battery operated, and a lot of the charging infrastructure is already in place to ensure that everything remains operational. However, we start to run into issues when we consider forklifts that are operating outside for extended periods of time, those that are performing heavy-duty tasks, or those that have a need for greater flexibility due to unexpected peaks and troughs in their operation.
In these cases, electric or hybrid vehicles tend to lag behind in terms of performance, durability, battery life and flexibility in comparison to their diesel or LPG counterparts.
Now is the time to put processes in place within businesses to move away from the reliance on diesel trucks and prepare for the new innovations that will transform how businesses operate.
It’s becoming increasingly likely that these new innovations will include huge advancements in battery technology. While there is already a range of battery powered forklifts available on the market, the real work needs to be down to forklift companies finding the right battery solution for their customers.
Forklift batteries ‘represent roughly 1/4 of the total cost of the truck and last around five years, depending on duty and careful maintenance. But there are plenty of cases where batteries last much longer.
Five years is a fairly long time, but for busy operations, are you really getting the ROI from your truck, and have you considered how you will mitigate against downtime if one or several trucks require a battery change or general maintenance at the same time?
It looks like our biggest challenge will be sourcing batteries that are able to keep up with the demands of our industry, and with new technological advances in lithium-ion and renewable energy sources, a solution may be around the corner.
What will you need to consider before the 2040 ban comes into force?
Either way, by 2040, all new forklift trucks will need to be battery operated, or rely on other low emission fuel technologies, so how can you ensure that you’re ready for the change?