Intralogistics solutions provider Jungheinrich this week gave the media and clients a preview of the future of sustainable logistics, with attendees at the company’s Innovations & Highlights seminar, in Hamburg, Germany, given a sneak peek of a pioneer counterbalance truck, the P30i.
Jungheinrich is headquartered in Hamburg, and has global operations, including in South Africa.
The P30i is a new concept that Jungheinrich is developing. It said development was progressing well and that the truck would enter the market by 2021.
The P30i is a high-voltage electric forklift truck in the shell of a diesel truck – an electric counterbalance truck with the power of a combustion engine.
The truck is the first lithium-ion truck that has the power, robustness and ergonomics typical of a combustion engine, with the economy and emission-free operation of an electric truck, the company pointed out.
Jungheinrich intends to lead the transition from diesel to electric trucks and to be at the forefront of sustainability. In this vein, the P30i builds a bridge between diesel and electric, by combining the best features of each.
The truck combines the chassis overhead guards, wheels and masts of a typical diesel truck with the drive axle, lift motor and control unit of an electric truck.
The P30i has a lifting speed that is 25% faster than that of classic electric counterbalance trucks.
Its climbing ability is one-third better than that of a classic Jungheinrich EFG truck.
The modular arrangement of the lithium-ion batteries has enabled Jungheinrich to make considerable weight savings compared with conventional battery-powered trucks. This increases the truck's agility in operation, while simultaneously reducing energy consumption.
The truck ticks the boxes of performance and efficiency, provides quality ergonomics and safety, and is easy to service, the company stated.
Moreover, it is future ready, boasting the ability to accommodate and integrate digitisation, assistance systems and automation technologies, both present ones and those that are yet to be developed.
Owing to its high-voltage lithium-ion technology, the truck is posited to set the standard in terms of sustainability.
The lithium-ion battery can be used at temperatures from -20 °C to 40 °C.
Furthermore, Jungheinrich also unveiled a newly developed battery charger suitable for use under adverse outdoor conditions. Owing to its Ingress Protection 54 housing, it can be used in temperatures from -20 °C to 55 °C.
The P30i also does not emit any exhaust emissions, thereby negating the soot and fine dust pollution emitted by diesel trucks.
The truck also does not create any noise pollution.
Calculated over its entire service life, the P30i will emit 52% less carbon dioxide than a truck with a combustion engine in today's European power mix – despite the higher energy input required for its manufacture.
With regard to the lithium-ion battery for the P30i, Jungheinrich makes use of lithium-iron phosphate as the cell chemistry and deliberately dispenses with the use of the controversial raw material cobalt. This is of particular interest in Africa, where, for example, there have been reports of child labour being used to mine this resource in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Therefore, the truck contributes to the sustainable and emission-free flow of conflict-free materials in the future.
These sustainability features are aligned to Jungheinrich’s goal to be a market leader in developing, producing, recycling, and ecologically using energy systems for forklift trucks and mobile working machines. Currently, 98% of the company’s trucks are electric.
POWERFUL OUTDOOR CAPABILITIES
For the P30i, Jungheinrich has further developed the chassis of its new hydrostat, integrating electric drive and the latest high-voltage lithium-ion technology.
The frame, operator protection cab and tyres are specially designed for tough outdoor use.
The vehicle is driven by two electric motors. A lithium-ion battery, which is permanently installed in the vehicle in two modules of 25 kWh each, supplies the P30i with sufficient power for intensive use in up to three shifts.
A newly developed comfort charging socket and an ergonomic charging plug is slated to make intermediate charging as effective and efficient as refuelling in future.
In combination with high-voltage technology, this gives the P30i particularly high availability and more power in outdoor use.
Particularly when operating on uneven ground, the longer wheelbase and a driver's cab decoupled from the frame result in quieter handling.
For the driver, the P30i offers a level of working comfort that could not previously be achieved with electric counterbalance trucks, said Jungheinrich.
Owing to lithium-ion battery modules being fully integrated into the truck, the battery trough under the cab can be eliminated for the first time on a Jungheinrich EFG.
The result is a considerably larger space with significantly more legroom for the driver. At the same time, the driver's all-round view of the goods being transported and the vehicle environment has been improved, posited to increase safety in operation.
Other improvements for drivers include new comfort seats, a powerful heating system and air conditioning.
Jungheinrich has already recorded one test run of the truck with a first customer, and feedback gleaned was “nothing but positive”.
This has assured the company that it is on the right track with pursuing this development.
Jungheinrich is confident that the truck will meet all the criteria and targets set regarding performance, outdoor capabilities, sustainability and ergonomics, thereby making diesel forklift trucks effectively obsolete.
*Tasneem Bulbulia was a guest of Jungheinrich at the Innovations & Highlights seminar, in Hamburg, Germany.