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Komatsu Engineers World’s First Hybrid Forklift

In a time when being environmentally conscious is not only a trend but a necessity, Komatsu has responded by engineering the world’s first hybrid electric forklift. Komatsu modified their popular selling AE50 four-wheel electric model pneumatic tire forklift into a hybrid powered by two energy sources.

In a process that took five years, Komatsu developed the capacitor as an alternate energy source for this electric powered forklift. The result is a large capacitor that works in conjunction with a sealed, maintenance-free motive power industrial battery to conserve energy and operate at a peak performance level throughout the work cycle.

kom_hybridThe concept behind the AE50 Hybrid involves the sealed, maintenance-free battery, less energy consumption and longer operating hours per charge. The battery saves time, money and water. The sealed battery eliminates handling because it does not have to be removed to charge. The battery allows for 11 hours of operation with a one-hour quick charge at a scheduled operator break. That means, while the operator is taking a break after 6 hours of operation, the battery is charging for another shift cycle. Instead of unwanted downtime, you get a truck that is ready to operate at peak performance for 11 hours.

The capacitor is an auxiliary power source, designed to recapture regenerated current developed within the system and make it available for immediate use as a power source. Traditionally, regenerated current was mostly burned off as heat instead of being returned to the battery. For the consumer, that translates into more efficient operations when other electric trucks start to lose power. The AE50 Hybrid stays productive throughout the entire work cycle.

With 20% less CO2 emissions than traditional electric forklifts, Komatsu’s AE50 Hybrid is truly the greenest forklift on the planet. Not only does this revolutionary lift truck conserve energy, it creates a more productive work cycle. The AE50 Hybrid is currently in production in Japan and will be released in North America at some time in the near future.

Please contact MHI, Inc. for more information on future availability.