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Electric Forklifts: The Winning Option for Businesses

Toyota Electric Forklifts in Warehouse

As technology continues to improve, many businesses are looking to make the switch to electric forklifts and vehicles or add them to their current fleet. Electric forklifts and other electric vehicles have many advantages, which makes them an excellent fit for warehouses and businesses.  

One of the driving factors in switching to electric forklifts, especially in California are due to the proposed regulations on internal combustion engine forklifts made by California's Air Resource Board or CARB.

CARB recently changed the proposed regulations on internal combustion engine forklifts sold and operated in California. CARB's proposed regulations are part of their goal to meet the state's air quality and greenhouse gas reduction goals. 

CARB's Proposed 2028 Regulations

  • Restrict sale of internal combustion engine forklifts
  • Restrict sale, rental, or lease of IC forklifts with an under 12,000 lbs. lift capacity
  • End all sales of IC forklifts by 2030
  • Restrict IC forklift rentals starting in 2026
  • Special provisions for fleets with 25 or fewer forklifts
  • Requires gradual retirement of Large Spark Ignition forklifts based on model – year phase out of 2025 model year and older starting in 2028 (previously 2026)


With the proposed regulations, many businesses may need to consider electric forklifts and other electric vehicles. Electric forklifts and other electric vehicles have many advantages. 

Rechargeable Batteries

Electric forklifts use either lithium ion (Li) or lead-acid batteries. These batteries can be recharged. A challenge for those looking to switch to electric forklifts is the battery and battery related maintenance.

Electric forklifts have batteries that need to be charged, so charging times need to be factored into when the forklift is used. One of the best ways to make sure your business is making the most out of all the equipment they have is to take a comprehensive look at their equipment usage. This will help maximize your equipment. 

No Exhaust Fumes

One of the benefits of electric forklifts and other electric vehicles is the lack of exhaust fumes. Exhaust fumes are not only harmful to the environment, but harmful to workers, especially for those working in enclosed spaces.  

Quieter Operations

Electric forklifts and vehicles are quieter than diesel. This makes them a better option inside warehouses and other enclosed spaces. The quieter operations make it easier for employees to communicate which increases safety. Prolonged exposure to constant loud noise can damage hearing over time. Electric forklifts and vehicles can get the job done with less noise.  

Indoor and Outdoor Friendly

Electric forklifts can get the job done both indoors and outdoors. Electric forklifts do not emit fumes, making them well suited for indoor work. They also are easy to maneuver in tight aisle spaces. Overall, IC forklifts are better suited for outdoor use, but electric forklifts have been catching up. Thanks to advances in the industry, electric forklifts can do the outdoor work IC forklifts are known for.  

Less Mechanical Maintenance

With the absence of certain mechanical components related to an internal combustion engine, electric forklifts require less mechanical maintenance. They are also less likely to break down, so you can save money on operating costs and reduce downtime.  

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Choosing electric forklifts and vehicles results in lower total cost of ownership than IC engine forklifts and vehicles. While electric forklifts have a higher upfront cost, they are more cost effective than IC engine forklifts long term. One of these upfront costs includes charging stations for the batteries. Using electricity is cheaper than having to fuel up. Electric forklifts also tend to have longer lifespans than IC forklifts.  

Ergonomic Design

Along with the evolution in design so electric forklifts can operate outdoors, electric forklifts have had changes in design to become more ergonomic. The ergonomic design provides operators a cushioned, highly visible vehicle to operate in, leading to increased safety for employees, the machines, and the product. There are plenty of options for businesses looking for electric forklifts and electric vehicles with ergonomic designs.

For businesses looking to add electric forklifts or electric vehicles to their fleet, or to make the switch from IC forklifts, our team at Madland Toyota-Lift can help you find the equipment you need. Contact us or stop by one of our locations to learn more. 

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Wednesday, 21 February 2024