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How can I extend the lifespan of my electric forklift battery?

For businesses, owning an electric forklift is an important part of their everyday operations. Electric forklifts provide a more efficient and cheaper way to move goods and products around the workplace. However, the lifespan of your electric forklift battery can be one of the most costly components to maintain.

At TAG Forklifts, we understand how important it is to get the most out of your electric forklift battery investment. That’s why we’ve put together this article on how you can extend your battery life and save money in the long run. Here are some tips from our experts on keeping your battery working at its best for longer.

Understanding Electric Forklift Batteries

Electric forklift batteries are an integral part of any industrial forklift, providing the necessary power to operate the vehicle. Understanding how these batteries function is crucial to maximising their lifespan and ensuring optimal performance from your forklift.

Components of an electric forklift battery

How they function

Lead-acid cells

Produce electricity through a chemical reaction between the acid and lead in the cells

Positive and negative plates

Alternate to create movement of electrons, generating electricity

Electrolyte solution

Allows for the transfer of ions between the plates, generating electricity

The lifespan of an electric forklift battery is influenced by a variety of factors, including usage patterns, charging practices, and maintenance routines. By understanding and addressing these factors, you can extend the life of your battery and avoid costly replacements.

It’s important to note that electric forklift batteries have a limited lifespan, typically ranging from three to five years. However, proper maintenance and charging practices can help to prolong the life of the battery and optimise forklift performance.

Factors that impact battery lifespan

  • Usage patterns: Heavy usage and frequent deep discharging can decrease battery life.
  • Charging practices: Overcharging or undercharging can damage the battery and reduce its lifespan.
  • Maintenance routines: Neglecting regular cleaning and inspection can cause corrosion and damage to the battery, reducing its lifespan.

By prioritising proper charging techniques, regular maintenance, and optimal usage practices, you can help to maximise the lifespan of your electric forklift battery and enjoy cost savings, improved performance, and increased productivity.

Best Practices for Charging Electric Forklift Batteries

Proper charging techniques are crucial to extending the lifespan of your electric forklift battery. By following these best practices, you can ensure the battery stays healthy and performs optimally for a longer period of time.

1. Use the Right Charging Equipment

Using the correct charging equipment is essential to maintaining the lifespan of your electric forklift battery. Make sure the charger is compatible with your battery, as using incompatible chargers can cause damage and reduce the battery’s lifespan. It’s always best to use the charger recommended by the battery manufacturer.

2. Avoid Overcharging or Undercharging

Overcharging or undercharging the battery can also harm battery health and reduce its lifespan. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for charging time and voltage. Charging for too long or at too high a voltage can cause the battery to overheat, while undercharging can lead to sulfation, a process that damages the battery’s cells.

3. Establish a Regular Charging Schedule

Establishing a regular charging schedule for your electric forklift battery can help ensure it remains charged and healthy. Try to keep the battery charged between 20-80% as this is the optimal charging range for electric forklift batteries. Avoid running the battery down to zero as this can damage the cells and reduce the battery’s lifespan.

By implementing these best practices, you can extend the lifespan of your electric forklift battery and avoid costly replacements. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and consult with a professional if you have any doubts or questions.

Effective Battery Maintenance for Electric Forklifts

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity of your electric forklift battery. Here are some effective battery maintenance tips to keep your battery healthy:



Inspect battery and charger cables


Clean battery terminals


Inspect battery and charger for any damage or leaks


Check and maintain proper water levels


Follow manufacturer guidelines for maintenance and servicing

As recommended

Inspecting the battery and charger cables weekly ensures that there is no damage or wear and tear that could lead to a breakdown. Clean the battery terminals weekly to remove any debris that may have accumulated on it, as this can interfere with the battery’s performance and cause a shorter lifespan. Inspect the battery and charger daily for any damage or leaks that may cause it to malfunction. Checking for proper water levels weekly is important to prevent overheating and damage to the battery. Finally, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance and servicing to ensure that the battery is in good condition and performs optimally.

By following these maintenance tips, your electric forklift battery will have an extended lifespan, perform better, and save you money in the long run!

Optimal Usage Practices for Electric Forklift Batteries

The way a forklift’s battery is used can significantly impact its lifespan. By following best practices for usage, you can extend the battery’s longevity and save on replacement costs.

Driving Techniques

Proper driving techniques can help reduce unnecessary battery drain. Encourage forklift operators to avoid sudden starts and stops, limit their speed when carrying heavy loads, and take turns slowly. Additionally, operators should avoid using the forklift as a makeshift loading dock or ladder, as this can cause damage to both the forklift and the battery.

Minimising Unnecessary Battery Drain

Anything that draws power from the forklift’s battery can reduce its lifespan. Train operators to be mindful of their actions when using the forklift. Encourage them to turn off lights and other accessories when not in use, and to park the forklift in a designated charging area when it’s not needed.

Avoiding Excessive Loads

Overloading a forklift can put unnecessary strain on the battery. Make sure that operators are aware of the weight limits for their specific forklift and that they adhere to them. Encourage them to make multiple trips instead of trying to carry too much at once.

Choosing the Right Electric Forklift Battery

Investing in the right electric forklift battery is crucial for maximising performance and longevity. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best battery for your forklift:



Battery Capacity

Choose a battery with sufficient capacity to meet the demands of your operation. Consider the weight of the loads, the frequency of use, and the run time required.


Select a battery with the correct voltage to match the forklift’s electric system. Check the forklift manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations.


There are different types of electric forklift batteries available, including lead-acid, lithium-ion, and nickel-cadmium batteries. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so research each option before making a decision.

Additionally, it is important to choose a battery from a reputable and reliable manufacturer. High-quality batteries are likely to have greater longevity and come with better warranties.

Remember, investing in the right electric forklift battery can save you money in the long run and improve the performance and efficiency of your forklift.

Utilising Gas Forklifts as an Alternative

For those looking for an alternative to electric forklifts, gas-powered forklifts provide a viable option. While electric forklift batteries can provide significant cost savings in the long run, gas forklifts have their advantages too. Here are some things to consider when choosing between the two forklift options.


Electric Forklifts

Gas Forklifts


Higher initial cost due to the battery and charging equipment

Lower initial cost due to the lack of battery and charging equipment


May be limited due to charging requirements

Readily available due to easy refilling of fuel tanks

Environmental Impact

Less significant than gas forklifts, as electric forklifts produce no emissions while in use

Can produce emissions, which may be harmful to the environment

When considering gas forklifts, it is important to note that there are different types of gas forklifts available, including LPG and propane forklifts. These types of gas forklifts may be more environmentally friendly than traditional gas-powered forklifts.

It is also important to note that gas forklifts may not be suitable for indoor use due to their emissions. However, gas forklift manufacturers and dealers can provide guidance on the most suitable forklifts for different environments and needs.

Overall, gas-powered forklifts provide a viable alternative to electric forklifts. Choosing between the two options ultimately depends on individual needs and factors such as cost, availability, and environmental impact.

For Reliable Electric Forklifts, Call TAG Forklifts Today

Considering all the pros and cons of gas-powered forklifts, they remain a reliable and cost-effective option for many businesses. If you are in the market for a gas or electric forklift, TAG Forklifts is the perfect partner to help you make the right decision. With years of experience helping businesses find the right forklifts for their needs, our knowledgeable team can provide advice on the best option for your specific environment. Contact us today to find out more about how we can be your reliable source of electric and gas forklifts.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about electric forklift battery lifespan:

Q: How long do electric forklift batteries last?

A: The lifespan of an electric forklift battery can vary depending on several factors, such as usage patterns, charging practices, maintenance routines, and environmental conditions. On average, a well-maintained battery can last between five to seven years.

Q: How can I tell if my electric forklift battery needs to be replaced?

A: Signs that your battery may need to be replaced include a decrease in performance, reduced operating time, frequent watering, and damage or corrosion on the battery casing. A professional technician can perform a battery assessment to determine if replacement is necessary.

Q: Can I overcharge my electric forklift battery?

A: Yes, overcharging can cause damage to the battery and decrease its lifespan. It is important to use the correct charging equipment and follow the recommended charging times and procedures from the battery manufacturer.

Q: How often should I charge my electric forklift battery?

A: It is recommended to establish a regular charging schedule based on the usage patterns of the forklift. Typically, batteries should be charged when they reach 30-50% capacity. Overcharging or undercharging can decrease the battery’s lifespan.

Q: Do I need to water my electric forklift battery?

A: Yes, it is important to maintain proper water levels in the battery to prevent damage and prolong its lifespan. The frequency of watering depends on the battery usage, but it is typically recommended to check the water levels every five to ten charging cycles.