This online tool will show you how much propane forklifts could save over electric ones

by Brianna Crandall — January 8, 2020 — The nonprofit Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) released a free online cost calculator in recent months that allows facilities managers (FMs) to quickly determine how much they could save by operating propane-powered forklifts.

Jeremy Wishart, PERC director of Off-Road Business Development, explained:

With this new tool, facility managers can have the data at their fingertips, giving them an easier way to compare the operational costs between forklift fuels. In the end, many facility managers are surprised to learn that, when compared with other forklift fuels, propane has proven to be the most cost-effective option.

To calculate potential savings, users input a few data points such as number of forklifts, usage hours, forklift purchase amount, and fuel price. Then, the forklift calculator will yield the overall cost comparisons between propane and electric forklifts. The output will provide operating costs, including the cost of batteries and fuel, along with the total ownership costs and potential savings.

According to data from PERC, propane forklifts cost less than other options at acquisition. In fact, capital costs of propane forklifts are almost 30 percent lower than electric. Plus, electric forklifts incur additional utility and infrastructure costs to keep them charged. With propane, FMs are only responsible for buying and storing cylinders, in addition to purchase and fuel costs.

Wishart concluded:

When you crunch the numbers on the long-term costs of forklift fuel options, propane takes top billing in a lot of ways. Propane forklifts consistently cost less than other fuels, providing cost savings throughout ownership to businesses operating on propane.

Those interested can view and use the Forklift Cost Calculator on the PERC website. Operated and funded by the propane industry, the nonprofit Propane Education and Research Council provides propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies.