California-based material handling vehicle manufacturer Wiggins Lift has selected Canada’s Loop Energy to supply the fuel cell system for its new hydrogen-powered eBull forklift product.
Under the agreement, Loop will deliver its S300 fuel cell system with a power output of 30 kW in the second quarter of this year, supporting the commercial deployment of the hydrogen-electric forklifts in late 2023.
Wiggins says it was one of the first manufacturers to provide battery-electric forklifts and aims to be an early mover in the hydrogen-electric material-handling vehicle segment. The company says its decision to build hydrogen-electric forklifts is driven by the operating benefits offered by fuel cells, including the ability to meet a range duty cycles and fast refuelling times.
Powered by the S300 system, Wiggins’ eBull forklift will be used to transport bulk cargo, boats and equipment at ports and marinas.
“We see the increased operational uptime and capacity to achieve higher duty cycles that fuel cell-powered vehicles can offer as key points of difference for our customers,” said Michele Wiggins, CEO of Wiggins. “Loop Energy’s commitment to customer support and delivering a high-performing product made it easy to choose them as our technology provider.”
With ports in California aiming to achieve net zero by 2030 and faced with electrical grid challenges, hydrogen has emerged as a feasible solution with zero emissions to complete port operations.
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The material handling market has seen significant growth in both hydrogen-electric and battery-electric vehicles. It is estimated that the global forklift truck segment will require more than 1.5 million units of forklift trucks per year, with as many as 60-percent of these trucks being completely electrified.
“Wiggins’ vehicles operate in some of the world’s busiest and most productive ports,” said Ben Nyland, President & CEO of Loop Energy. “Their decision to choose our fuel cells further validates our technology and hydrogen’s role in transforming this large market segment.”
Based in Burnaby, British Columbia, Loop Energy is a designer and manufacturer of fuel cell systems targeted for the electrification of commercial vehicles, including light commercial vehicles, transit buses and medium and heavy-duty trucks.
In October, Italian bus manufacturer Rampini Carlo SpA unveiled its first hydrogen-electric bus to be powered by Loop Energy fuel cell technology.