Ace Hardware has signed an agreement to buy 65 GenDrive hydrogen fuel cell powered lift trucks for its new facility in Wilmer, Texas. The lift trucks are being manufactured by Crown Equipment Corporation and the fuel cells are made by Plug Power, Inc.
According to Plug Power, Inc., “Plug Power’s GenDrive units competed against lead-acid batteries and fast charge batteries to be deemed the best power source for material handling fleet. GenDrive is able to offer Ace Hardware increased productivity of its lift truck fleet as well as a more efficient use of its facility space. Operational costs are reduced as a result of decreased operator and vehicle off floor time. GenDrive fuel cells can be fueled by truck operators in less than two minutes.
“Ace Hardware will also see reduced greenhouse gas emissions by using GenDrive power units in its operations. Because GenDrive is powered by hydrogen, the only by-products are heat and water. The removal of toxic lead-acid batteries from this new facility also creates a safer environment for employees as well as the community and helps fulfill Ace’s desire to improve the sustainability of their distribution centers.”
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know I’m a big fan of hydrogen forklifts / lift trucks / materials handling units. A few years ago, naysayers said that no hydrogen powered vehicle would ever be commercialized. And they were wrong. Hydrogen lift trucks offer a lot of advantages including reduced indoor air pollution. And of course, the fuel cell forklift drivers of today will be the hydrogen auto drivers of tomorrow.