Storopack

Narrow Aisle Ltd – manufacturer of the iconic Flexi range of articulated forklift trucks – has announced that, as part of its corporate responsibility towards the environment, it will no longer offer LP Gas-powered Flexi models.

It is understood that Narrow Aisle is the first manufacturer in its sector to drop LPG-powered articulated trucks from its product portfolio.

The company is focusing on the further development and production of battery-powered trucks with emphasis on lithium-ion technology which, Narrow Aisle believe, is ideally suited to the needs of modern, 24/7 logistics and e-fulfilment operations.

John Maguire, managing director of Narrow Aisle Ltd, commented: “As a company Narrow Aisle has pledged to operate in the most environmentally responsible way possible. Lithium-ion-powered trucks match the performance of LPG types but without the drawbacks of high fuel costs, noise and emissions, maintenance downtime and increasing legislation issues.

“The move towards battery-powered vehicles is gathering pace in the automotive industry and we are delighted to be taking a lead within our sector of the materials handling industry by announcing this elimination of LPG-powered Flexi trucks.

“As electric drive technology continues to evolve and modern flexible power sources such as lithium-ion have become established, we see it as essential that we constantly rethink our product offering.” Historically a popular fuel source for IC-engine lift trucks, sales of LPG forklifts have been in decline for a number of years due in part to concerns over workers’ health and the wider environmental impact of IC engine emissions.

The cost of running LPG truck fleets in comparison with materials handling equipment driven by advanced battery electric technology, has also contributed significantly to the fall-off in demand for LPG forklifts.

John Maguire said: “The control systems and catalytic converters required to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from LPG emissions add significantly to a truck’s operating costs.

“Furthermore, there are many differing emission control and operating noise level standards and rules across the world which make the manufacture and operation of engine powered tracks more and more difficult in many markets.”

Narrow Aisle launched its first lithium-ion-powered Flexi model in 2018 since which time Flexi LiTHiON models have become a popular choice among a wide range of customer groups.

John Maguire, who gained a key insight into the UK’s logistics service industry between 2011 and 2014 when he served as Chairman of the UK Warehousing Association, said: “The Flexi LiTHiON range above all provides immediate availability but is also clean, quiet, powerful and easy to drive. It is proving to be a highly popular product with third party logistics and e-fulfilment specialists as well as manufacturers with warehouses who are looking to achieve maximum supply chain efficiency.”

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