Optimizing a handling fleet represents a significant financial and energy investment for any business. At ASAP Rental, we work with companies of all shapes and sizes to provide equipment solutions that fit their needs. Battery selection is one key area where we see fleet optimization making a serious impact; an expert-designed strategic plan for an upgrading to lithium ion batteries is one of the best ways to get the most value from your upgraded fleet. Here in Asia, it’s still common for handling equipment to run on traditional lead acid batteries. But, especially in the past two years, lithium ion batteries have shot to the industry’s attention and are playing an increasingly notable role in industrial logistics. ASAP has been closely tracking the rise and development of the lithium ion batteries and our expert teams have developed several types of lithium ion battery solutions which are already available to ASAP customers here in China and Asia. 

So, if you’re deciding between battery options for your logistics needs, why might you consider lithium ion instead of a traditional lead acid battery? 

1. A Bigger Punch in a Smaller Package 

Compared to traditional batteries that are often swapped out mid-day, lithium ion batteries can run for an entire working day. This can go a long way to improving operational efficiency and lowering maintenance costs and downtime.  

A higher density of energy storage means that you can get more milage from a battery of similar volume. But don't worry about counterbalance – ballasts can be included in the battery case to meet minimum weight specifications. Overall, you get longer levels of energy from a smaller size with lithium ion. 

2. Quick Charging and Easy Maintenance 

Lithium ion batteries can charge up to 8 times more quickly than lead acid batteries, and have the advantage of not needing a cool-down period. In fact, a lithium ion battery can be fully charged within as little as an hour, meaning that there is less operational downtime and fewer batteries need to be purchased to keep your fleet running. With more work happening on the floor, dramatically fewer battery changes needed and a smaller number of batteries for purchase, lithium ion batteries more than offset the higher price per battery. 

Here’s another huge plus of lithium ion batteries: zero daily maintenance. Unlike lead acid batteries, lithium ion batteries require no ongoing maintenance and don’t have to be watered or monitored for acid spills and corrosion. This means more safety on-site and (yet again) more time on the floor freed up to focus on other tasks, while small windows of downtime can be taken advantage of.  

3. Much Longer Lifetimes. No Memory Effect. 

The numbers speak for themselves. Lithium ion batteries can deliver up to 6,000 charge cycles while traditional lead acid batteries last, at the most, for 1,200 charge cycles. 

But the difference in value really jumps out when you read the fine print – what counts as one charge cycle for the different battery types? For old-school lead acid batteries, any charging, regardless of duration, counts as one charge. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve done an 8-hour overnight charge or a short charge during the lunchtime break. Each time you plug in is minus one for your company’s bottom line – the infamous “memory effect” of inefficient lead acid batteries. 

But lithium ion batteries have no memory effect. If your staff do a partial charge of 25%, you will lose only what you’ve taken - 25% of one charge cycle. A 50% charge takes half of a charge cycle, and so on. In other words, not only do lithium ion batteries deliver many more charge cycles, they also ensure you get the full use of your battery’s lifetime. That’s simply not true for the old lead acid options.    

4. Efficiency and Ecology 

While it is true that lithium ion is a larger upfront investment, their lifetime and efficiency pays for itself, particularly in situations requiring 24/7 battery operation. As we’ve already described, you can expect about 4 times’ extended life cycle on a lithium ion battery compared to its lead acid counterpart. 

Moreover, the rare-metal-free, non-toxic composition of lithium ion batteries means that their production, as well as post-consumption ecological impacts, are lower than other batteries. And their CO2-free and fumeless charging cycles are not only ecologically-friendly but also 30% more energy-efficient, which means a lower footprint and a lower bill. 

Does everyone need a lithium ion solution? 

Let’s put it this way: any serious handling equipment manager needs to understand and think about lithium ion batteries. The truth is, lithium ion batteries are game-changers for some equipment and settings, and less useful for others. The key is getting expert advice to develop a strategic plan for when, where and how you’ll use lithium ion batteries in your handling fleet. ASAP rental is already on the ground here in Asia and has years of experience in handling fleet optimization. Get in touch with us, and let our experts advise you on the best upgrade plan for your specific business needs. 

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