Loop Energy, a designer and manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cell solutions, has been selected by Wiggins Lift Co., a leading American material handling vehicle manufacturer, to provide the fuel cell system for its new hydrogen-powered eBull forklift product. Loop Energy will deliver the system and begin commissioning in Q2 2023 to support commercial deployment of the hydrogen-electric forklifts in late 2023.
Wiggins provides material-handling vehicles to port, marina and warehouse operators across the US and is committed to offering its customers safe, reliable, zero-emissions industrial forklifts. Its decision to manufacture hydrogen-electric forklifts is due to the operating benefits fuel cell engines offer, including fast refuelling times and the ability to meet a range of duty cycles. The California-based company was one of the first manufacturers to provide battery-electric forklifts. With growing customer demand, it aims to be an early mover in the hydrogen-electric material-handling vehicle segment.
The material handling market has been a key growth area for both battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles. The global forklift truck segment is estimated to require over 1.5 million units of forklift trucks per annum, with as many as 60% of these trucks being fully electrified.
Wiggins’ transition is partly motivated by ports in California targeting to achieve net zero by 2030. Faced with a strained electrical grid, hydrogen has emerged as an accessible, zero-emissions solution to complete port operations. Evidence of this is the Port of Los Angeles’ Shore-to-Store project, which included unveiling two new high-capacity hydrogen fuelling stations in 2022. Wiggins has customers operating its electric forklifts at the Port of Stockton and Port of West Sacramento and expects to fulfil deliveries to the Port of San Diego, Port of Long Beach and Port of Hueneme this year.
Powered by a Loop Energy S300 (30 kW) fuel cell system, Wiggins’ eBull forklift will transport boats, bulk cargo and equipment at ports and marinas. The intense and long duty cycles of material handling vehicles mean that operational uptime and fuel consumption are key contributors to an operator’s total cost of ownership. Wiggins selected Loop Energy as its technology provider after impressing across key metrics, including fuel efficiency, operating lifetime and integration and after-sales support.
“Loop Energy is proud to be selected by a market leader such as Wiggins in the push to decarbonize material handling vehicles across ports in California,” said Loop Energy President & CEO, Ben Nyland. “Wiggins’ vehicles operate in some of the world’s busiest and most productive ports. Their decision to choose our fuel cells further validates our technology and hydrogen’s role in transforming this large market segment.”
“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 Wiggins Lift Co. CEO, Michele Wiggins. “Loop Energy’s commitment to customer support and delivering a high-performing product made it easy to choose them as our technology provider.”
Press release by Loop Energy