I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, that Coca-Cola in Charlotte, NC is buying fuel cell forklifts for the company. Okay, so this isn’t perfect prose and if sung it will be a bit out of rhythm, but the point is that the world’s most popular cola company has decided to buy 40 hydrogen fuel cell forklifts plus several hydrogen fueling stations for their North Carolina production center.
Two years ago I had talked about Wal-Mart testing hydrogen fuel cell pallet trucks at one of their Ohio facilities. I’ve also talked about hydrogen forklifts being used at a Wegmans Food Markets in Pennsylvania and Central Grocers in Joliet, Illinois.
Coca-Cola Consolidated was looking for a way to go greener by replacing their fossil fuel powered forklifts. They found the downside of the battery powered forklifts were that they were not as productive. The battery only forklifts took up too much space with the infrastructure plus forklift operators spent too much time, changing and charging the batteries.
The Plug Power GenDrive fuel cell forklifts, however mean a smaller infrastructural footprint, the vehicles can run an entire shift before being refueled and refueling only takes minutes. Compact hydrogen fueling stations are located throughout the facility, which are convenient to operators.
According to Coca-Cola spokesman Lauren C. Steele, “With these fuel cell materials handling units, we will be able to maintain productivity, decrease operating costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent.”
As large companies such as Coca-Cola go greener by buying H2 fuel cell forklifts the word is getting out that hydrogen power is a clean and efficient way to conduct business on an everyday basis. Hydrogen vehicles are the real thing.