As we strive for a low-carbon footprint with an eye on the environment, more and more people are looking toward Lithium-ion batteries (LI) as a possible environmental and cost-effective solution to replace lead-acid batteries.
The life of maintenance-free Lithium-ion batteries can be up to 3 times longer than AGM, lead-acid, and GEL technologies. Some companies using lead-acid batteries in their load movers for 10 or more hours a day will realize about two years for the life of their batteries. These are the consumers that will realize the most benefit from switching to LI and can realize cost savings in as little as four years.
Some battery technologies, such as AGM, recommend you only drain down the batteries about 50% to 70%, which means as little as half the operating time of the battery’s rating. With Lithium-ion, you can drain them down up to 100% of capacity and cycle them up to 5,000 times in some cases, leading to a life of 5 to 10 years. Instead of opting for a LI battery of the same size as an AGM battery, you can get one half the size to provide the same operating time or opt for the same or larger size for up to two or more times the operating time.
There are new Lithium-ion recyclers setting up in North America or already in operation, such as Li-Cycle with recycling plants in the USA and Canada. These new LI recycling plants can recycle your depleted LI battery and divert the extracted resources back into the production of new LI batteries with little or no waste going to the landfill.
Most of our V-move load movers are Lithium-ion capable as a factory option. Lithium-ion capable V-move load movers have battery level gauges specific for Lithium-ion, Lithium-ion batteries matched to the load mover, a special shunt block and wiring inside the load movers, and special programming of the load mover software. We also equip the Lithium-ion capable V-move load movers with a blue-tooth connection between your phone and the load mover so you can monitor the health of your batteries via an app. We even include labels on our LI-optioned V-move tugs with Lithium-ion battery information and warnings.
The benefit of Lithium-ion configured V-move load movers is not only a reduced impact on the environment. It is also the cost savings you will realize over time. LI battery chemistry allows you to partially charge or opportunity charge for longer run times without damaging the batteries. LI batteries also provide a higher sustained level of voltage to our powerful V-move motors that give the motor a boost of energy that translates into more power and efficiency.
We offer a variety of LI battery manufacturer choices with your V-move, such as Discover, Relion, Rolls, Dakota, Flux Power, and OneCharge in our walk-along tugs and ride-on tow tractors. A few Lithium-ion battery manufacturers or distributors will back their product with 5-to-11-year full exchange or pro-rated warranties. Often, we will require more counterweight to makeup for the lighter weight of LI vs. lead-acid batteries. In colder climates, we ensure your LI battery choice is cold-weather capable with either heating elements or blankets to keep the LI batteries warm for efficient charging or optimal operation. LI batteries, properly configured, have the added benefit of more usable energy capacity than lead-acid batteries at cold temperatures.
When you are considering your next highly configurable V-move load mover purchase, ask about how a Lithium-ion V-move walk-along load mover or ride-on tow tug can benefit you. LI-capable V-move load movers are especially beneficial in the shopping cart pusher industry where tugs are operated constantly all day long, as they will reduce operating costs, increase productivity, reduce your environmental footprint, give you longer run times, and allow you to charge up faster.