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Volvo: Energy-efficient forklifts part of environmentally friendly South Carolina plant


With construction of its Berkeley County manufacturing campus more than 75 percent complete, Volvo Cars on Thursday said it will be the first U.S. automaker to use forklifts with lithium-ion batteries in its production process — part of the company's "green initiative."

Volvo will be the only U.S. auto manufacturer to use forklifts powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are 30 percent more energy efficient than regular battery-powered models.

The forklifts will be made in nearby Summerville by KION North America, one of the world's largest suppliers of industrial trucks, forklifts and tow tractors. The company signed an agreement in January to supply material handling equipment for the Volvo plant.

"One of our core values is environmental and this fits right in there," said Katarina Fjording, Volvo's vice president of purchasing and manufacturing.

The lithium-ion batteries also charge about eight times faster than traditional batteries.

"It's more efficient, it's safer, there's no need for a charging room and no need to change batteries," says Vincent Halma, president and CEO of KION North America. "It's the next generation of material handling power solutions."

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This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions, ryan.berlin@tradepressmedia.com. Read more about energy efficient motors and specifying lift equipment.

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