Kalmar Launches Mid-Range Electric Forklifts in North America

Cargotec is now offering the Kalmar ECF50-90 Series electric pneumatic forklift featuring AC power to the North American market. The machine is an environmentally friendly alternative for end users lifting loads between 11,000 and 19,800 pounds, particularly for diesel-powered forklift users facing new regulations in 2012.

Peter Olsson, Cargotec’s director of industrial sales in North America, cites the efficiency of AC technology and the desire of companies to reduce their ecological impact as some of the driving factors behind bringing the ECF model to customers in the United States and Canada.

“The Kalmar ECF50-90 forklift has been a widely praised solution since its European introduction in 2007," he said. "It offers the expected Kalmar-product features such as great ergonomics, visibility, durability and excellent service access. On top of that, you now have an electric machine with reduced maintenance costs and an eco-friendly solution. By taking harmful emissions out of the equation, customers – especially those operating indoors – can operate in a cleaner and safer environment.”

The Kalmar ECF50-90--a product within Cargotec’s long list of Pro Future solutions--uses two compact AC traction motors, the speed of which can be controlled individually. An electronic control system produces excellent driving characteristics, with rapid response to the driver’s actions and smooth transitions when accelerating, decelerating, starting and stopping.

AC technology has a number of advantages, such as the motors and pumps are more responsive, producing improved driveability; there are fewer mechanical parts and no carbon brushes or contactors for directional switching, further reducing the need for maintenance and replacement parts; and a better control system means operators gain economic efficiency. Overall, AC power contributes to enhanced productivity and a longer battery life while also reducing energy consumption and the need for maintenance.

Regenerative systems enable the battery charge to be replenished when the vehicle is decelerating and when braking. The new machine is quieter, reducing noise pollution and providing a better work environment for the driver. By using fewer hydraulic connectors, hydraulic oil leakage is minimized and oil usage dramatically improved.

Components have been placed to optimize heat dissipation and allow for easy access. The battery is located behind the cab, where it can be fixed or slide out as an option, or it can be removed using fork pockets. For operations requiring continuous use of the truck for several shifts, Cargotec offers solutions for battery handling and exchange.

The Kalmar Control System (KCS) displays operational, diagnostic and alarm information via a steering wheel panel and can be used to customize truck functions. The KCS also features a CANbus interface using the international CAN-open standard, using less wiring and providing more precise diagnostic measurements.

Using fewer mechanical parts and hydraulic connectors means there are fewer items requiring maintenance and replacement. This significantly reduces down-time, increases machine availability and productivity and reduces total lifetime ownership cost. The new machine uses an ergonomically-designed cab with improved visibility, providing an improved working environment carefully planned to raise the levels of performance.