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East Penn Manufacturing and Nuvera Fuel Cells Provide 20 Fuel Cell/Battery Hybrid Units for Forklift Demonstration

ReadyPower 750 Ah hybrid fuel cell/battery power pack. Source: Nuvera. Click to enlarge.

East Penn Manufacturing and Nuvera Fuel Cells have supplied 20 ReadyPower fuel cell/battery hybrid units to the Susquehanna Defense Distribution Supply Depot (DDSP) in New Cumberland, PA. The units have been installed into 20 Yale forklift trucks as part of a two-year demonstration project run by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

The ReadyPower units will be run at the DDSP in regular operation consisting of two shifts a day, five days a week, and will be compared to the performance that would have been attained using standard motive batteries.

ReadyPower is a hybrid pack consisting of a Nuvera fuel cell power module, East Penn Deka AGM batteries, and a compressed hydrogen fuel storage system. The majority of the power is provided by the fuel cell, but when repetitive peak power is required, the AGM batteries kick in to help handle the most demanding loads. This provides constant power, with no voltage sag.

ReadyPower is completely interchangeable with standard lead-acid forklift batteries.

DLA provides logistical support for the Department of Defense (DOD), and has committed to being an early adopter and principal demonstrator of fuel cell technologies with the goals of exercising the supply chain, testing the units in real world conditions and providing feedback to fuel cell providers.



Another demo of an experimental system to keep the interest up so your tax money keeps coming in...pure vapor! Lose this impractical use of hydrogen. Change over to Li-ion batteries and plug those babies in at night and send the tax money back to the government.


Not vapor at all lad they work very well in forklift applications because they dont need anywhere near the maintenance room space and they work all day long two very good points. They also happen to be as small as the old battery pack unlike lith ion wich happens to be rather bulky and amazingly enough they happen to be cheaper too.


Fuel cells + batteries samller and cheaper than a battery pack?
Li-ion batteries larger than the old batteries?
Are you sure?
Is the H2 support susyem smaller and cheaper than the 220V outlet?
This does sound like a $$ deno to prove what? That fuel cells work? - but maybe I'm missing something.


The lead acid batteries they use before may be heavy as hell but they only take up so much space and yet provide quite a bit of power. Much more then the battery in the volt in fact or so ive read.

As for the support structure they say at a typical walmart the support building is 3000 square feet and houses 3 battery packs for every forklift and the equipment to pull and replace said battery packs. They dont charge via a 220v outlet they have this missave rack of charging batteries constantly recharging all day and night.

Meanwhile the h2 system is just a little 220 square foot station and unlike a battery forklift that swaps batteries 3 times a day the h2 forklift only refills at end of day.

They also dont need a dedicated crew to man the recharge equipment.

They said in some articale awhile back they looked at lith batteries but they were far too spendy and bulky. And to make matters worse the lightness of a lith battery is useless in a forklift as they then have to add lead weights to keep the forklift at its rated weight.


This will become very important when Americans start driving forklifts.
BTW no mention of mpg.


All right dursun.
If I get one of these as part of the stimulus package, you better not slow down ahead of me in traffic.

Danielle Andre

Two of the main benefits of having fuel cells in forklifts are: first, the reduction in battery changing time and infrastructure. Without having to change batteries, operators spend more time on the floor moving product and less time changing batteries. The warehouse also gets back the square footage taken up by the large changing areas. Hydrogen refueling takes 90 seconds, and requires minimal space inside. The second advantage is the actual operation of the forklift. Fuel cells offer full power as long as hydrogen is supplied, there is no voltage sag as is seen with standard batteries. Fuel cells offer distribution centers the chance to be more productive. Check out more information here:

Fuel cells in forklifts are considered an early application that will help speed up the transition to fuel cell automobiles. Read the DOE's perspective on it here:


Benefits of using NiMH or Li-ion batteries that last a full shift, in forklifts are: the elimination of battery changing. Re-charging is done off hours. The warehouse gets back the square footage taken up by the lead acid or Hydrogen refueling stations. No specialized lead-acid or H2 handlers needed. Modern batteries have no voltage sag. Energy density allows the use of iron instead of lead-acid batteries for ballast. No involvement in the uncertainty of H2 distribution centers.

Fuel cells in forklifts are not economical but are proposed as an early application that will help speed up the transition to fuel cell automobiles "and ultimately reduce the cost to the point where fuel cells are [maybe] viable for widespread use in automobiles."


Heh tom do you have any idea what kind of energy a forklift needs per day?

Do you have any idea how big a battery pack the current forklifts use and how often they swap em each day?

Do you have any idea how fast a lithium pack would die subjected to that usage level? Do you have any idea how durable an industrial lead acid battery actualy is?

Do they even make a lithium battery capable of handling that? Much less one that costs less then a solid gold hummer AND diamond studded swimming pool to boot!;/


Heh wintermane
What's with the questionable posts ?


Tom I guess you werent here back when they covered forklift fuel cells a year or two ago.

The numbers were quite nasty. Basicaly forklifts are low hanging fruit for h2 but VERY high hanging fruit for lith ion.

You would need a HUGE lith ion battery to get all day service.. but only need a small fuel cell stack to power it.

Lith ion might make it into some very small forklifts that arnt used for long times... In fact I think they sell some. But the heavy dity lifttruck fleet is definetly not going lith ion any time soon. The math is just all wrong.

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