The KION Group has started to produce hydrogen propulsion systems


“Made in Germany” Lithium-Ion Batteries: KION Battery Systems Expands Production Capacities


ifesca: AI-Based Energy Management for Electric Forklift Truck Fleets


KION Battery Systems starts production of lithium-ion batteries for industrial trucks


Lithium-ion drive systems for the food industry


Hydrogen energy at KION - from pilot project to industry standard


More than just a good option


A commitment to cell research for intralogistics


The future is looking electric


An electrifying idea


Leveraging megatrends for future relevance

Sustainable: KION on the Future of Energy in Logistics

Energy – and how we can use it, manage it, and save it in a sustainable manner – is the key topic of the decade, including in the logistics sector. The KION Group is one of the material handling industry’s leading companies in the development of energy- and resource-efficient systems. Today, more than 85% of all industrial trucks manufactured at the KION Group are equipped with an electric drive. This shows that we put great emphasis on the topic of electromobility in the field of intralogistics. We offer our customers the full spectrum of drive technologies currently available – from classic combustion engines to lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries to fuel cells.

Electromobility in Vogue in Intralogistics

Electromobility is becoming increasingly important in a number of areas, including intralogistics. Thanks to our brands, we are a major provider of electrically operated forklift trucks and warehouse handling equipment. In the last ten years alone, we have sold more than one million electric trucks. We focus heavily on lithium-ion drive technology in our research and development activities. Electric forklift trucks are pollution-free and offer a level of performance that is on par with diesel forklift trucks – plus they boast significantly lower maintenance costs. KION subsidiary Linde Material Handling has a range of ultra-modern electric forklift truck models ( Linde X20 – X35 ) with a carrying capacity of 2.5 to 3 tonnes and with a performance level matching that of IC trucks. The electric forklift trucks from STILL are also leading the way. Their drive technology is based on almost 100 years of electrical expertise . And our brands Baoli , OM , and Fenwick also offer practical electric forklift trucks with advanced technology. Our electric forklift trucks – particularly the lithium-ion variants – are therefore more than just a good alternative to industrial trucks with traditional combustion engines; they are a crucial puzzle piece in our mission to save resources in intralogistics .

Manufacture of Battery Systems at KION Battery Systems

The lithium-ion battery has a distinct advantage when it comes to electromobility: In contrast to the classic lead-acid battery, it does not need to be replaced, as it requires only short charging times and can be partially recharged. In addition, significant progress has been made in the development of the lithium-ion battery in recent years. This means it is not just a valuable source of energy for the intralogistics sector in future, but rather it provides a sustainable and economic alternative for all forklift truck applications right now – in particular in intensive shift operations, and even in heavy-duty trucks for transporting large loads. KION Battery Systems (KBS) , a joint venture between KION GROUP AG and BMZ Holding GmbH , is already producing lithium-ion batteries for forklift trucks and warehouse handling equipment from the KION Group.

Energy Management for Resource-Efficient Intralogistics

Projects investigating the use of batteries in the high-performance forklift trucks from our subsidiaries Linde Material Handling and STILL are not the only focus of our R&D efforts. We are also looking at energy management and smart interfaces. Supporting our customers in their sustainable energy management is very important to us, which is why we help them implement their sustainability programs and leverage additional saving opportunities. We are currently researching digital solutions, software, and artificial intelligence (AI) in a bid to find ways that energy can be used more efficiently in warehouses. Thanks to the AI-based software from ifesca GmbH, in which KION is a stakeholder, we are able to offer our customers a holistic solution for their energy management. With the accurate forecast results from this platform, our customers can optimize the planning of charging times for their industrial truck fleets, avoid charging peaks, and therefore significantly reduce their energy costs. By continuously improving our products and software, and striving to provide holistic energy solutions for individual logistics requirements, we are helping our customers achieve their own sustainability goals and promoting the road to a CO2-neutral warehouse .

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells for Forklift Trucks

The latest buzzword is hydrogen . Around the world, this alternative energy source is becoming an increasingly important drive technology solution. Here at KION, we are not merely discussing the possibility of fuel cell drive technology; in fact it is another key focal area of our New Energy Systems department alongside lithium-ion drives . This sustainable energy source has been used successfully by our brands Linde MH and STILL for many years. The advantages of fuel cells are manifold. Firstly, they produce no emissions whatsoever during operation. Secondly, the filling process at the hydrogen fuel station takes just one to three minutes, which minimizes interruptions and increases the availability of the trucks – which is very important in demanding multi-shift operation. Thirdly, they contain no toxic acids or other pollutants, which is a real plus when it comes to recycling. And finally, the comparatively long life span of the fuel cell – roughly five years depending on the range of applications – contributes to reducing waste in the long term. The advantages of fuel cells speak for themselves. The only challenge for the customer is the large sums of money that need to be invested in the required infrastructure.
At KION, we are continuing our research into hydrogen energy, because we know that hydrogen and fuel cell technology harbor enormous potential for the intralogistics sector and can pave the way for the future of the industry.

Saving Energy with Renewable and Sustainable Sources

We rely on energy from renewable sources in our own plants, primarily through the use of solar panels on plant roofs and green electricity from hydro-electro power. More information on this can be found in the Sustainability story section.

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