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How Much Does an Electric Forklift Cost?

Compare Electric Forklift Prices and Options

Electric forklifts are designed primarily for indoor use in factories or warehouses. They are generally smaller than their internal combustion (IC) counterparts, which run on gas, liquid propane or diesel. The maximum lifting capacities are lower, too.

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About Electric Forklifts

As with any machine, electric forklifts have their pros and cons. On the plus side, they run quietly, require no fuel and produce zero emissions. On the downside, they cost more upfront than same-sized fuel-powered models and require regular charging. Plan on at least eight hours of downtime for each complete charge.

Electric forklifts range in lift capacity from 3,000-15,000 pounds. However, the most common lift capacities are 3,000 and 5,000 pounds. Electric lifts are available in 3-wheel, 4-wheel or stand-up models, and with cushion or pneumatic tires. Cushion tires are best for indoor use; pneumatic tires are suitable for outdoor use.

The battery in an electric forklift is similar to your car’s battery, although it is more powerful and requires regular charging. Fully charged, most batteries will get five to six hours of constant use before they need to be charged.

Electric Forklift Prices

Electric forklift prices vary based on the model you select and your geographic location. Generally, a 5,000-pound capacity electric forklift sells for anywhere from $18,000-$25,000, plus an extra $2,000 to $5,000 per battery. If you can’t afford eight-plus hours of downtime per day, you’ll want to purchase extra batteries.

Average Electric Forklift Prices

Though slightly more expensive upfront than internal combustion forklifts, electric models have far lower operating costs. Budget about $1 per hour of use for routine service and maintenance, compared to $20-plus per hour of use for IC models.

If you’re on a tight budget, considering buying a used or reconditioned electric forklift. Often, you can cut the purchase price in half. Just make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable dealer, and be sure to test drive any machine before buying.

Electric forklifts are also available for rent by the day, week or month. Budget about $125-$200 per day, $350-$450 per week and $1,000-$1,500 per month.

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