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Compare Gas vs Electric Forklift Costs

Gas Forklift Overview

Gas-powered forklifts are designed for outdoor use. They are sturdy and rugged, built to withstand uneven terrain and harsh weather. Much like your car, gas forklifts run on gasoline and need to be serviced regularly to remain in good working condition.

Gas Forklift Prices

A standard 5,000-pound capacity gas forklift costs anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. The price varies based on the brand and quality. Larger 10,000-pound capacity forklifts can cost up to $45,000.

Gas Forklift Pros

  • Price - Gas forklifts are less expensive upfront than electric models. A gas model costs slightly less than an electric model with the same size and specifications.
  • Versatility - Because gas forklifts are designed for outdoor use, they’re suitable for a wider variety of jobs, tasks and industries. They can be used in construction, landscaping and farming, to name just a few.

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Gas Forklift Cons

  • Cost to operate - You’ll have to budget more for ongoing expenses with a gas forklift. There’s the cost of fuel, for one, which is not insignificant. You’ll also need to have the forklift serviced regularly.
  • Noisy - The engines are noisy, so gas-powered forklifts can create a distraction in quiet areas.
  • Produce emissions - As with any gas-powered vehicle, gas forklifts produce emissions that are harmful to the environment.

Electric Forklift Overview

Electric forklifts are battery-powered and require regular recharging, usually overnight. Electric forklifts are designed primarily for indoor use, particularly in warehouse and other industrial facilities.

Electric Forklift Prices

A standard 5,000-pound capacity electric forklift costs $20,000 to $30,000, depending on brand and quality. In some cases, you might have to pay up to $5,000 extra for a battery and charger.

Average Gas vs Electric Prices

Electric Forklift Pros

  • Cheaper to operate - Electric forklifts require no fuel and very little maintenance. The batteries are rechargeable and replaceable.
  • Longer lifespan - Electric forklifts typically last longer before major components start to fail. In some cases, the lifespan of an electric forklift is nearly double.
  • Eco-friendly - Electric forklifts do not produce harmful emissions.

Electric Forklift Cons

  • Price - Despite the money you’ll save on fuel and maintenance in the long term, you’ll have to shell out more cash upfront to purchase an electric forklift.
  • Not suitable for outdoor use - Electric forklifts can be easily damaged if exposed to the elements.
  • Require charging - Most batteries need about eight hours of charging for the forklift to be operational for a full day. Unlike gas forklifts, electric forklifts are not always available when you need them.

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