Electric VS Propane (LPG) Forklifts

Forklifts are used in a variety of warehouse, manufacturing, and construction environments to reliably transport materials. The type of forklift used in a workplace depends on a variety of factors, such as work load, environment, budget, and more. For outdoor workplaces lifting large loads, there are diesel and gasoline powered fork lifts, while the most common forklift choices for indoor work are electric and liquid petroleum gas (LPG), or propane. While both electric and LPG lifts are quieter and cleaner than their diesel/gasoline counterparts, they each have their own benefits. In this post, we will discuss the differences between electric and propane lifts and some of their respective advantages.


Electric Forklifts

  • Zero Emissions – Certain applications such as food, pharmaceutical, or underground operations necessitate the use of electric lifts for this reason. The lack of emissions makes electric lifts safer to operate around employees and product, and also do not require warehouse ventilation systems. Electric lifts also contain no engine or transmission fluid to dispose of.
  • Quieter & Smoother Operation – Electric lifts are significantly quieter than LPG lifts, with the majority of the noise coming from tires, lifts, and safety horns. This allows the operator and those around the machine to be much more aware of their surroundings. Electric lifts also typically generate less vibration, helping to minimize operator fatigue.
  • Lower Repair Cost – Electric motors are much less complex than those in propane lifts, which means repairs are less expensive. Electric lifts also require less planned maintenance when they are properly taken care of, which can also reduce costs. In fact, First Energy states that electric forklifts are 75% cheaper to operate than propane lifts.
  • Ease of Recharging – Electricity is often more accessible than propane, and you won’t run out or miss a delivery. It is also cheaper to recharge the lift’s batteries each night than to consistently fill and replace propane tanks.
  • Indoor & Outdoor Use – With greater rear visibility and a tighter turning radius, electric forklifts are well suited for both indoor and outdoor use in tight spaces. They also start easier than propane lifts in cold weather.


Propane Forklifts

  • Faster Refueling – Propane lifts are able to refuel significantly faster than electric lifts. While forklift batteries can take hours to charge, propane tanks can be swapped in only a few minutes.
  • Longer Runtime – Propane forklifts last longer on of a single cylinder of propane than electric lifts last on a single charge of their battery. This, combined with their faster refuel time, makes propane lifts much more efficient for long periods of use.
  • Low Emissions – While not quite as clean as electric lifts, propane lifts are still quite good. Propane is clean-burning and non-toxic, and much cleaner than diesel or gasoline operated lifts.
  • Torque & Power – Propane lifts are able to operate at a consistent power until fuel runs out, while electric lifts’ power may wane as the battery’s charge depletes. Propane lifts also have more torque than electric lifts and are able to navigate slopes and inclines more efficiently.
  • Indoor & Outdoor Use – Propane lifts are clean enough to operate both inside and outside, giving them an edge over gasoline and diesel forklifts.


Propane and electric forklifts can often be used interchangeably, but for specific applications there may be one that better suits your needs. Consider factors such as cost, environment, and runtime before making a decision on what is best for you.


Forklift Parts at Iron Wing Sales

Iron Wing Sales is there to help you minimize your downtime. Replace worn parts or stock up on spares with our inventory of forklift and lift truck parts. Our inventory is in-stock and ready-ship, so as soon as your order is placed we will work on getting it shipped out.  Simply browse by category, or you can use our search function to sort by description, part number, or manufacturer. We also offer free shipping on qualifying orders >$100. Additional inquiries, contact us by email: sales@ironwingsales.com or by phone:(216) 912-9089

Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright Iron Wing Sales. 2022