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Electric Forklift Advantages & Disadvantages

Posted: March 28, 2023
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Every model of forklift has its own unique advantages.  Using the right forklift for your application is important for both safety and productivity. Electric forklifts are a great fit for warehouses and manufacturing facilities that require primarily indoor use.  If your application requires indoor use and fumes or noise are a factor, then an electric forklift may be your ticket.

Advantages of Electric Forklifts:

  • Lift capacities of 40,000 lbs. or below

  • Operating costs can be lower than internal combustion models

  • Electric forklifts charge at a charging station, so there is no need for fuel storage

  • Cost for electricity can be significantly lower than the cost for fuel

  • Electric forklifts produce zero emissions during operation

  • No noise with the exception of the back-up alarm

  • No propane tank at the rear of the forklift

  • Automatic braking reduces wear and reduces fatigue for the operator.  (80V Electric Pneumatic models)

  • Electric forklifts do not require engine oil or coolant fluids, so replacing and disposing of these fluids is not necessary

  • Longer maintenance intervals

Disadvantages of Electric Forklifts:

The technology of electric forklifts grows every day and sales have outpaced that of traditional internal combustion forklifts for a few years, but electric forklifts are not suitable in all applications.  Check out some potential disadvantages of electric forklifts:

  • Battery charging stations must be installed

  • Voltage requirements may be an issue with older facilities

  • Typically a higher upfront cost

  • Heavy batteries may require special lifts for changing

  • Limited to lifting 12,000 lbs. and under.


Toyota’s IC forklift line can lift up to 125,000 lbs. To learn more about electric forklifts and if they are right for you, contact your local Toyota forklift dealer.

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