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Stages of development

26 August 2018

Business that rely on IC engine trucks face some face decisions with the arrival of Euro Stage V legislation in January. Stewart Gosling from Red Diamond Distribution, official UK importer for Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks, discusses the implications.

When new vehicles – including forklifts and cars – are sold in EU and EAA Member countries, they must meet European emission standards that are defined in a series of European Union directives, known as ‘stages, which progressively introduce increasingly strict standards. For the first time, there’s a solid requirement that all forklift engines must comply.

Diesel machines will have to go through significant upgrades to meet the new legislation. Just meeting the absolute minimum requirements for Euro Stage V requires increasingly complex designs that don’t come cheap. With heavy-duty applications, diesel has been the answer for years, and from January, that will cost significantly more.

Mitsubishi identified the emissions issue early on and taken a long view. In 2040, we’re facing a total ban on engines in vehicles in the UK. Continuous improvements, underpinned by the Mitsubishi vision, mean that EDiA, our current breed of electrics outperforms its IC rivals.

The EDiA family comprises 48 and 80 volt electrics. EDiA EX, for example, outperforms most engine models in terms of acceleration, and maximum travel and lift speeds.

Its incredibly agile, four-wheel steering is possible through independent, counter-rotating drive wheels. Their 100-degree lock means you can turn the truck within its own wheel base, while preventing the rear kick you get when setting off in full lock.  

EDiA offers the good ramp performance you get as standard on electrics. But it takes it one step further with Automatic Hill Hold. It brings operations to a halt as soon as operator depresses the accelerator – securing truck and load. Its simple action also makes mounting and dismounting easier and faster.

Electrics also make workplaces healthier by eliminating dust and noise issues. They also help prevent sensitive products from being tainted. And, if you opt for EDiA, then you also have the advantage of low-maintenance, wet-disc sealed brakes – eliminating brake dust.

This new breed of electrics can work indoors or out. EDiA’s go-anywhere performance would be redundant without water ingress protection. It makes it possible for EDiA to work in heavy rain or in environments where trucks must be hosed down at the end of shifts. In addition, our three and four wheel EDiA EMs are protected against dust for low maintenance.

On whole-life costs, electrics come out on top. Let’s say you have a five-year contract using a truck in a demanding environment. Because you’ll be using less energy and needing less maintenance, you can expect to spend 25% less on electrics. Making the switch could save you up to £13,000 per machine.

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