Material Handling

“This project actually avoids 1.8 million kilowatt-hours per year of electricity consumption (otherwise needed) to charge batteries …. If you don’t buy that electricity, you avoid about 1,200 tons per year of CO2 emissions.”

Briggs Hamilton – BMW Environmental Services Manager

Ballard designs and manufactures high-performance FCvelocity® 9SSL fuel cell stacks for use in the material handling market. Ballard has a supplier agreement with Plug Power Inc. for GenDrive® hydrogen fuel cell systems in North America and Europe. Plug Power holds the largest share of the North American Class 1, 2 and 3 clean energy lift truck market. Plug Power also recently announced a joint venture with Axane, an Air Liquide subidiary, to meet growing demand for GenDrive® fuel cell products in the European material handling market.

Material Handling Market Zero-emission fuel cell-powered lift trucks deliver economic, operational as well as environmental benefits, when compared to traditional battery systems operating in high-throughput distribution centre and warehouse environments. Advantages are a direct result of increased forklift productivity, driven by factors that include availability of constant power and minimal hydrogen refuelling time.


A wide range of end-users are realizing these benefits and improving critical business metrics. BMW, for example, has deployed a fleet of more than 85 GenDrive® forklift trucks with Ballard fuel cells in its automotive manufacturing plant in upstate South Carolina.

Walmart Canada deployed over 95 FCvelocity® 9SSL powered electric lift trucks at its sustainable refrigerated distribution center in Alberta, Canada. Learn more about the fleet in this case study.

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