Forklift Fuel Types

What is right for you?

When choosing the right forklift fuel for your business, there are a lot of aspects to consider, including ease of use, sustainability, efficiency, cost, performance and more. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide, which covers the different forklift fuel types available, as well as their applications and advantages. With this information, you’ll be armed with the facts you need to make the right choice for your business.

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)

LPG-powered forklifts are a popular solution among warehousing & manufacturing where long shifts are worked and equipment is required to work in both indoor and outdoor spaces.


Speedy Refueling

LPG forklifts take around five minutes to refuel so you don’t have the downtime you get re-charging batteries.

Low Carbon Emissions

LP Gas burns cleanly with no soot and leaves very few sulphur emissions. Toyota LPG trucks have 3-way catalysts as standard.

Powerful Performance

LPG forklifts have responsive engines, resulting in superior travel speeds, rates of acceleration, and lift speeds.


Of all the forklift fuels, diesel-powered machines tend to provide the most torque and power; it’s for this reason that they’re used most popularly in heavy-duty outdoor applications where emissions are not such an issue.


Lower Running Costs

Diesel is a more cost-effective fuel compared to LPG.

More Torque

Diesel forklifts typically have greater torque than other fuel types.

Greater Efficiency

The engines in diesel forklifts are more fuel-efficient than LPGs.

Speedy Refuelling

Diesel forklifts take around five minutes to refuel and need refuelling less than LPG due to size of their tanks.

Lead Acid Traction Batteries

Lead acid is one of the fuels used in battery-powered (or electric) forklifts. They come in a case with an electrolyte, water and sulphuric acid mixture, resembling a car battery. Many warehouse (internal) trucks are only available as battery powered to avoid emissions. You do need to bear in mind charging times can be 8-12 hours.


Lower Running Costs

Much cheaper fuel than diesel or LPG and many less serviceable parts to replace than engine trucks.

Easy to Operate

Unlike LPG or diesel, electric forklifts only have a brake and an accelerator and have automatic braking.


A quieter nicer operating environment.

Low Emissions

Lead acid batteries keep your operation cleaner.

Lithium (LI-ION)

Lithium is used in lithium-ion batteries to power electric forklifts.This technology is relatively new, as it was first introduced in the 1990s. All manufacturers offer some Li-Ion options now but Toyota are unique in having their own batteries built using the most efficient chemical compound and designed to be repairable in the field.


Fast Charging

You can fully charge a lithium-ion battery in as little as 2 hours. Opportunity charging is part of normal operation.

Less Time and Labour

Lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be changed for multi shift or topped up and are maintenance free.

Better Performance

They deliver consistent voltage, ensuring your machine doesn’t slow down as it discharges

Safer and Greener

They do not emit CO2 gas, and there’s no risk of acid spills.

Fuel your Business Forward

Your choice of forklift fuel can have a huge effect on the operational costs and efficiency of your business. It’s important to get it right and we can help you make this all-important decision. At Locators, we’re an industry-leading independent materials handling company and we specialise in industrial forklifts.


To find out how we can help your business, email today, or call 01202 854 200 to arrange a discussion with a member of our expert team.

What our clients say

Every time we look at an application, Locators approach it like a blank canvas and always recommend the best equipment for our business. Locators have proved themselves as a very reliable and proactive service provider by keeping our trucks working and our fleet costs as low as possible.

Adam Conrad
Group Transport Manager for Covers

Being able to work with one supplier for storage and materials handling has been a benefit to us. Locators managed the complete installation and ensured the correct materials handling equipment was specified for their design. They also service and maintain all of the equipment they have supplied and offer a rack inspection service to make sure our warehouse remains a safe working environment. We are very happy with our new facility and we believe we have made the best use of the available space.

Marc Congdon
Engineering Manager, Costa

We have worked with Locators for nearly 20 years. We are confident they can always make the best use of the space we have available and provide us with forklifts that are well suited for the long loads and other stock we have to move.

Colin Macgregor
Director, Y Goldberg

We purchased our first Toyota forklift from Locators 14 years ago for our farm. This truck has been very reliable and is still in service so we had no hesitation in deciding to purchase another Toyota machine. Locators recommended an electric forklift for our machinery depot as it is very quiet, has low running costs and does not create any pollution, making it ideal for working both inside and outside. Our operators are very pleased with our new Toyota truck and our business is very happy to be operating a forklift that has such a low impact on the environment.

Ed Smales
Director, NFFM

Locators installed the new racking system within a tight timeframe while our business was fully operational. They have provided us with a facility that has a similar storage capacity and reduced the size of our forklift fleet allowing us to lease one building instead of two. We are very happy with the outcome.

Paul Bickell
Nippon Express

Locators gave us the benefit of working with just one supplier for all of the storage and materials handling requirements of this project. By mixing 3 and 4 wheel trucks from the same model range, we have gained extra pallet locations and have the option to battery change between them and work multi-shift in the future. I was initially sceptical that electric trucks could replace LPG, but I am very pleased with the successful outcome of this project.

Mark Davis
Logistics Supervisor for Hall & Woodhouse brewery

We are very pleased with the change from an engine to an electric fleet. The trucks have been well received by our operators as they are comfortable and quiet to drive and give excellent protection from the elements. We even have the option and flexibility to use spare batteries and a simple battery change system if we ever want to work back to back shifts in the future. Locators also design, supply and install all types of racking and storage systems. They reconfigured the CooperVision warehouse for narrow aisle operation which increases the storage density and pallet locations. Locators supplied Aisle-Master articulated forklifts to work in this area.

Coopervision, Hamble

It is a great benefit to us that we have a single source supplier who understands the needs of our business. This saves us time, improves efficiency and ultimately reduces cost.

Richard Horrocks
Smurfitt Kappa