What To Know About the Different Forklift Battery Voltages

One of the most important considerations when shopping for a forklift battery is its voltage. Select the right battery for your equipment—find out what to know about the different forklift battery voltages.

Volts and Battery Cells

Forklift batteries feature cells arranged in a series. Each cell of a lead-acid battery has a nominal voltage of 2 volts (2V). If your lead-acid forklift battery has 24 cells, it has a voltage of 48V.

The amount of voltage you need depends on the type of forklift the battery must power. In general, the larger the machine and the more strenuous the job, the more volts you’ll need.

Consider the following battery voltages and the lifts they can power:

  • 24V batteries—small lifts, such as walkie stackers
  • 36V batteries—mid-size lifts, such as narrow-aisle forklifts
  • 48V batteries—larger machines, like counterbalanced forklifts
  • 80V batteries—forklifts from 2.5 tons to 7.0 tons

Volts and Amps

When thinking about different forklift battery voltages in terms of power, it’s important to consider amperes, too. A volt is a measurement of the electrical potential between two points, or the pressure at which electricity flows in a system. In contrast, an ampere is a measurement of electric current, or the number of electrons moving through a circuit.

To avoid damaging your battery, maintain at least 20 percent of the full ampere-hour (AH) capacity of your battery. Discharging below 80 percent will lower the voltage per cell and cause overheating and other damage.

Forklift batteries of the same voltage can have different AH capacities. For example, our selection of 24V batteries include a range of 6-hour ratings from 150AH to 1000AH, and 20-hour ratings from 236AH to 1576AH.

Volts and Battery Size

Since each battery cell provides 2V, the higher the voltage and capacity, the heavier the battery. Because of their materials and chemical processes, lead-acid batteries tend to weigh more than lithium-ion batteries of the same voltage.

Because cells can be arranged in different ways, batteries of the same voltage may have different dimensions. For example, a 24V battery can have either two rows of six cells each, or three rows of four cells each. Forklift weight and size impact your storage considerations and equipment requirements for charging and servicing the battery.

If you’re in need of a new or refurbished battery, shop with Green Power Forklift Batteries. We carry a wide selection, including 24-volt forklift batteries for smaller lift equipment. Shop with us today.