The movement of the lithium ions in a lithium-ion battery produces an electromotive force, which can be used to drive forklift trucks, for instance. During charging, the ions move from the positive to the negative electrode of the battery and remain stored there until the user discharges the battery again. Li-ion energy systems are completely maintenance-free and have zero emissions. In contrast to the classic lead battery, users do not have to top them up with water, measure the acid density or clean the battery.
The negative electrode is generally made from graphite. However, forklift truck manufacturers are increasingly opting for special lithium battery technologies that use a combination of nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide, sulphur, air and in particular iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as electrode materials. These have an impressively high output and low weight, are non-flammable and enjoy optimum explosion protection, even in extreme conditions.