Eureka Forklifts


How long do forklift batteries last?

Forklift batteries change depending on the requirements and type of forklift you own, the conditions the forklift is operating in, and a range of other factors. 

Like a car battery, a forklift battery will give an initial charge to start the machine along with running other electrical elements like the clock or alarm system. After the initial charge starts your forklift, the alternator kicks in, and this, in combination with your battery, will run all the electrical components on your vehicle. 

If you’re running an LPG, petrol or diesel forklift, these batteries run in a similar way to car batteries and will run down similarly (eg. if you leave lights on this will drain your battery).

When researching forklift batteries, most people will be trying to find out information about electric forklifts that have a very different battery system to their petrol, LPG and diesel counterparts. 

Electric forklift batteries have a limited number of charge cycles

The big thing to remember about electric forklift batteries is they have a limited number of charging cycles. This means that they can only be charged a certain amount of times. This will also change depending on the type of battery you have. As an example:-

  • Lead-acid batteries have around 1000 to 1500 charging cycles
  • Lithium-ion batteries have around 2000 to 3000 charging cycles

This means that no matter how much you charge your battery, once it’s drained –that’s a charging cycle. You could charge your battery to 80% full or 100% full, and that’s still one cycle, so it makes sense to develop a schedule where your forklift batteries can be charged to 100% full every time you recharge them. 

Different battery types have different charging times and cool-down periods

On average, a lead-acid forklift battery will take approximately 8 hours to charge and then require at least another 8 hours to cool down. This makes lead-acid batteries only good for one shift. You will likely need to complete the charge and cool down process, meaning you will need several lead-acid batteries available to keep your forklift running (particularly for dual shifts or around-the-clock usage).

Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, will only take roughly 1-2 hours to charge and don’t require a cooldown period. Hence, it’s possible to recharge these types of batteries over a lunch break, making them a very convenient forklift battery. 

Given the differences in these types of batteries, if you’re using your battery for one shift 300 times a year, you can expect a lead-acid battery to last you around 5 years and a lithium-ion battery to last you approximately 10 years or more.


86 Delta St, Geebung QLD 4034
PO Box 90 Geebung, Queensland, 4034



Eureka Forklifts has almost 30 years experience dealing with forklifts in the SE Qld region.

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