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What to consider when choosing between LPG, Diesel and Electric

Posted on: 4 Jan 2019
Topic: General News


There are several factors to considering when choosing between LPG, Diesel and Electric forklifts and the choice is not always easy. Below are some hints on how to select the best solution for your business.


Application of the forklift; Lifting heavy or light loads?


If you are going to be lifting heavier loads (5 tonne and above) it is best to opt for the Diesel or LPG. The performance these trucks are usually superior to an electric alternative, with better acceleration and lift speeds with heavier loads.


Location of use; Inside, Outside or Both?


It is important to consider the emissions the forklift will be producing especially if you are handling sensitive goods such as food produce or if the forklift will be used in a poorly ventilated environment. In this case, an electric forklift or a tier 4 LPG engine (such as the CLARK S – Series) would be recommended. If the forklift is being used in a rugged outdoor environment the durability and toughness of a Diesel forklift would be more useful.


When your application is mixed indoor/outdoor, an electric forklift such as the CLARK GEX (which is designed for mixed applications) is perfect, whilst and LPG engine may suffice for a better ventilated indoor to outdoor space.


How regularly will the forklift be used?


Electric forklifts require an 8 hour down time to re-charge therefore making it less desirable for multi-operator use; LPG has the conveniences of easily replacing the bottle. Diesel lasts the longest however refuelling can be inconvenient if there isn’t fuel storage on your premises.


Do all your operators & staff have Forklift Licences?


For lighter loads that do not require a lift at height, electric pallet jacks are a great option. They also provide the ability for operation by staff without a forklift licence as they are classed as pedestrian-operated equipment.



  • Electric: Cheap to run, clean, quiet, compact and nimble.
  • Diesel: Best for outdoors and rugged environment, perfect for heavier lift loads whilst maintaining lift performance.
  • LPG: Best performer for indoor/outdoor application whilst maintaining lift performance


  • Electric: 8 hour charging cycles. Not all electrics are as robust for outdoor applications
  • Diesel: Emissions mean it is not recommended for indoor applications. Fuel logistics.
  • LGP: Maintenance in re-gassing. Emissions aren’t as high as a Diesel however may still limit indoor applications.


Whether renting or purchasing new or used, CLARK has you covered from warehouse solutions ranging from powered pallet jacks to electric reach trucks, through to container LPG forks and robust counter balance Diesel forklifts up to 8 tonnes.


Need further advice on the right solution for your business? Contact us on 1800 005 747.

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