Forklifts can be powered in a variety of ways. The three most popular ways of powering your forklift fleet are electric, diesel and gas. But which one is best for your operation? We're here to help by weighing up the pros and cons of each fuel type, so you know which forklift is best for you.


Battery electric forklift trucks are environmentally friendly, fume-free and run quietly. They also put out no emissions. Due to the lack of a clutch and consistent electric acceleration, electric forklifts are easy to drive.

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easier to drive than engine-powered machines
  • Lower maintenance and servicing costs
  • Clean and quiet to operate
  • Higher initial investment
  • Cannot be used whilst the battery is being charged
  • Unsuitable for prolonged use in wet weather


Diesel powered forklifts are rugged and hardworking. Ideally suited for use outside, diesel forklifts enjoy the highest acceleration and lift speeds over other models. Diesel forklifts are sturdily built and operate well at low revs. This means that they have a long performance life and are easy to repair.

  • Ideal for outdoor use
  • More fuel efficient than LPG powered engines
  • Better acceleration and speed lifts
  • Do not require recharging
  • Noisier than electric-powered forklifts
  • Produce harmful emissions and have a high carbon footprint
  • Bulkier in size


Gas powered forklifts are powered by LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and are popular thanks to their flexibility and competitive running costs. LPG forklifts run on a modified version of a common car engine, so sourcing parts for repairs is both easy and very cheap. Their fumes are less offensive than their diesel counterparts, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor operations.

  • Cheaper than diesel forklifts
  • Suitable both indoors and outdoors
  • Generate less harmful emissions
  • Higher fuel costs
  • Require annual winter service
  • Propane tanks can reduce rear visibility

No matter which forklift is right for you, you'll find it at PHL. Our Forklift Finder is the fastest and easiest way for you to find the trucks you need for your operation. Try it today, or give us call.


Keep up to date with PHL and all things forklift machinery.