Test: Jungheinrich EFG 216k – Benchmark tightened

Benchmark tightened

Jungheinrich has renewed one of its top selling products. The electric forklift trucks from the EFG series have been updated. All recently introduced control concepts are now available for these popular trucks. Furthermore, the electronic heart has been rejuvenated and strengthened. All the reasons for a retest.

The EFG 216k in this test looks very similar to the truck we tested in 2010. The colours are slightly altered and there is another display in the dashboard, but the chassis and the overhead guard are almost identical. So, why a retest in 2017?

Create unityLIE2017_TST02_GRAF01-GB-SNELHEID=II

Jungheinrich intends to run its current EFG model at least until 2020, but is well aware of the importance of optimization. For example, when it comes to the unity of its model ranges. This applies to both the technique as the control. As one of the latest truck models available the EGF-range did not yet offer all the control options and the latest version of the CAN bus technique with which Jungheinrich provides its models. That is now corrected. The manufacturer also took the opportunity of mounting all electrical components closer together in the so-called ‘Kompakt Steuerung’ and to develop new electronics. The aim is to create unity in production, more control during assembly, and to minimize energy losses within the electronics.

Stay ahead of the competitionLIE2017_TST02_GRAF01-GB-PLTS=

We understand the goals, but are the energy savings really necessary? The EFG 216k we tested in 2010 leads for already seven years when it comes to high productivity and low energy consumption. The Jungheinrich values are the benchmark for many competitors and that shows. Various brands improve their performance and switch to electric steering and new software. Step by step, they get closer. Who wants to stay ahead, cannot stand still. With this in mind, we went to work and tested the renewed truck in southern German Moosburg.
The EFG 216k in this test is a three-wheel forklift truck with 1.6 tons lifting capacity and a standard two-piece mast with 3.030 mm lifting height. On board it carries a 48 V/625 Ah battery, for this k-model (short chassis) the highest type. The truck is fully set in accordance with factory settings and features an armrest with integrated soloPILOT for individual control of each mast function. Without any problems, the armrest can be fitted with either a multi- or duoPILOT, including all new options, like lights- and wipers-control.
The armrest can be adjusted in any direction desired and even the angle of rest is adjustable. Regarding the control we’re good.

Many improvementsLIE2017_TST02_GRAF01-GB-KWHpTEST=I

Behind the wheel it is the same. Thanks to the electric steering system the steering column could be kept ultra slim, which was already the case in 2010. Through the central lever, the steering wheel can additionally be adjusted in both height and angle. Something we don’t often come across. Steering itself is very smooth and predictable.
Minus at the cabin was in 2010 – and is still – the step. Or rather, the lack of it. With a height of 540 mm the first step is quite high and brings us directly on the floor. Besides that, this k-version is very compact. The available floor space is just enough.
However, for the rest we find improvements; more storage space, a better visibility thanks to the slender mast and fork carriage from recently launched series, and a more informative and attractive display. Overall the truck looks neat and complete. Its yellow has become fresher and the dark anthracite is now modern grey.

New eco mode

The individual performance of the new EFG 216k are very similar to the scores from 2010. However, we notice that the truck reacts strongly, perhaps too much, if we opt for the maximum driving program 5. This could be due to the shorter lines and direct management within the new electronic structure, making the energy available immediately. As we always notice during our tests, this power provides no (or hardly any) benefit, but always goes at the expense of predictability of the truck and energy consumption.
We suggest the engineers to create an ‘eco-mode’ based on our experiences. After several test runs this new setting appears to be the most successful of all available driving programs when it comes to an ideal blend of productivity and energy consumption. As of now Jungheinrich will use this new setting as standard program 3. It could be a good idea to not only qualify this setting as ‘best choice’, but to also create a direct selection button for additional awareness and conviction. Fun fact: if we choose the quietest driving program 1, the EFG 216k scores exactly the same productivity as the average in this class. Energy consumption, however, is 42.3% lower.

Less consumption, higher performanceLIE2017_TST02_GRAF01-GB-KWHp100P=I

Thanks to a better power management and the increased predictability, the EFG 216k scores a 3% higher productivity in the new ‘best setting’ than its predecessor did in program 5 during the test in 2010. Energy consumption for 100 moved pallets is 2% lower. For its 2Shifts, 1Charge guarantee, Jungheinrich has more margin than ever before. Who cleverly tunes the truck for its actual job – and as a rule takes that predictability always trumps acceleration and speed – will definitely get more driving time from the battery and still move the same number of pallets.
So far, the new design of the Jungheinrich EFG 216k definitely are convincing. So, are there no hiccups? Yes, there are. The new electronics is placed at the front of the truck, directly behind the mast, while before it was placed throughout the truck. Enabling certain systems, such as the automatic parking brake, makes the truck more audible. And the ventilation grille looks less ‘Jungheinrich-like’ than you would expect. For the rest, the new EFG series will certainly remain the benchmark for many competitors.


  • Highly predictable behaviour
  • Excellent visibility through and along the mast
  • Higher performance and low energy consumption

For improvement:

  • Step height
  • Ventilation grille new electronics
  • A ‘best choice’ button


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