With the new RX60 Still brings a first in the forklift test. For the first time in 31 years of testing, an electric forklift truck scores a higher productivity than a truck with an internal combustion engine. The High-Performance version of the youngest Still accelerates, lifts and drives like a diesel truck, but without the noise and emissions.
The trend has been visible for some time now where the electric forklift truck is gaining more and more ground on trucks with diesel and LPG engines. They have become virtually insensitive to harsh outdoor conditions and with a good cab, the driver is also comfortable. Electric forklift trucks are also becoming increasingly economical and can run for longer on a single battery charge. Add to that the advantages of lithium-ion batteries, such as opportunity charging, and the number of arguments for choosing an IC truck melts like snow in the sun. The most common ones are still: they are easy to refuel and very fast and productive… The Still RX60-25 High Performance in this test refutes that last argument, because the measured productivity in moved pallets per hour has never been so high in our test. And with the measured practical battery life, you’ll get almost one and a half working day far. Anyone who puts the truck to the loader during breaks can continue to drive almost without restriction. Do we have an IC Killer in our hands?
Partly due to the increased focus on environmental issues, Diesel-Gate and the ever present desire for less maintenance and costs, there is a significant increase in the market share of electric forklift trucks. Still is taking advantage of this with its new RX60 family of trucks in the 2.5 to 3.5 tonne class. The truck series contains 7 models and builds on the concept introduced with the new RX20 range two years ago. By making the truck fractionally longer, the driver has more leg and workspace. In addition, the step on/off was enlarged and the truck received the new Smart Display, which is attached to the armrest. Thanks to the lower dashboard, visibility to the front has been optimised.
In order to make the truck more suitable for hard applications than ever before, more and more robust steel has been processed in the RX60. The battery door, for example, can easily carry the weight of two people when open and does not bend on the hinge.
The advantages mentioned are immediately noticeable during the test. The step on the RX60 is spacious and the leg- and workspace in the cabin is ample. The view through the mast and through the roof is very good. Thanks to the display on the adjustable armrest, the driver has all the information available and can easily choose different settings such as driving and lifting modes including Blue-Q energy savings and the sprint power for extra performance.
The armrest is adjustable both horizontally and vertically. As far as we are concerned, the height adjustment could be lowered a little deeper.
Still has equipped the roof posts with a welded, steel handle for both getting on/off and reversing. The handles feel a bit cold, but are long enough to offer every driver the desired gripping height. When reversing, we miss the opportunity to operate the horn via this handle, but this is available as an option, so Still claims.
Steering on the new RX60 is very predictable. The truck does exactly what you expect and has good directional stability, both with and without load. The steering column can be adjusted in four fixed positions but has no height adjustment. The steering knob can be turned ‘through the stop’ so that you can set it to the desired position when driving straight ahead. This position is not synchronized and will change after a while, so you can/need to repeat the action.
The mast functions on our test truck are controlled by the 2 levers on the armrest. Left is for lift/lower and tilt, right is for the sideshift and other possible extra functions that are not active now. The operation is very precise and sensitive. The lifting speed for the High-Performance version – 25 kW pump motor instead of 20 kW – is enormous. We measure a unloaded speed of over 66 cm/sec, a record!
When driving, the influence of the High-Performance version is also clearly noticeable. Instead of 2x 8.5 kW, the pre-series model of the RX60 HP now has 2x 9.6 kW driving motors and will have 2x 10,5 kW in the final series. At the maximum driving and lifting program in combination with the sprint mode, the truck sprays forward and in no time we drive faster than 22 km/hour. The combination of acceleration, driving and lifting results in a productivity of 363 pallets per 8 hours on our track. The best diesel truck ever in this class reached 358, the best E-truck so far scored 339 pallets.
Still has managed to turn all this power and speed into a manageable and predictable ‘package’ with the new RX60. The truck is impressively fast, but never unpredictable. Even the braking on the drive motors is as expected when we drive at maximum power mode. The measured regeneration current is very generous and will be used to a large extent by the lithium-ion battery. The degree of regeneration, and therefore also the braking, increases as the battery becomes less full.
Thanks to the regeneration, optimized software and the new controller setup as close to the drive motors as possible, the Still RX60 is very energy efficient. Even at maximum operation power, we achieve a practical uptime of 12 hours and 51 minutes with the 670 Ah / 80V lithium-ion battery. Not only does the battery offer the advantage of opportunity charging, but with a 90-95% discharge it has a greater efficiency than a lead-acid battery that can be discharged up to 80%.
For those who prefer less speed to longer uptime: with Blue-Q on, you’ll get more than 16 hours of battery power from a single battery charge in practical terms, while maintaining productivity at the same level as the best E-truck to date.
With the RX60-25 High-Performance in this test, Still sets the standard for electric trucks in this segment. Never before has an E-truck been so productive in this test and for the first time in our history the diesel truck has been defeated in this aspect. Add to this the benefits of silence, flexibility, the lower cost of electricity as a power source, ease of operation, less maintenance and a very predictable handling and you have all the ingredients for an IC Killer with the RX60.
The adjustment of the armrest, the horn when driving in reverse and the uncovered version of the handles are just some of the possible improvements.
(Text and photos: Andersom Testing, Theo Egberts and Mark Dohmen)
Tags:Andersom test, Andersom testing, Forklift test, Intralogistics, Still, Still RX60, Still RX60-25