LPG, electric and diesel forklifts, whats the difference?

When talking about forklifts, LPGelectric and diesel engines all result in different lifting capacities and sizes to suit different working environments. So how do you know which fuel type best suits your business?

The team at Lift Equipt have put together a comprehensive guide to the different fuel types and how each type could benefit your day-to-day operations.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Forklifts

Also known as gas forklifts, LPG forklifts are a popular choice for businesses who are looking for a forklift that can maintain 100% power throughout the day, is competitively priced and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor work.

Running Costs

LPG forklifts have lower upfront costs, as they do not require recharging equipment or batteries – you just need to have a gas bottle handy for when your current bottle runs out. Also, as these forklifts do not require batteries, you won’t need to organise safe battery disposal.

Less Downtime

LPG forklifts can help to keep your business’ productivity high by ensuring less downtime.

Unlike electric forklifts, LPG forklifts do not require substantial time for refuelling; it generally only takes around five minutes to refill or change an LPG cylinder, compared to up to eight hours to recharge an electric forklift.

Better Performance and Power

LPG forklifts typically exceed the power found in their electric and diesel counterparts, thanks to a better power to weight ratio and more responsive engines. With LPG forklifts, you will find that they can carry considerably-sized loads at a faster rate, for a longer amount of time than their electric counterparts.


With the flexibility and manoeuvrability found in LPG forklifts, you could be mistaken for thinking they are only suitable for small loads. However, LPG forklifts typically carry loads of up to seven tonnes!

Indoor and Outdoor Usage

These versatile forklifts can be used both indoors and outdoors, which is an ideal solution for businesses who have yards and warehouses.

Electric Forklifts

If your business is looking for a quiet forklift with no tailpipe emissions, to undertake operations in an indoor environment, then an electric forklift may be the ideal solution.

Indoor Use

Electric forklifts work well in an indoor environment, as they do not emit fumes, unlike their LPG and diesel equivalents. They are also much quieter than the other forklift types, thanks to the battery-powered engine.

Great Manoeuvrability

Electric forklifts are typically smaller than the other types of forklifts. Depending on your needs, you can find electric forklifts in four-wheel or three-wheel counter-balance designs. The compact size of electric forklifts means they are extremely moveable, and perfect for small and complex warehouses.

More Environmentally Friendly

Running on a battery means no harmful gases are emitted into your warehouse whilst the forklift is in operation.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Electric forklifts generally have lower maintenance costs than LPG or diesel forklifts, as they don’t have an engine, transmission or radiator that requires regular maintenance or repair.

Smaller Lifting Capacity

As they run on battery power, electric forklifts are ideal for warehouses with smaller load-lifting requirements.


These forklifts require a charged battery to operate; businesses can invest in spare battery packs and chargers for their forklifts to ensure there is always a charged battery to keep the forklift running.

For businesses with 24/7 operations or large-scale outdoor forklift requirements, an electric forklift may not suit your individual operational needs.

Diesel Forklifts

If your business needs a forklift for heavy loads in an outdoor setting, then a diesel forklift may be the best option for your operations.

Higher Capacity Loads

Of the three forklift types, diesel offers the heaviest lifting capacity. Diesel forklifts can lift to 25 tonnes, making them good for large yards or heavy-duty operations.

Gradients and Speed

Thanks to the higher torque in their engines compared to LPG forklifts, diesel forklifts operate better on gradients and can accelerate and lift at a higher speed.

Outdoor Use

Diesel forklifts are noisy operators that emit exhaust fumes, which makes them unsafe for indoor operations, but ideal for your outdoor requirements. Businesses can invest in exhaust purifiers to reduce the emissions from their machinery.


Compared to LPG forklifts, a diesel forklift is more fuel-efficient. A tank of diesel fuel (50-litre average) will last substantially longer than an 18kg bottle of gas, allowing you to spend less time worrying about refuelling.

Lower Maintenance and Long Life

As diesel forklifts have sturdier engines and operate at lower “revs” than LPG, the engine of a diesel forklift tends to endure more years of use than an LPG forklift. Maintenance costs for diesel forklifts also come in cheaper than LPG forklifts.

The Lowdown on Forklifts

If your business requires a forklift, or you have questions about anything forklift-related, speak to the friendly, knowledgeable team at Lift Equipt. Our specialist team can help you find a forklift solution for your business individual needs.

Contact us today to see how we can help your business reach new heights with a new or used forklift.