Center Control Forklift has in-dash fuel cell controls and gauges.

Press Release Summary:

Designed to accommodate Plug Power GenDrive(TM) fuel cells, PC 4500 Series Center Control Pallet Truck incorporates controls and gauges for fuel cell into dashboard. This negates need for operator to stop operation to access control box and check fuel cell status. Able to operate in conditions as low as -20°F, truck features fuel cells behind operator and offers features such as power steering, Access 1 2 3® technology, and ergonomic X10® handle.

Original Press Release:

Crown Pallet Truck Designed for Fuel Cell Power Units Incorporates Fuel Cell Controls and Gauges into Truck Dashboard

Innovative Truck Now Used In Walmart Canada's New Distribution Center In Alberta

NEW BREMEN, Ohio - Crown Equipment Corporation, one of the world's leading forklift manufacturers, today introduced a new version of its Crown PC 4500 Series center control pallet truck designed to accommodate Plug Power GenDrive(TM) fuel cells. The Crown PC 4500 is the industry's first pallet truck to be designed specifically for fuel cells in an effort to ensure there is no negative impact on safety, efficiency and performance.

The newly designed PC 4500 is the first forklift to incorporate controls and gauges for the fuel cell into the dashboard of the truck for operator convenience. Normally, these controls and gauges, such as a fuel-level indicator and a start/stop button, are located on the fuel cell, which requires the operator to stop operation to access the control box and check the status of the fuel cells. The other significant design modification to the fuel cell version of the Crown PC 4500 is the placement of the fuel cell power unit behind the operator.

"With the standard PC 4500, the battery box is located directly below the steering control. Because many fuel cell packs have a taller profile, there isn't enough room to fit them below the steering control without creating safety and performance issues," said Rod Squires, product manager, Crown Equipment. "The idea to place the fuel cell behind the operator came about while we were working to meet the fuel cell needs of our customer, Walmart Canada."

A fleet of the Crown PC 4500 trucks with fuel cells were recently delivered to Walmart Canada's new perishable distribution center located outside of Calgary, Alberta. The facility is the first complete distribution center in Canada to be powered exclusively by hydrogen fuel cells. The trucks are expected to be operational by September.

"Crown worked closely with Walmart to ensure they had the right trucks for their unique applications," added Squires. "It was vital that the trucks helped them work toward their aggressive sustainability goal of making the new distribution center one of the most energy-efficient facilities of its kind in North America."

Crown, which has received two grants for its fuel cell research that began more than five years ago, conducts fuel cell testing at a 25,000-square-foot research facility near Dayton, Ohio, that is dedicated solely to this purpose. Crown continues to work closely with fuel cell manufacturers and customers to research and test fuel cell applications. The company recently introduced a Fuel Cell Qualification program for its line of electric forklifts. The program, which approves Crown trucks for use with fuel cell power packs and provides certifications to customers, is the first of its kind within the forklift industry.

"Through our research and application testing, we have been able to determine the specific design modifications that must be made to a fuel cell-powered Crown lift truck, if any, so that it meets the same safety and performance standards as a truck running on a battery," said Eric Jensen, manager of new technology research and development, Crown Equipment. "By making these design changes and working closely with our customers, we are taking the guesswork out of fuel cells and enabling interested customers to seamlessly incorporate fuel cell lift trucks into their fleet."

The Crown PC 4500 can operate in conditions as low as minus 20F (minus 29C). The truck maintains the same features and benefits presented by the standard model, such as power steering, Access 1 2 3® technology and the ergonomically designed and award-winning X10® handle.

Crown's fuel cell initiative is a critical component of its commitment to environmental sustainability throughout its business. The company recently released its annual Crown ecologic Report highlighting the company's sustainability initiatives and accomplishments. To download a copy of the report, visit

About Crown Equipment Corporation
Crown is one of the world's largest lift truck manufacturers. Crown's award-winning line of lift trucks maintains a reputation for exceptional product design, engineering and manufacturing. From the smallest hand pallet truck to the highest lifting turret truck, Crown seeks to provide users with safe, efficient and ergonomic lift trucks that lower total cost of ownership and maximize uptime. Headquartered in New Bremen, Ohio, Crown manufactures lift trucks that are sold throughout the world. For more information, visit

Crown Equipment acknowledges the contribution of the State of Ohio, Department of Development and the Third Frontier Commission which provided the funding in support of the Qualification of lift trucks for battery replacement fuel cell projects.

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