Jamco’s Electric vs. Propane Forklifts

Choosing between the two? A decision may come down to the pros and cons.

At Jamco, we always have a wide selection of electric- and propane-fueled forklifts in all capacities so that you can find the right one for your job. Need to decide which is best for you? Weigh the pros and cons!

A Doosan electric forklift



  • Zero tailpipe emissions, resulting in a better, safer work environment
  • Less noise during operation
  • Outside, on-site fuel storage is eliminated, reducing liability
  • Less planned maintenance and repair maintenance required
  • Capacity ratings and stability are usually better at high lifting heights
  • Turning radius specifications are better
  • Rear visibility is better due to the lack of a propane cylinder
  • Longer major component life can be expected when compared with propane forklifts
  • Fewer hand/arm/foot movements needed, increasing operator productivity
  • Fewer waste fluids to dispose of; i.e., no engine, transmission or coolant fluid changes
  • Less brake wear (braking is automatic)


  • May or may not meet performance expectations if high and/or constant duty drive line torque is required
  • Cleaning, watering and charging requirements of industrial battery may not be manageable, particularly in a multi-shift operation
  • Forgetting to charge the battery overnight could result in significant productivity consequences the next day
  • May or may not meet performance and reliability expectations when exposed to cold, wet weather or abusive and corrosive applications
  • Adequate ventilation is required around the forklift when the battery is being recharged
  • Operating in freezing temperatures will damage the truck and/or battery without certain precautions
  • Battery chargers have certain voltage and amperage requirements, and an existing electrical service may or may not meet these requirements
  • In multi-shift operations, spare batteries, along with a charging area, may or may not be required (Fast charge systems are available and may eliminate the need for spare batteries)
A Doosan propane forklift



  • Little risk associated with running out of fuel other than having to change propane cylinders
  • Better than most electric forklifts when high and/or constant duty drive line torque is required
  • Acceptable for most indoor applications, provided that other WorkSafeBC criteria is met
  • May or may not be acceptable for food handling


  • Rear visibility off the back end restricted due to the location of the propane tank
  • Possibility of a fuel system leak while the truck is indoors
  • Operators need to be trained on the safe handling of propane fuel
  • Fuel cost is higher when compared with electric forklifts
  • Due to the weight and frequency propane tanks are changed, WorkSafeBC injury claims are possible
  • More difficult to start and operate reliably when operating in freezing temperatures
  • Fossil fuel costs will likely climb dramatically in the years ahead
  • Propane fuel is not always readily available in remote locations

Jamco offers indoor and outdoor rental forklifts to handle any load capacity. For more information about our indoor and outdoor forklift rentals and the one that’s best for your job, please call (866) 848–5400 or CONTACT US.

Your satisfaction is our #1 priority.

Need same-day delivery, short- or long-term rental pricing, or help determining machine capacity for your specific job? Jamco’s experts have the answers you need.

Call (866) 848–5400 or Contact Us