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plugProcter & Gamble – the world’s largest purchaser of nonwovens for hygiene products – is converting its battery-operated forklift fleets at three plants to models powered with hydrogen fuel cells.

The first three P&G plants – in California, North Carolina, and Louisiana – will begin converting their batteries to fuel cells supplied by Plug Power.

“Fuel cell forklifts can be a financially attractive proposition that increase productivity while helping us reach our sustainability vision,” said P&G’s vice president of Global Family Care Product Supply and Global Product Supply Sustainability Stefano Zenezini. “Our internal analysis shows that we can not only achieve the sustainability benefits, but can also an attractive rate of return on our investment at the same time.”

The fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity efficiently without combustion, producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions. They enable the truck to sustain its power over an entire shift, require less routine maintenance and are much faster to refuel. It takes about two minutes to replenish a forklift with high-pressure hydrogen gas.

The first three sites will see over 200 forklifts powered with hydrogen fuel cells. Other sites are being studied for future conversions.

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