VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Plug Power Inc. announced that Wal-Mart has placed an order for GenDrive fuel-cell power units for use in lift trucks at one of the giant retailer’s distribution centers.
The new units will power pallet trucks at Wal-Mart’s food distribution center in Washington Court House, Ohio, and replace the previously used lead-acid batteries.
Wal-Mart tested the power units at two of its Ohio distribution centers in late 2006, according to Plug Power. Twelve fuel-cell-powered pallet trucks ran for more than four months, logging more than 18,000 hours and 2,100 indoor fuelings by pallet truck operators, the company said.
"We've seen how fuel cells can improve efficiency in our distribution centers while enabling us to be more responsible global citizens," said Johnnie Dobbs, Wal-Mart's executive vice president of logistics and supply chain.
Roger Saillant, Plug Power's President and CEO, added: "We view Wal-Mart's purchase order as an important indicator of the progress that fuel cells are making as reliable and clean alternatives to incumbent technologies in a variety of industries.”