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Pedestrian truck designed around modular Lithium-Ion battery concept

10 November 2020

The new BT Levio LWI160 powered pallet truck from Toyota Material Handling is the first-ever pedestrian-operated truck that is designed around a modular Lithium-Ion battery concept.

IN AN example of its core philosophy of continuous improvement (kaizen) in practice, Toyota Material Handling has been thinking outside of the box to optimise the BT Levio Li-Ion LWI160, and came up with a new design of the powered pallet truck, which is said to be revolutionary and innovative. The LWI160 is the first low-lifter in the industry to have gone through a complete redesign approach. Rethinking and optimising the entire layout of the truck by removing the traditional battery tank allowing an optimal fit of all components. Thanks to its built-in Lithium-Ion battery and I_Site telematics as standard, the high-quality, compact design was awarded with the 2020 iF design award, an important recognition from the iF jury for Toyota’s first design with its unique Lithium-Ion approach.

According to Toyota, this represents the start of a new era, allowing the company to build further on the same approach, optimising future designs even more to offer customers an even better solution for their material handling operations. Instead of working with big blocks of Lithium-Ion cells, the design incorporates smaller modules meaning that both the battery cells and their weight are divided throughout the truck.

The BT Levio Li-Ion model is very compact, it is smaller and lighter without compromising on performance and is said to bring energy efficiency to the next level. The BT Levio LWI160, 24V offers flexible energy solutions. It comes with three battery capacities: 50, 105 and 150Ah Li-Ion, and offers easy and fast charging as well as customised energy solutions depending on customer needs. Customers have the choice between external charging, in-built charging or on-board lorry charging.

The BT Levio LWI160 contributes to better safety in several ways by putting the operator at the centre of the design

Safety is always at the forefront when Toyota is designing a new piece of equipment. The BT Levio LWI160 contributes to better safety in several ways by putting the operator at the centre of the design. Physically, the smaller dimensions mean that the operator of the truck has greater visibility. A highly manoeuvrable and compact design makes the truck easy to work with and it features the usual array of safety enhancements such as speed reduction when cornering and incorporation of a click-2-creep system. The complete redesign has also allowed the hydraulic unit to be placed further from the operator, this results in a lowered sound level. The LWI160 also has I_Site telematics built in as standard, offering even more information and control to enhance safety in your operation.

Easy manoeuvring

The BT Levio LWI160 is a powered warehouse truck that can be used in a wide variety of low, medium and high-intensity pedestrian applications. It is ideal for working in confined spaces such as retail sales areas, shops and supermarkets but also perfect for horizontal transport, loading and unloading. This one compact machine size offers easy manoeuvring and is perfect to use on-board delivery vehicles such as lorries. This innovative lightweight low-lifter from Toyota is only 269 kg (including a 105Ah battery) and can transport loads of up to 1.6 tonnes with ease over short to medium distances with a travel speed of up to 6 km/h.

For optimal driver comfort, the BT Levio LWI160 is user-friendly and intuitive thanks to its low noise and programmable driver parameters. Safe and efficient operations are guaranteed in all situations thanks to the new design, where the tiller arm is centrally placed, offering unrestricted visibility to the driver.

The LWI160 offers optimised corner control which automatically reduces speed when cornering depending on the steering arm angle. This decreases the risk of load instability when cornering as well as injuries, improving workplace safety. The unique click-2-creep system lets the operator drive the machine with the tiller arm in upright position at creep speed, improving manoeuvrability in confined areas.

Next steps for modular design

The BT Levio LWI160 is a glimpse of the future and this approach of employing modular Lithium-Ion design will be used in other trucks, both operator driven and automated. Combining new designs, new energy and telematics promises to deliver huge benefits and move innovation.