The entire fleet of material handling equipment at the new Walmart Perishable Distribution Centre (PDC) in Balzac Alberta is powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Walmart’s decision to incorporate hydrogen fuel cell forklifts and palette trucks in the 400,000 sq. ft. facility followed the successful completion of a four-month trial of fuel cell forklifts at two distribution centres. The trial logged more than 18,000 hours, 2,100 indoor hydrogen fuelings and achieved a 3.5% increase in productivity over comparable battery-powered forklifts.Walmart ForkliftUsing hydrogen produced by Air Liquide from 98% hydroelectric power, the Plug Power GenDrive units – with fuel cells from Ballard Power Systems – are delivering significant operating cost savings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Benefits include:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emission savings: 530 tonnes of COper year
  • ROI: Operating cost savings of $2 million dollars projected over a 7-year period
  • Space savings: Eliminated battery-charging area creating more valuable warehouse space
  • Increased productivity: Longer operation, no battery swapping, less than 3 minute refuelling
  • Improved performance: Constant full power output throughout shift as low as -29˚C condition
  • Improved brand: Commitment to provide products that sustain people and the environment


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