AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (March 31, 2008) — Bridgestone/Firestone said it will replace the battery-powered forklifts used at its Aiken County tire plant with a hydrogen fuel cell-powered fleet during the next two years.
The plant will start its changeover this year, swapping 23 of its battery-powered forklifts for “green” ones, and will replace another 20 in 2009.
BFS said it already has had success using hydrogen fuel cells at other facilities, powering vehicles that run two to three times longer and take a fraction of the time to refuel than traditional equipment.
“This is a natural step for a technology-focused company like Bridgestone,” Plant Manager Mike Rose said. “Using this cutting-edge technology in a practical way helps our teammates and plant visitors get familiar with this clean, alternative energy.”
BFS officials also announced the installation of a hydrogen fuel pump near the plant that will be used by the company as well as other local businesses.
The tire maker's Aiken County plant has won several awards for environmental stewardship and is a charter member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Performance Track program, which recognizes industry leading facilities in environmental performance.