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Benefits and Drawbacks of using Rechargeable Batteries

Benefits and Drawbacks of using Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable Batteries have their place, potentially being able to be reused 100s of times and saving both money and resources and preventing hundreds of disposable batteries from being used and discarded.

But there are several drawbacks:

  • Continued high levels of disposable battery sales shows that in practice people appear to favour convenience over energy saving in everyday devices
  • Higher upfront cost of rechargeable batteries and the battery charger acts as a barrier to purchase and use, even though in the long run the economy is firmly in favour of the rechargeables.
  • Rechargeables are usually powered by mains electricity, ie coal-fired electricity in most cases.
  • Rechargeables contain heavy metals and toxic contents that make them hazardous waste unsuitable for landfill
  • Choice found in 2012 that ‘All rechargeable batteries lose some of their power everyday, even when not in use, but some lose much more than others. This continues to be an issue when powering infrequently used devices, such as an emergency torches or cameras, as the batteries will go flat over time. In such situations, alkaline batteries are commonly used because they have a much better shelf life and can be trusted to work even if left unused for a year. ‘ Choice also found that ‘…standard NiMH batteries may lose 50% of their charge’ after 12 months of non-use. Read more on Choice Online.


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