Science Questions

Have rechargeable batteries got better?

Tue, 8th Apr 2014

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Question

Kat Arney asked:

When I was kid some time ago, my dad was very into rechargeable batteries and we used to put them on our walkman and they would basically last a tapeís length and then just die. I understand now, rechargeable batteries are a lot better. What's changed and should people be using them?

Answer

Graham Verity from GP Batteries - Yes, I believe itís time we looked again at rechargeable batteries. I know a lot of people had a lot of disappointing experiences years ago, but the technology has moved on. We never consider using a rechargeable battery in our mobile phones, so why do we do it in Ė why do we not do it in everything else? This country alone spends 250 million pounds a year on single shot batteries which are fairly...

Kat - I think most of that is me actually, old batteries.

Graham - If I were to sell you a car and say itís going to cost you 80 pounds to fill it up with fuel, but every time you fill up again, itís going to cost you 50P for the next 300 fills. You think that's crazy. Why wouldn't I do that? And yet, with batteries, we don't.

Kat - Is it just the chemistry of the batteries that's changed that enables them to be better?

Graham - The chemistry has moved on. It started with NiCad, itís now nickel metal hydride and yes, itís very, very different today from what it was 10, 15 years ago.

 

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