Remote Power Transfer - the end of batteries!
Batteries not included
consumer of throw-away batteries uses 30-50 batteries a year. In the U.S.
alone, 2.9 billion batteries are thrown away each year. Alkaline batteries
are the largest segment of the battery market, with extremely high levels
of purchases. In fact, the average household buys as many as 90 alkaline
batteries a year.
As advances in
batteries become available, manufactures design better and more power
hungry products to match – at no additional manufacturing cost!
But the consumer and the environment ultimately pays the price.
A set of 4 alkaline batteries costing $2.74 has a capacity of about 0.0171 kilowatt-hours. This corresponds to a cost of $160.23 per kilowatt-hour! In contrast, residential electricity costs about $0.06 per kilowatt-hour!!! Batteries are about 267,000% more expensive per kilowatt-hour than household electricity!!!!! Most consumers don’t realize that the amount of power actually consumed by a battery-powered product is actually miniscule.
Cost of ownership
Take as an example a typical RC car costing $19.99. Before leaving the store, the consumer (you!) will have also purchased 4 AA batteries at a cost of $2.74 and a 9V battery at a cost of $2.45 (they come in a pack of two for a total price of $4.89) for a total of $5.19 worth of batteries. That is more than 25% of the cost of the product spent before you leave the store!
The RC car might typically run for approximately 30 minutes of operation before the batteries need to be replaced. Presuming the toy was well built and exciting, it would hopefully see 2 to 3 hours of operation in its lifetime. That corresponds to 5 additional sets of AA batteries totaling $13.70 of additional expense.
All tolled, the real cost of purchasing this particular toy was $38.88, or nearly twice the apparent retail cost of the toy!
Many products sold with batteries included use low grade, low energy carbon type batteries as a marketing ploy. These batteries will often perform poorly and need to be replaced promptly. It is not uncommon for these manufacturers to install the very type of battery they recommend against!
In the U.S. alone, 2.9 billion batteries are thrown away each year. Attempts have been made at improving the ability to recycle batteries. However, environmentally beneficial and cost-effective recycling technologies are not universally available. In fact a study that analyzed various battery-recycling programs indicated that overall these programs may be more detrimental to the environment than simply throwing the batteries away.
properly cared for, batteries pose a danger to unsuspecting consumers. If
left unused in a product for an extended period, batteries can leak and
ruin expensive products. Damage to or mishandling of alkaline batteries
can cause the potassium hydroxide to leak out of the battery cell, which
could result in severe chemical burns. And batteries can pose a serious
danger if disposed of in a fire, bursting like a bomb, spewing hot,
caustic chemicals in all directions.
certainly aware of and frustrated with these problems, but to date there
has not been a practical alternative. Consequently consumers would rather
not look at the details when there is no hope in sight for an alternative.
line of Battery-Free™ products would have great appeal.
Informed consumers would gladly pay a slightly higher initial product cost
if the overall cost and hassle of the product were significantly reduced.
In addition, environmentally conscious consumers would be delighted.
(c) Copyright 2005 ChildLikes, Inc. All rights reserved.
Robotic Gamingtm is a trademark of ChildLikes, Inc., All rights reserved.