Retail Stores Now Testing Autonomous Battery Operated Sweeper Scrubbers

According to a FOXBusiness report, Walmart is in the process of testing autonomous floor scrubbers. These electric vehicles are built by Brain Corp and utilize four six-volt flooded lead-acid batteries. Brain Corp reports that these vehicles feature multi-layer sensors that control navigation and their internal systems also learn from users to replicate multiple scrubbing routes.

A Walmart spokesperson in the FOXBusiness report says this is a pilot program that is currently being tested in some of the company’s Arkansas retail stores. According to Brain Corp, these vehicles are currently working in approximately 50 malls and big-box retailers across the U.S.

Industry Investment And Closed-Loop Collection Increases Battery Recycling Rate

The Battery Council International released its National Recycling Rate Study which shows that lead batteries have a recycling rate of 99.3 percent. The industry’s state-of-the-art closed-loop collection and recycling system, along with industry investment, helped create the nearly perfect recycling rate for flooded lead-acid batteries.

The study points out that in addition to keeping 1.7 million tons of batteries out of landfills (annually), lead batteries sustainability reduce CO2 emissions in vehicles through start-stop battery technology, hybrid/electric vehicles, and smart grid technology that improves the reliability of wind and solar farms.  “Our goal is to recycle and reuse as many batteries as possible as part of our commitment to provide an environmentally-friendly source of energy storage,” said Mark Thorsby, executive vice president of BCI. “On average, a new lead battery is comprised of more than 80 percent recycled lead battery material. Every component of the battery, from lead and plastic to sulfuric acid, is recyclable which reduces waste, ensures that they are properly disposed of and decreases the need for virgin ore mining.”

The state-of-the-art closed-loop process that ensures lead batteries’ high rate of recycling is recognized by the World Economic Forum and MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics as the world’s most successful example of a circular economy-featuring the design, production, transportation, recycling and recovery of vehicle batteries. For more information on battery recycling and batteries used in a variety of industries, visit www.usbattery.com

U.S. Battery Manufacturing Switches To New Look With A Red Case And Cover

U.S. Battery Manufacturing is changing the appearance of its flooded lead-acid line of deep-cycle batteries to a bright red case and cover. The decision to move to an all red battery will eliminate the various colored cases and covers seen on several U.S. Battery models. This change will further help to streamline their wide-ranging product line into one recognizable brand.

“The change to the new red case and cover is only aesthetic,” says Don Wallace, U.S. Battery CMO/Executive VP Sales and Marketing. “Current model configurations, internal structures, initial capacity advantages, and cycle-up to full capacity ratings are unchanged, and remain the highest in the industry.”

U.S. Battery dealers and distributors will see the new red/red batteries as a rolling change as the previous color options are slowly phased out. Initially, the case/cover color change will only affect these U.S. Battery models: US250 XC2, US250HC XC2, US305 XC2, US305HC XC2, USL16 XC2, US L16HC XC2, US185 XC2, US185HC XC2, US24DC XC2, US27DC XC2, and US31DC XC2.

U.S. Battery products are manufactured and assembled by hand in the U.S.A. The company’s exclusive XC2 formulation ensures the highest initial capacity, fastest cycle-up time to full-rated capacity, improved recharge-ability, and the highest total energy delivered compared to any battery in their class. For more information on sizes, ratings, and applications for a variety of electric powered vehicles and markets, visit www.usbattery.com.

Fire Safety Concerns Around Lithium Battery Powered Golf Cars

Concerns over fire safety around lithium batteries used in vehicles such as golf cars, particularly when used on public streets (LSV’s and NEV’s), are prompting firefighters to share information on extinguishing fires involving lithium batteries. While there have been no reported cases of fires from lithium powered golf cars, examples of automobile fires have given rise to this concern.

In an article published on MSN Autos, firefighters in Germany issued a press release to other firefighters about an accident on a highway in Austria where an electric vehicle equipped with lithium-ion batteries crashed and the batteries caught fire. The German firefighters reported that while they were extinguishing the fire, they had to wear extreme respiratory control equipment because of the toxic fumes emitted from the lithium batteries.  Also, the vehicle fire repeatedly re-ignited after apparently being extinguished and had to be extinguished repeatedly. They indicated that it was only after cutting the power to the lithium-ion batteries, that it was possible to finally put out the fire*.

Vehicle manufacturers utilizing lithium-ion batteries caution firefighters that lithium-ion battery fires can take up to 24-hours to fully extinguish. They also advise firefighters to inform second responders (law-enforcement, tow personnel) that there is a risk of the battery re-igniting

This concern has crossed over into golf cars, as some manufacturers are now utilizing lithium-ion battery systems. Any battery powered golf car that is not operated properly or charged in a closed environment (without proper ventilation), runs the risk of a potential fire. Although it is not very likely that lithium-ion powered golf cars will catch fire, it is important for consumers to be aware of the differences among battery types and the hazards that can occur in order to provide the highest level of safety possible.

*-MSN Autos – Here’s What Firefighters Do To Extinguish A Battery Fire On A Tesla Model S