Cons of Rechargeable Batteries

Written by julia story
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Cons of Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable batteries must be plugged in and recharged between uses. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Batteries can be purchased in rechargeable or non-rechargeable types. Rechargeable batteries are useful because they can be recharged and power electronics longer. Rechargeable batteries work well with high-drain appliances such as digital cameras and hand-held video game consoles. Despite these benefits, there are cons to these products as well.

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Rechargeable batteries have a higher cost than disposable batteries when purchased. Due to their reusable nature, their price is higher. In addition to the price of the batteries themselves, rechargeable batteries require additional hardware to charge them. Chargers come in many types, and often must be purchased separately from the batteries themselves. The power supply in most chargers may expire and require replacement, increasing the ultimate price of your rechargeable batteries.


Rechargeable batteries are usually classified as hazardous waste and can have extremely negative impacts on the environment. While disposable batteries have some negative environmental aspects, they can sometimes be recycled. In some places, disposable batteries can be thrown out in locations specific for that use. Rechargeable batteries end up in the environment once they are no longer useful, and their waste can be deadly to animal and plant life. Using rechargeable batteries adds to the hazardous waste in our world.


Although rechargeable batteries may power high-use electronics for a longer period of time, their shelf life is actually shorter than disposable batteries'. Disposable batteries can be stored in the freezer when they are not in use to make their shelf life even longer. Rechargeable batteries reverse the chemical reaction that drains them when charging, but this only slows their eventual decay. Rechargeable batteries do not last as long as disposables, especially when disposables are properly cared for.


Disposable batteries come in standard sizes such as AAA, AA, and D. Electronics that need these sizes of batteries can use batteries from any company. Disposable batteries are interchangeable within their size. Rechargeable batteries in standard sizes do exist, but many electronics come with their own, specialised rechargeable battery. These specialised batteries are expensive to replace, and often must be special-ordered. Standardised battery sizes are easier to replace and find than specialised, rechargeable batteries.

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