Many industries are now taking steps to be more environmentally conscious. Some look towards minimizing waste and using sustainable materials, others try to recycle more and find ways to use less energy. While this is a popular movement, battery manufacturers such as U.S. Battery Manufacturing in Corona, California, have known for decades that the electric golf car industry and industries that utilize golf cars, such as resorts and retirement communities, have been a force for one of the biggest and best environmental successes in U.S. history.
Most golf courses would agree, that flooded lead-acid batteries (FLA) remain as the most cost-effective power solution for their fleets. The advantages to using FLA batteries also extends to them being one of the most recycled product in the world, according to the Battery Council International (BCI) and other environmental agencies. The facts are that FLA batteries are recycled at a rate of 97 to 99 percent, from which the recycled lead and plastic from the battery cases are re-manufactured back into new golf car batteries within a closed-loop system.
The idea of recycling lead doesn’t seem like an environmentally friendly process, but lead recyclers have had to operate and maintain under extremely restrictive emissions regulations and standards. The results, over the years, is a process that has reduced emissions from lead recycling and is now far below EPA standards. According to the BCI contamination in the air has dropped by 99 percent since 1980, and a recent study it conducted suggests that the U.S. lead battery industry enables more than 95,000 jobs for American workers and contributed more than $28 billion in total economic output to the national economy in 2016.*
For golf courses who are maintaining their fleet of FLA battery-powered vehicles, it’s gratifying to know that they are contributing, perhaps unknowingly, to one of the highest recycling successes that are far beyond aluminum and paper recycling methods. This is one of the reasons why battery manufacturers and the battery industry in general, maintain that proper battery recycling and disposal is key to keeping up the high environmental standards. The introduction of Lithium-ion batteries into the FLA battery recycling process has caused fires and explosions, so organizations like the U.S. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), are proposing to develop a more standardized labeling system with color coding, in an effort to minimize and stop lithium-ion battery contamination within the FLA battery lead recycling process.
For more information on flooded lead-acid batteries specifically manufactured for electric vehicles and more, visit www.usbattery.com.