Xsense has been a big proponent of the use of non-Lithium batteries. In fact over 95% of the products that we produce are powered by non-lithium batteries. Our customers are motivated to use products containing non-lithium batteries. The most commonly cited reason is the lower environmental impact that non-lithium batteries have. This is the reason some receivers insist on the use of non-lithium batteries in the loggers that they receive. But the safety factor is ever present; some logistics providers will remove from loads loggers containing lithium batteries. What is not always appreciated are the benefits to the manufacturer of utilizing non-lithium batteries.
Shipments of goods containing lithium batteries are a hazard. They cannot be shipped in the bellies of passenger aircraft. Many countries will not receive such shipments, or will receive them on only certain days of the week, or the shipments must be sent via flights specifically arranged for the transport of hazardous goods. Some countries require shipments containing lithium batteries to be subject to pre-shipment inspections.
The goods must be specially packed to reduce risk. Some shippers insist that our staff go through their training programs on how to safely pack items containing lithium batteries. All of these requirements increase cost and complexity to us. It can be practically impossible to ship to certain destinations.
IATA (International Air Transport Association) publishes rules that must be met when shipping lithium batteries and goods containing lithium batteries by air. The standards keep getting tighter. And, the standards may be considered a minimum standard. Airlines are free to set higher standards, and to refuse to accept loads altogether. Even, vessel shipping standards are tightening vis-a-vis lithium batteries. So, it is only getting more difficult to ship products containing lithium batteries.
Additionally, it is relatively straight forward to control the handling of goods when distributing new goods and materials. It is practically impossible to impose packaging and shipping standards for the reverse logistics involved in the collection of refurbishable and recyclable goods.
Lastly, despite all preventative efforts, there is always a risk of fire when working with lithium batteries. This will be reflected in higher insurance costs for the business.
So, we at Xsense are quite happy to use non-lithium batteries whenever possible.