- How long will a battery last ?
In general, the life of a regularly used battery is between 300 and 500 charge/discharge cycles. Depending on the battery, this translates into a 1-to-2 year timeframe. As a battery nears the end of it's productive life (typically considered 50% of its original capacity), the talk and stand-by times of the battery will be noticeably shorter. It is interesting to note that a Lithium-ion battery will, over it's useful lifetime, maintain more of a full capacity charge and then "die" rather suddenly; a NiMH battery will demonstrate a more gradual decline in performance as it nears the end of it's productive life.
- What is the difference between a Lithium-ion and a Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery ?
In general, a Lithium-ion battery will provide slightly higher performance at a lighter weight than a NiMH battery (a Lithium-ion battery will typically offer 10-20% better performance and weigh 20-35% less than a NiMH battery with equivalent mAh). In addition, Lithium-ion batteries are the only batteries not susceptible to "memory effect". As a result, you will typically pay a premium for these qualities. NiMH batteries, while much better than their NiCd counterparts, may develop the "memory effect" and experience degraded performance over the life of the battery. Proper care and conditioning of a NiMH battery will significantly reduce the potential negative impact of the "memory effect."
- Are alkaline batteries considered hazardous waste?
No. In the United States and many other countries, alkaline batteries are classified as common household waste. Great strides have been made to make alkaline batteries better for the environment and they've been manufactured free of added mercury since the mid 1990s. Classification details may vary and should be confirmed in each specific geographical location.