When is 75A/h not 75A/h?
Leading battery distributor, Manbat has an important message to consumers about to purchase a new leisure battery: “MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS ASK WHAT THE ACTUAL AMPERE/HOUR RATE OF THE BATTERY IS BEFORE YOU PURCHASE A LEISURE BATTERY. DON’T BE FOOLED BY MODEL NUMBERS OR REFERENCE CODES!”
The abject failure of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to fully address the matter of battery labelling was a missed opportunity to provide much needed consumer protection when purchasing replacement leisure batteries for caravans, motorhomes or boats.
Article 21 of the European battery directive EU Directive 2006/66/EC, which was passed by the union late last year and which specifically deals with the subject of battery labelling, has resulted in protection for the motorist, but leaves those purchasing leisure and marine batteries at potential risk.
Mysteriously, the Eurocrats failed to include automotive derived leisure and marine batteries in the directive, thus leaving consumers of these batteries to the mercy of unscrupulous battery suppliers who can still mislead consumers to the actual specification of a replacement battery.
The directive places the responsibility upon the battery manufacturers/distributors and wholesalers to ensure that the capacity of all portable, automotive batteries and accumulators is indicated on them in a visible, indelible and legible form.
The legislation for automotive and commercial vehicle batteries now means that the capacity of every battery must be clearly stated in Ampere Hours (Ah) at the 20-hour rate and complemented by an indication of the ability of the battery to start an engine in cold climate, i.e. the “Cold Cranking Amperes” (CCA).
The harsh reality of this oversight means that disreputable battery suppliers can word their leisure/marine battery labels to imply that the battery is of a certain power rating or capacity, either directly through their stated capacity or indirectly through their reference number, when in fact they are of a lower capacity when measured at the 20-hour rate.
Therefore, the recommendation from Manbat and other reputable battery suppliers is that consumers opt for a recognised battery brand that clearly and prominently state the Ampere Hours (Ah) at the 20-hour rate and the CCA level. Remember a battery called an L75 may not actually be a 75-ampere/hour battery, so consumers must ask before they purchase!
The trade and public alike can be assured that all of the batteries supplied by Manbat, which include the Numax, Lucas and VARTA brands fully comply with the labelling directive.
For more information relating to the battery directive, or any other battery storage issue, please contact Manbat Customer Services on: 01743 460790 or visit: www.manbat.co.uk