Cordless Power Tools in the Nordic Countries

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The toxic heavy metal cadmium is used in rechargeable nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries, and is spread to the environment through, among others, treatment of waste containing the batteries that have not been sorted out. Cordless power tools currently constitute the largest single input of portable nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries in many European countries. This report describes the supply situation for cordless power tools in the Nordic countries and discusses the key technical factors influencing substitution of NiMH for NiCd batteries in this sector. NiMH-driven power tools are sold in large quantities today, particularly on the professional market. Several large producers of cordless power tools recommend NiMH to pro-fessionals. The report presents new data which may inform the process of defining a sustainable regulation of NiCd batteries in the European Union. The project was financed by the PA-group under the Nordic Council of Ministers.




The total share of NiMH-driven cordless professional power tools can be estimated at 50-60%. Data for the Do-It-Yourself market are not avail-able. Some users prefer NiMH-driven power tools because NiMH batter-ies can work longer per charge. Others prefer NiCd because the batteries have a longer lifetime


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