The insanity of battery incompatibility

MowerMike

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One of the biggest problems with battery powered electric tools is the total incompatibility between brands and even within brands. Here is my ridiculous situation with the many different batteries I am currently using:

Greenworks 40V original Li-Ion battery
Greenworks 40V new G-MAX Li-Ion battery
Greenworks 20V Li-Ion battery
Black & Decker 18V NiCd battery
Black & Decker 36V Li-Ion battery
Ryobi 24V Li-Ion battery
WeedEater 20V Li-Ion battery (compatible with Greenworks and Troybilt 20V tools)
Bosch 18V Li-Ion battery
Remington 18V NiCd battery

Of course all these unique batteries require their own specific charger unit, which doubles the problem. The only cross-compatibility is between the WeedEater and Greenworks 20V Li-Ion batteries/chargers, such that I can use the WeedEater batteries in the Greenworks tools and charge the Greenworks battery in the WeedEater charger.

Wouldn't it be great if there were some type of universal industry standard for batteries. Pie in the sky, I guess.
 

sporkk

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I've wondered the same thing and its part of the reason I have been so resistant to use battery powered tools. You could always just extend the power wires and use your own with a deans connector. You could strap it to the handle somehow or wherever works best. A 10s 5ah lipo is about $100 from hobby king in comparison to one of the 4ah gmax batteries.

Its even more silly when sometimes its more practical just to buy a new trimmer for the batteries. I have a B&D 18v trimmer I've thought about refitting with lipos but I might leave it on the curb and buy the gmax trimmer.
 

MowerMike

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Even more insane is that different manufacturers sell identical products, except that they use different proprietary battery designs. Greenworks and Ryobi both sell identical 16" mowers powered by 40V Li-Ion batteries. Greenworks sells theirs on Amazon with the 146 Wh G-MAX battery for $299 and Ryobi sells their through Home Depot with two 93.6 Wh batteries for $399. However, Ryobi also sells their version as "tool only" w/o batteries for $169, whereas Greenworks doesn't. So, it occurs to me that if you already had a Greenworks 40V battery and could find the proper connector piece to wire into the mower circuit, you could probably buy the Ryobi w/o batteries and save $130 in the process.

thumb435_G-MAX_40v_mower_16in_left.jpg 3c1396ed-be9b-4ec2-a68b-53c80e8a0fe6_300.jpg
 

1 Lucky Texan

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yeah, I can go to the gas station and buy fuel for lots of different brands of equipment. I can plug hundreds of different brands into 120 AC outlets at my home.

Sure, I understand that different battery technologies and perhaps voltages (discounting the possibility of 'smarter' chargers) may require forced incompatibility for safety reasons. But it does seem like we've reached the 'ludicrous' limit. We managed to make USB ports fairly adaptable. And AAA, AA, C, D batteries were 'mostly' interchangeable for many decades. Inside these battery 'packs', you'll see many of the same individual cells won't you? But, they are not made 'user serviceable'. I guess humans have become dumber with time and can't be allowed to handle the cells directly. You might let your kid eat one!

At some point, advertising that your product can accept some widely popular battery system, even if licensed from a competitor, will be an advantage. I'm thinking of the old Pentax SLR camera lenses that some other camera makers adopted. Finding lenses for that system was always cheap and easy.
 

Robbgroovy

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Does anyone know for Greenworks tools, What is the comparability between the 40 volt GMax and the 40 Volt 'Gen 1' batteries?

Specifically do the Gen1 batteries work in the Gmax tools?And visa-versa. For example, I have the Green-works lawn mower that came with 2 Gen 1 batteries, can I use them in a GMax edger?
Thanks
 

sjessen

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Eventually, they will get this figured out and probably the government will pass some sort of laws standardizing things. Given the problems with ethanol, etc. I would really like to see commercial grade battery powered handhelds, especially trimmers.
 

gfp55

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One of the biggest problems with battery powered electric tools is the total incompatibility between brands and even within brands. Here is my ridiculous situation with the many different batteries I am currently using:

Greenworks 40V original Li-Ion battery
Greenworks 40V new G-MAX Li-Ion battery
Greenworks 20V Li-Ion battery
Black & Decker 18V NiCd battery
Black & Decker 36V Li-Ion battery
Ryobi 24V Li-Ion battery
WeedEater 20V Li-Ion battery (compatible with Greenworks and Troybilt 20V tools)
Bosch 18V Li-Ion battery
Remington 18V NiCd battery

Of course all these unique batteries require their own specific charger unit, which doubles the problem. The only cross-compatibility is between the WeedEater and Greenworks 20V Li-Ion batteries/chargers, such that I can use the WeedEater batteries in the Greenworks tools and charge the Greenworks battery in the WeedEater charger.

Wouldn't it be great if there were some type of universal industry standard for batteries. Pie in the sky, I guess.
I agree with you....
 

MowerMike

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Does anyone know for Greenworks tools, What is the comparability between the 40 volt GMax and the 40 Volt 'Gen 1' batteries?

Specifically do the Gen1 batteries work in the Gmax tools? And visa-versa. For example, I have the Green-works lawn mower that came with 2 Gen 1 batteries, can I use them in a GMax edger?
Sadly, no. The Greenworks Gen1 and Gen2 (G-MAX) 40 volt Li-Ion batteries are incompatible. Also, Greenworks has discontinued the Gen1 batteries and tools, so you are pretty much stuck with switching over to the G-MAX system going forward. Greenworks has done something similar with their 20 volt and 24 volt Li-Ion product lines. Frankly, if I were in your situation, I'd switch over to another brand such as Ryobi, which you can buy in Home Depot stores and not have to worry about dealing with Greenworks if you have problems.
 

Robbgroovy

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Do you know what makes the Gmax battery incomparable with the Gen1 because the voltage is the same and the pack appears to have the same interface.
 

MowerMike

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Do you know what makes the Gmax battery incomparable with the Gen1 because the voltage is the same and the pack appears to have the same interface.
The batteries are wired completely differently. Also, the interface is different to prevent accidental insertion of a Gen1 battery in a Gen2 tool or vice versa.
 
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