PRBA Concludes Successful International Meeting on UN Testing Requirements for Large Lithium Batteries

Oct 11, 2013, 12:23 ET from PRBA - The Rechargeable Battery Association

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PRBA–The Rechargeable Battery Association and two other international organizations last week held three-days of  meetings to review existing United Nations testing requirements applicable to large format lithium batteries.  

During its December 2012 meeting, the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on Transport of Dangerous Goods approved a proposal by PRBA, COSTHA (The Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles) and RECHARGE - The European Association for Advanced Rechargeable Batteries for a three-day working group meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the challenges associated with testing large lithium batteries in accordance with the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria. Large format lithium batteries are used to power electric and hybrid-electric vehicles and in aerospace, military and energy storage stationary applications.

PRBA, COSTHA and RECHARGE co-hosted the Oct. 2-4 meeting, which was chaired by UN Sub-Committee Vice Chairman. Participants included dangerous goods transport regulators from Canada, France and Germany as well as lithium battery and automobile manufacturers and testing labs from China, Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States. Unfortunately, the U.S. government shutdown prohibited regulators at the U.S. Department of Transportation from attending the meetings.

The working group participants discussed numerous lithium battery testing issues, including:

  • A comparison of industry testing standards for large lithium batteries with UN tests;
  • Harmonization of industry and UN lithium battery testing standards for equivalency; and
  • An overview of UN testing issues, including shock, overcharge and short-circuiting testing requirements, as well as PRBA's and COSTHA's plans for securing shock data on lithium batteries in transportation.

"These meetings provided an excellent forum for our members, who include the leading lithium battery and automobile manufacturers in the world, to discuss the complex UN lithium battery testing issues with government officials from around the world," said PRBA Executive Director George Kerchner. "We are working with RECHARGE and COSTHA to develop several proposals for amending the UN testing requirements applicable to large format lithium batteries that we hope will be well-received by the UN Sub-Committee of Experts during the course of their meetings in 2013 and 2014," Kerchner said.

About PRBA

PRBA members power the consumer electronics revolution. We deliver a safe, efficient, and essential power source for portable electronic equipment such as notebook computers, cell phones, power tools, PDAs, and MP3 players, as well as hybrid and electric vehicles and containerized lithium ion battery stationary systems. PRBA members produce approximately 70 percent of the world's lithium ion cells and account for billions of dollars in annual worldwide sales. With more than 70 members, PRBA is widely recognized as the nation's authoritative source for information on rechargeable batteries. Visit PRBA online at

SOURCE PRBA - The Rechargeable Battery Association