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For Immediate Release: Battery Council International Releases Lead Battery Recycling Video

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Saturday, February 18, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 18, 2017

CHICAGO, IL, USA - What would the world look like without lead batteries? Today, February 18 is National Battery Day, and to increase awareness on lead batteries, Battery Council International (BCI) has released a video featuring the recycling of a lead battery's primary components: lead, plastic and acid. According to figures provided in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, 99% of lead batteries are recycled, making them the most recycled consumer good in the United States. The new BCI video details the process a used battery undergoes once it is returned to the retailer.

"The lead, plastic and acid are isolated from one another at an EPA regulated facility, and through a multi-step recycling process, these components become new lead batteries. This unique process allows consumers to purchase a product that is both economically and environmentally favorable," says Mark Thorsby, Executive Vice President of BCI.

Lead batteries serve many purposes. The most well-known purpose is to start vehicles such as automobiles, trucks, lawn and garden equipment, snow and water sport vehicles, motorcycles and golf carts. But, lead batteries also make possible the "start-stop" vehicle control systems that are helping vehicle manufacturers meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and reduce air emissions. Additionally, lead batteries play a crucial role in supplying backup power for cell phone towers, hospitals and data storage servers.

While lead batteries are over 150 years old, their ability to be efficiently recycled into the same, useful product has cemented their place in the energy storage world. To view the lead battery recycling video, visit

Contact: Claire Sereiko


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John W. Wirtz Passes Away at 91

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, December 15, 2016

John W. Wirtz, the man who took his father’s small family engineering business and turned it into an international battery machine manufacturing firm, died on December 3. He was 91 years old.

He was a well known, well liked and entrepreneurial businessman with a fine grasp of technical detail — including numerous patents to his name — and known for his personal generosity to those pushing out the boundaries of battery technology.

He started at Wirtz Manufacturing part-time during his vacations while at high school in the early 1940s. He worked as a machinist and as a result learnt and understood from the ground up what the machines did and why — this tradition of an early start at the ground floor of the business has continued for his son and later through his son to his grandchildren.

He was eventually to become president and owner of Wirtz Manufacturing.

After graduating from high school in 1943, he served in the US Navy until 1946 before attending the University of Michigan, where he graduated in business studies in 1949.

The combination of technical and engineering understanding and a knowledge of business proved a powerful one and through the 1950s and 1960s he criss-crossed North America as an ambassador for the firm.

Read More

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Accepting Entries for the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Innovation Award

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, December 1, 2016

Submissions are now open for the Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Innovation Award. Click the video to learn more.  



Questions? Email with any inquiries.




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Midtronics Introduces MCC Charging Platform to Support Vehicle Delivery Quality & Networked Applications

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Willowbrook, IL, November 1, 2016 – Midtronics, Inc. today introduced the MCC-070 Controlled Charger -- the first product entry in the new MCC charging platform. The MCC-070 offers safe controlled charging to quickly service different battery types (regular lead-acid, AGM, EFB, Li-ion), app-driven charging routines, and wireless connectivity to support tracking and management of battery service data and automated software updates.

A key application for the MCC-070 is Vehicle Delivery Quality (VDQ) for OEM dealerships. VDQ ensures that vehicle batteries are monitored and maintained from the point new vehicles are received from the factory, while in dealership lot inventory, and prior to customer delivery. This process is important because batteries that sit idle for long periods degrade over time, and batteries left in a degraded state eventually deteriorate to the point of permanent damage. Damaged batteries may refuse to start for test drives or fail shortly after the customer takes their new car home, resulting in negative customer experiences and increased battery replacement warranty costs.

The MCC charging platform integrates seamlessly with other compatible Midtronics battery service equipment and the cloud-based Midtronics Battery Management Information System (BMIS) via the MX GatewayTM to support advanced battery management solutions for OEM dealership shops and aftermarket retail service garages. The MCC-070 is also functional as a standalone product.

“The battery charging product category is beginning to revolve around the connected shop," said Lance Losinski, Midtronics Platform Manager, Chargers and Networking. “With the MX Gateway network, wireless capabilities are easily integrated to connect chargers to other Midtronics equipment, as well as the cloud, to create a dedicated and integrated shop system. You don’t need an IT Department to help you get it up and running – you enjoy reliable connectivity with turn on and go instant networking.”


2 - Midtronics Introduces New Charging Platform

The MCC includes several features designed to promote an optimal user experience, including apps-based charging designed to help users get more consistent results and a streamlined user interface that helps make the MCC-070 easy to learn and use with minimal training. Vehicle information can be shared through BMIS to the MCC from battery testing completed on Midtronics devices, including the CVG-3 Convergence Module, to help define accurate charging data (voltage Ah, current, etc.), reduce user error, improve charging speed, and provide service tracking abilities. Charging session data is then stored in BMIS for reference for future battery service events.

“All new Midtronics products under development share common user interface architecture and integrate with each other and the cloud to promote seamless battery service solutions,” said Losinski. “Connected equipment allows technicians to share information between tools, maintain detailed vehicle service records, and keep equipment current with the latest algorithms as new battery chemistries and technologies emerge."

Key Features of the MCC-070 Controlled Charger:

  • Economical, easy-to-use charging solution that doesn’t require technicians to be battery or charger experts
  • Seamless integration with Midtronics equipment and data system in an advanced battery management solution; also functional as a standalone product
  • Charges batteries quickly, including new AGM and EFB models
  • Pre-programmed applications tailored to your battery management program
  • Streamlined interface simplifies charging applications
  • Offers reflash support, quick fill and full charging capabilities
  • Provides on demand current and constant clean voltage to the vehicle battery for the extended period of time required to update the vehicle computer software
  • Selectable voltage levels from 11 – 16 VDC (.1 VDC)

About Midtronics

Midtronics is a worldwide leader and provider of vehicle battery testing and management products and services. Founded in 1984, Midtronics remains singularly focused on battery management innovation. The company continues advancing the standard in its industry, supplying customers with custom battery management solutions that meet evolving needs, including those related to hybrid, electric and other new vehicle systems.
Visit for more information.

Twitter: @Midtronics

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Midtronics Recognized as Chicago’s Most Innovative Company

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Friday, October 7, 2016

Willowbrook, IL, October 7, 2016Crain’s Chicago Business has released its annual “Eureka Index” with Midtronics, Inc. topping the list as the Chicago area’s most innovative company.

Midtronics also landed the #1 spot in 2014 and has been in the top 5 on the list four times (and in the top 10 every year) since Crain's began its annual "most innovative companies" feature in 2012.

The rankings are based on an exclusive analysis of patents by Ocean Tomo, LLC, a Chicago-based merchant bank that specializes in evaluating intellectual property.

Midtronics had Chicago’s highest-rated portfolio of patents granted in 2015, based on key criteria including uniqueness of the patented ideas and likelihood of investment to develop and maintain them.

The Midtronics ranking was based largely on the strength of U.S. Patent 8,958,998 -- one of a suite of patents covering technology Midtronics incorporated in the design of a battery management network connecting its automotive battery testers and chargers to a dedicated cloud-based information and analytics platform. This network allows dealerships and auto service shops to easily monitor and update their battery service tools and manage battery testing, service, replacement, and warranty programs. It also enables enterprise-wide information management for automotive OEMs and service chains.

“Innovation and a dedication to invention and re-invention have always been core values for Midtronics,” said Steve McShane, founder and CEO of the Willowbrook, IL-based company. “With customers who rely on our expertise, we are committed to staying ahead of the curve on battery technologies and the best solutions for managing and monitoring them.”

Midtronics was founded in 1984 and has divisions focused on transportation and stationary battery solutions. It counts among its customers most global vehicle manufacturers, battery manufacturers, telecommunications, and power generating companies. The company’s worldwide employees – nearly a third of which are engineers -- work out of headquarters facilities in the U.S. (Willowbrook, IL), Netherlands (Houten), and China (Shenzen).

# # #

For more information, contact Vicki Hunckler at (630) 321-8026 or or visit TWITTER: @Midtronics

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Register Today for the Environmental, Health and Safety Conference

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, October 6, 2016

There is Still Time to Register

Attend the 2016 Environmental, Health and Safety Conference


With less than three weeks to the 2016 Environmental, Health and Safety Conference reserve your spot and join us October 24-25 in Baltimore, MD. Take part in presentations and interactive breakout sessions focusing on workplace practices, human resource policies, equipment design, reducing employee blood levels and more!


Session Highlights

  • Get the Lead Out" is a four-part series featuring human resource policies and safe workplace practices
  • "The Outlook for Workplace Lead Regulation" features three individual presentations followed by a panel discussion
  • "Update on Blood Lead Health Science" highlights recent developments in workers health
  • And more


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Pace of innovation and sold-out lead battery conference shows the strength of the industry

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, September 12, 2016
Valletta, Malta (12 September, 2016) – Innovation in lead batteries is continuing rapidly as the industry adapts to changing energy storage markets, said Andy Bush, managing director of the International Lead Association (ILA).

Dr Andy Bush spoke today on the eve of the 15th European Lead Battery Conference (13-16 September), in Valletta, Malta, where 700 delegates from 50 countries have gathered to discuss the latest technical innovations in lead batteries for use in applications ranging from micro and mild hybrid vehicles to renewable energy storage and motive and traction power.

He said: “Lead batteries are an astonishingly successful product and remain by far the most popular rechargeable battery worldwide due to their unique combination of performance, low cost, safety and recycling record. As long as the lead battery maintains these outstanding abilities it will continue to have a bright future.”

Dr Bush also cited recent significant announcements illustrating the industry’s commitment to investing in lead batteries:

East Penn Manufacturing and RSR – Have announced a new collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to use Argonne’s state-of-the-art analytic technologies to accelerate research on lead batteries.

Ecoult – The Australian company has developed an UltraBattery®-based 20 kW UltraFlex system for off-grid and dual-purpose applications (incorporating renewable self-consumption, diesel cycling and UPS) and has already achieved consistent fuel savings for its off-grid clients in the order of 50% or more.

Exide Technologies – The European company announced the launch of its next-generation maintenance-free TENSOR xGEL lead traction batteries, which exhibit high-power, increased energy efficiency and the ability for rapid recharge.

Johnson Controls - Recently announced an investment of $445 million to boost production of its absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries worldwide.  The investment includes $245 million to double AGM output in North America by the year 2020 and $200 million to build a new battery plant in China.

Moura – The Brazilian company is building a new $65m facility to increase its lead battery production capacity by 40% and announced its enhanced flooded batteries have achieved significant cycle life testing results at the Akkuteam battery testing lab in Germany, where its AGM batteries will be tested later this year.

Narada Power Source – In the continuation of an ALABC-sponsored project, Chinese member Narada was able to boost the number of successful power-assist cycles for their lead batteries in hybrid port cranes and elevators from 700 to over 26,000 showing that advanced VRLA batteries are an excellent power source for these emerging applications.

In addition, a new three-year multi-million dollar pre-competitive research program announced by the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (more than 70 member companies worldwide) will  focus on further improving lead battery performance in automotive and industrial energy storage applications. 

For further information contact: Bob Tolliday, ILA Communications Manager, tel: +44 (0) 20 7833 8090 

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Early Bird Savings End September 12

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, September 8, 2016
Time is Running Out. 
Attend the 2016 Environmental, Health and 
Safety Conference

This is your final chance to take advantage of the early registration rate for the2016 Environmental, Health and Safety ConferenceOctober 24-25 in Baltimore, MD. Take part in presentations and interactive breakout sessions focusing on workplace practices, human resource policies, equipment design, reducing employee blood levels and more

Register by Monday, September 12, and save up to $150


Session Highlights
  • "Get the Lead Out" a four-part series featuring HR policies and workplace practices
  • "The Outlook for Workplace Lead Regulation" panel discussion
  • "Update on Blood Lead Health Science"
  • And more
Hotel Reservations
Book your room here, or contact the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel directly at +1.800.325.3535. Reservations should be made no later than September 30. Mention you are with the BCI Environmental, Health and Safety Conference to receive the group-discount rate.
Room Rate:$159 (plus tax) per night single/double
Check-in Time:3:00 p.m.
Check-out Time:12:00 p.m.


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Statement of Battery Council International Upon Passage of AB 2153 (C. Garcia)

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Tuesday, September 6, 2016

“Dynamic Legislation to clean up contaminated lead recycling sites passes Legislature with support from battery industry”

SACRAMENTO, CA--  In the closing hours of the legislative session last night, the California State Legislature passed important legislation to provide major funding for the clean-up of contaminated lead recycling sites and polluted neighborhoods in California. AB 2153, authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), establishes a dedicated funding source to clean up sites that pose a serious public health risk due to soil contaminated in the process of recycling used lead batteries, including the Exide facility in the City of Vernon.
“The Battery Council International (representing lead acid battery manufacturers from throughout California and across the nation) is proud to have been able to collaborate on the significant legislative effort which culminated in the passage of AB 2153 last night,” said Mark Thorsby, Executive Vice President of the Battery Council International.
“We believe our efforts to support this important legislation demonstrates the industry’s commitment to the comprehensive stewardship of our products.  We are proud of our partnership with community leaders, environmental groups, and elected officials to address this issue.  Lead batteries are the most recycled consumer product in the world with almost 100% recycled and reused, and lead acid batteries are the key to the new “stop-start” automotive technology that is bringing dramatic reductions in engine emissions. We believe this bill is an important component in creating the comprehensive environmental policies that make California a leader in green-technology,” Thorsby added.  
Among a variety of important policies established in the bill, AB 2153 accomplishes the following:

  1. Generates tens of millions of dollars over the next several years to fund the clean up of lead recycling sites as well as pollution and lead soil contamination in our communities.
  2. Provides this funding in a way designed to expedite the clean-up of the sites and aid the residents and families affected by the contamination.
  3. Greatly improves the existing lead acid battery recycling program by incentivizing safe recycling and protecting battery consumers.
“I want to congratulate and recognize the many legislators who understood the urgent need to address this issue,” Thorsby stated. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to collaborate with state and local government, as well as the environmental justice community and all other concerned citizens and groups, to assist in addressing this important issue in a collaborative and non-confrontational manner.”

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Equip Your Employees with the Knowledge They Need

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Encourage Employee Attendance at the 2016 Environmental, Health and Safety Conference

Strengthen your staff's knowledge on battery factory employee health, safety and environmental protection at this highly-focused event. Join BCI for the 2016 Environmental, Health and Safety Conference October 24-25, 2016 in Baltimore, MD. 

Reinforce the importance of attending by forwarding this message to your employees.

Education Schedule

Highlights include a three-part session, "Get the Lead Out," featuring presentations on workplace practices, human resource policies and equipment design focusing on reducing employee blood levels; reports from government agencies; interactive breakout sessions and much more! Share best practices and learn from peers and experts on how to ensure a safe work environment. 

View the full schedule here.

Hotel Reservations

Book your room here, or contact the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel directly at +1.800.325.3535. Reservations should be made no later than September 30. Mention you are with the BCI Environmental, Health and Safety Conference in order to receive the group-discount rate. 

Room Rate: $159 (plus tax) per night single/double

Check-in Time: 3:00 p.m.

Check-out Time: 12:00 p.m.

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