STOP PRESSWe tested a Wet Acid battery from the 'NCC Verified Leisure Battery Scheme' that failed to deliver little more than a quarter of the number of 'Verified' cycles.
 
As of the 24 March 2018 the NCC Verified Battery Scheme website stated -
"Battery verification comes via a comprehensive, industry leading, testing process conducted by suitably certified and audited test houses". 
Clearly this statement is intended to lead consumers into believing that audited test houses have carried out a testing process and the NCC have Verified those test results.
 

We have evidence that shows the NCC did not ensure any Independent test was carried out on the battery we tested.

It is suspected that none of the NCC verified batteries have actually been put through a true independent battery Testing Laboratory. We have again asked for copies of the Test results. 
It is also suspected that the NCC do not ensure the batteries in the scheme are fit for purpose, which is what it claims.

If you bought any battery recommended by the NCC scheme and it subsequently damaged your charger unit when it failed, then please email us using : aandncaravanservices@gmail.com 

If a customer has suffered damage to a Battery Charger unit following inappropriate battery advice by the NCC, then they are legally liable to compensate customers. 
Following the testing of this Battery that failed we are now investigating working with a genuinely independent Battery Testing company to test more batteries in the NCC Verified battery scheme to see how they all shape up. 




If the Battery industry doesn't start describing it's batteries accurately, then we will.
We suggest that until the NCC can show evidence that the above alleged testing process is being carried out, we suggest all the NCC 'verified' battery tables are treated with extreme caution. 



05/04/2018 - We finally have a response from the NCC in relation to our request for copies of the Independent Battery test results that are allegedly used to compile the NCC Verified Battery Schemes Tables, see further down this page.



                                   Campaign for Better Battery Labelling

Manbat want to be regarded as the top Battery Wholesaler by matching the best batteries for a customers needs. As part this improvement process they want to ensure customers have the exact information they need to buy what Manbat intend will be the best Leisure battery range in the UK. 


As an example, a new high spec AGM battery that Manbat were going to source from one Asian battery manufacturer, failed durability tests and is now being sourced from a different, European manufacturer, such is the intention to provide the best batteries in each sector.


So they are looking at ways of creating more openness and clarity to achieve their aim of being the best Battery Wholsaler in the Market place.


One of the first things they will work towards is ensuring every battery they sell has a clear unambiguous battery manufacture date, that isn't in code, so buyers can trust that the battery they are buying is fit for purpose. 

No battery manufacturer or retailer currently does this, setting Manbat above all others in looking out for their customers. A sign they mean business to become the best. 


We have agreed to work with them to help push forward change for better battery labelling.




So we want suggestions on what you want to see change. 


We would like to see more information on the labels, like :


1. The ideal charging voltage and current for maximum life, 

2. The ideal current draw plus the maximum current draw for optimum life, 

3. The cycle life at 30% Depth Of Discharge (DOD).

4. The cycle life at 50% DOD

5. The number of cycles a battery takes to reach full potential. A new 100Ah battery may only deliver 85% capacity until it has been charged and discharged several times. It could take 50 charge/discharge cycles to reach a full 100Ah capability. 

6. A clear Battery manufacture date that is understandable.

7. The battery Technology, Wet Acid, Gel, AGM, Lithium, etc.

8. The batteries resting voltage when at 100% capacity, see 5.

9. A rating that shows how tolerant the battery is to being constant Float/Trickle charging, along with the ideal Float voltage. 

10. Clear Ah rating that is not confused by a model name like '120' on a 100Ah battery.

11. The batteries Self Discharge rate

12. The batteries Fluid loss rate in grams/Ah, ideally when the battery is new and at half cycle life. .

13. The batteries efficiency. Batteries are typically 85% - 90% efficient. But the worst can be less than 80%.

14. Your ideas? Use the Contact Us pages to let us know.


Ideas too on how this data might be presented bearing in mind that on some batteries, top space is limited. 



        Suggested  New Code of Practice for Leisure Battery Manufacturers.

1. Adoption of the new labelling standard.


2.The Battery Industry informally regard a battery as exhausted when capacity drops below 80%.

We suggest this is formalised.


3. Adoption of a new definition of Battery 'Cycle' to be defined as a Charge/Discharge cycle that delivers better than 80% battery capacity. That is, in a battery of 100Ah, only those cycles that deliver at least 80Ah will count as a Cycle. Cycles that deliver less than 80% capacity should not be counted.


4. Labelling should be clear and unambiguous. Using model names that cause confusion with the batteries capacity should be avoided.



BS EN 60896-11:2003 is supposedly the standard to which all Stationary batteries are tested to but can't find a copy anywhere. Anyone have a copy?




As of the 24 March 2018 the NCC Verified Battery Scheme stated -
"Battery verification comes via a comprehensive, industry leading, testing process conducted by suitably certified and audited test houses".




NCC response to our requests for the alleged Independent Verified battery test results -


We wrote,

"Hello, Please may we request copies of all the NCC Verified Leisure Battery test results that are used to compile the schemes Tables?".



They wrote back,

"You ask in your email for copies of all the data we have used for verification, unfortunately I am
unable to share this with you because, as I’m sure you’ll understand, this information is
commercially sensitive and remains the property of the scheme’s members. Sharing this data
with a third-party would be a major breach of the code of confidentiality we have to operate
within.".



The NCC write, "as I’m sure you’ll understand, this information is commercially sensitive..." 

I am sorry NCC, but I don't understand why the specification of a battery is commercially sensitive?
Why would a battery manufacturer want to keep secret that the batteries tested capability is an exact match to what is printed on the label? 
Surely a scheme set up by the NCC, to the NCC rules, that claims to be acting for the consumer would insist that those who take part would agree to all documents being in the public domain?

When the scheme launched in October 2015, it stated, "The scheme is designed to bring transparency to the leisure battery marketplace and help consumers select a product that’s right for them".

Where is that tranparency and why is the consumer being deliberately obstructed by the NCC from seeing the specification of the battery the NCC is 'verifying' as fit for purpose? 

We have evidence that  the NCC scheme does not use a "testing process conducted by suitably certified and audited test housesand now their very negative response adds additional weight to that evidence. 




The NCC also write,
"There are some points that we believe are simply inaccurate and potentially libellous. We would therefore ask you to remove the articles from your website immediately........ and would avoid us being reluctantly forced to consider resorting to taking legal action to defend the reputation of the NCC".

They do not detail what the inaccurate statements are, but we have asked for clarification



Importantly the NCC do not deny the existence of the requested, "Leisure Battery test results", suggesting they are sticking to the statement on their website that Independent testing is carried out. 

So I guess we will have to let them take us to Court and let the legal minds make a decision.



In our favour in any Court action, is that the NCC are recommending AGM batteries that are unsuitable for the application the scheme claims they are 'Verified' for, see here for information on AGM batteries. 

So regardless of the exact 'Verified' process, they are actually proposing consumers buy batteries that, in almost all Caravans and most Motorhomes, will have very short and destructive lives.


The NCC Verified Battery scheme recommends the fitment of AGM batteries into vehicles that the NCC must be aware will not allow the batteries to perform any where near their optimum. 

It is now universally accepted (and documented extensively on the Forums) that most Motorhomes and almost ALL Caravans will not have suitable charging systems for AGM batteries. Yet ALL AGM battery manufacturers state that an AGM optimised charging system must be used with AGM batteries for them to perform at their design capability. 

Most Caravan chargers will not only fail to get the battery to perform, but an AGM battery will actually suffer damage on some of the Chargers installed in around 50% of Caravans

For an AGM battery, that costs double that of a quality Wet Acid battery, this usually results in premature failure, damaging the charging systems inside the Motorhome as the AGM batteries deteriorate.  

In such a Caravan/Motorhome, an NCC recommended AGM  means the consumer pays twice as much money for a battery with half the life. 

What might have been a £95, 5 year life, wet Acid battery purchase following our recommendation, turns into a £200, two year life with a NCC Verified AGM battery purchase. 

The cost over 5 years could be £95 for our recommendation versus £500+ for the NCC 'Verified for Use' path. Of course you need to add in the cost of replacing the damaged chargers on the NCC verified AGM route, and when a new Reich e-box costs £880 and a Schaudt EBL 271 £660, that can add up to a huge £1,000 + financial penalty for someone taking the NCC Verified batttery route.


Clearly the NCC recommendation of the fitment of AGM batteries into unsuitable vehicles, one specific recommendation is Caravans with Motormovers, might be viewed by some as deliberate intent to stimulate more Battery Sales for the businesses that fund the NCC. 

As we all know the NCC is not an independent company, but funded by and for the industry.

Some might ask what other explanation can there be for the NCC's secrecy and nomination of AGM batteries into an unsuitable market?


Either way, the AGM mis-selling issue is completely separate to how Battery manufacturers get a battery listed in the 'Verified' scheme. 

However, together they don't present the NCC Verified Battery scheme in a very good light. It needs rapid change and better customer focus.