View Full Version : OT: Spin-off from "Fast Car" thread: RoHS

07-30-2006, 01:17 PM
7-electric vehicles aren't particulary green either.Batteries contain lead,lithium,cadnium,acids of various types.Production of these now without impact is difficult,if 86,000,000 vehicles started using batteries tommorow you then would have yet another problem.

Good God, how true! Any of you in the electronics business? Ever heard of RoHS? Ha! If RoHS had to apply to cars, Europeans would have to go back to horses and wooden bicycles! Electric vehicles would be a distant, fantastic, science fiction dream. Ok, maybe I exaggerate a little. Just a little.

For those not in the electronics biz, ROHS is a European mandate which takes effect starting August 2006. It requires that electronic equipment sold in Europe be free of a variety of materials considered hazardous or "not green", most notably lead. ROHS also makes the original equipment manufacturer responsible for disposal of its product at the end of the product's life. The idea is that the lead and such from discarded 3-year-old computers and 6-month-old inkjet printers should not be allowed to contaminate landfills.

RoHS is a real headache for manufacturers. It means the production lines have to be completely "lead-free" If your product has even one component that's not RoHS-compliant, it can't be run on (and possibly contaminate) a RoHS-compliant production line. But wait, it gets better. The US military, because of some potential problems found with lead-free manufacturing processes, will not allow their stuff to be made lead-free. They don't "exempt" RoHS - they completely reject it. So if you want to manufacture for both Europe and possibly the US military, you need two of everything. Eeeee!!!!

I wonder how safe a "RoHS compliant" battery can be made to be? :D (remember - lead is but one of the materials forbidden by RoHS)


Weston Bye
07-30-2006, 08:51 PM
Too true! My turn to rant. Where I work, we are struggling with the beginnings of the lead-free soldering. We manufacture eletromechanical devices, solenoids, switches, etc., mostly for the auto industry. Already, our US customers are beginning to write lead-free requirements into thier specifications.

For a glimpse of the future, look here: http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker/

The eco-greenies will be the end of us all. As time goes on, all manner of electronics will become unreliable.

It is just such thinking that led to the space shuttle disaster. They had to change the formulation of the foam insulation to get rid of "hazardous" fumes released during manufacture of the tanks. They flew the first 100 or so missions with the old reliable formulation with no major mishaps. The change was not covered by the media.