Bettery debuts rechargeable battery swap stations at Whole Foods Markets

BetteryCharlieKawasaki

Charlie Kawasaki, CEO of Bettery.

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Every year, 2.5 billion batteries are thrown away in the U.S. and a Portland-based company may have a better solution to both help the environment and allow for customer convenience.

Starting today, you’ll find Bettery kiosks planted at Whole Foods Markets in Portland and Seattle. The company, which was founded in 2011, has built the swap stations to allow people to buy rechargeable batteries and then exchange them when they’re out of juice.

It’ll cost you $10 to buy a set of four AA or AAA batteries, then $2.50 for every swap you make. The batteries can be reused up to 500 times.

Customers can also create accounts to take advantage of rewards programs and track their battery usage.

There are five total kiosks in service now at different Whole Foods Markets. You can find them at the Lynnwood and Roosevelt stores in Washington.

Previously on GeekWire: This mobile hand-crank phone charger just obliterated its Kickstarter goal

  • Next Four

    Was watching Portlandia on netflix.. and this articel reminded some of that. hahaahha
    BTW good work save mother nature

  • http://www.facebook.com/superrob Rob Stevens

    So you don’t swap them when they run out of power (which would be inconvenient), you swap them when they can’t hold a charge any more? That’s pretty clever. I am intrigued.

    According to the video, you do indeed swap them when they run out of power. It doesn’t appear you can charge them yourself (though I don’t see how they would prevent it). So they’re charging $2.50 for the “convenience” of not having to charge them, but you still have to schlep yourself to a Whole Foods. Hrm. I’m not seeing the value prop. People buy alkalines because they hold more power than a rechargeable, not because charging rechargeable batteries is inconvenient.

    • http://frugalmechanic.com/ Eric Peters

      Not sure where you got that from, according to their slideshow you drain then swap

    • http://twitter.com/c_johnston Courtney von Nieda

      Their website states:

      Buy batteries at any BETTERY Swap Station, at participating retail locations.

      Take the batteries home, and use them until they are drained.

      Swap the drained batteries at the BETTERY Swap Station for freshly tested and charged batteries – without the hassling with recharging at home.

  • http://twitter.com/c_johnston Courtney von Nieda

    How many things do people use batteries in that when they run out of juice they can just pull the batteries, put them with their keys and wait until they have to run to Whole Foods again?

  • http://frugalmechanic.com/ Eric Peters

    Maybe I just hate the planet, but I feel like I just bought 30 batteries from costco for $18, even at $2.50 per charge, that’s 7.2 exchanges, 4 per exchange, so only 28.8 batteries vs the 30 from costco? :)

  • billhay

    Go Charlie!