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Batteries available on the Automotive market today.
Batteries available on the Automotive market today.
- So its not rocket science to know that the automotive industry has been revolutionized by the use of batteries. Batteries have been a big part of my growing up and working with cars all my life here in the UK.
- From the hard rubber lead acid batteries that I worked on in the late sixties. To the Start-stop technology cars of today.
- However, with the growing concerns for the environment and pressure from governments. Hence, more and more car manufacturers are opting for battery-powered vehicles. As a way to reduce their carbon footprint.
- But what types of Batteries available are used in the automotive industry? In this article, we will explore the different types of batteries available on the market today. Starting with my favourite lead acid batteries.
Of course, are the oldest type of rechargeable batteries still in use today
- Of course, are the oldest type of rechargeable batteries still in use today. These batteries have ben with me all my life. From a sixteen year old apprentice mechanic to a seventy five year old director of my very own garage.
- Consequently, these batteries have survived and are widely used in the automotive industry. Of course mainly due to their low cost and high reliability.
- Construction wise these Batteries available have not changed very much being made up of lead plates and sulphuric acid. The chemical reaction between the two creates a voltage, which is used to power the vehicle.
- Repeating myself, then lead-acid batteries are the oldest type of rechargeable batteries still in use today. They have been around for over 150 years! Lead-acid batteries are the most popular type of batteries used in traditional petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.
- Major improvement in the Batteries available,
- lead acid battery design has been the addition of the AGM batteries. So, used on most start stop cars, also used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) as a part of the overall energy management system.
HEV,s now use lead acid batteries
- Of course, to store the energy generated by regenerative braking, which is then used to power the vehicle’s electric motor. These small batteries are known as “Auxiliary batteries”.
- During my lifetime in the battery then one of sad moments is that as a country the UK has lost its battery manufacturing base. One of the main advantages of lead-acid Batteries available is their low cost.
- Therefore the manufacturing moved to low cost labour countries such as China and South Korea. Because of theis they are relatively inexpensive to produce.
- So, the technology used in their manufacture is well-established. Batteries were easily copied by our foreign competitors. This makes them an attractive option for automotive manufacturers, especially for mass-market vehicles.
- Another advantage of lead-acid batteries is their durability.
- This is true lead acid batteries have a long lifespan. So, with proper maintenance, they can last for several years. Battery casing development, makes modern batteries highly resistant to shock and vibration, which makes them ideal for use in all types of vehicles.
However, lead-acid batteries also have some disadvantages
- They are relatively heavy compared to other battery types. Many people including myself suffer from bad backs. Of course due to the weight of carrying heavy lead acid batteries all day long.
- The weight can also reduce the vehicle’s overall efficiency. They also have a lower energy density compared to other battery types, which means that they can store less energy per unit of weight.
- The reason that battery companies are developing other battery technologies is that, lead-acid batteries are not very environmentally friendly. They contain lead and sulphuric acid, which are both toxic and can cause environmental damage if not disposed of properly.
- China had a massive problem with dirty inefficient factories. Battery acid used to flow into the fresh water system polluting the rivers. Recycling lead-acid batteries is also a complex process, which adds to their overall environmental impact. The blessing that comes out of this though is that lead acid batteries are 95% recyclable. A magic figure!
- despite their disadvantages, lead-acid Batteries available, remain a popular choice for automotive manufacturers. Especially for traditional petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.
- Because of this then I believe that the lead acid battery will still have a huge part to play in future developments. They are reliable, durable, and cost-effective, which makes them an attractive option for mass-market vehicles. However, as battery technology continues to advance. Subsequently, we can expect to see more efficient and environmentally friendly batteries being developed for use in the automotive industry.
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