Comparing Lead Acid and Lithium-Ion Batteries for Two-Wheelers Making the Right Choice

Jan 03, 2024 Solar panels

Comparing Lead Acid and Lithium-Ion Batteries for Two-Wheelers: Making the Right Choice

As electric two-wheelers gain popularity, the choice between lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries becomes crucial. This article aims to demystify the differences between the two and offer a comprehensive comparison.

Lead-Acid Batteries vs. Lithium-Ion Batteries

Safety Comparison:
Lead-acid batteries utilize sulfuric acid and lead plates, relatively stable substances. However, internal short circuits can lead to hydrogen and oxygen generation, posing fire risks. Gel batteries reduce this risk by minimizing moisture content. Lithium-ion batteries, though offering excellent performance, can experience violent reactions under extreme conditions, leading to potential hazards. Safety measures like explosion-proof valves enhance lithium-ion battery safety.

Energy Density Comparison:
Lead-acid batteries typically have an energy density of 30-50wh/Kg, making them relatively heavy. In contrast, lithium-ion batteries boast higher energy densities, ranging from 100-240wh/Kg, making them three to four times more efficient in the same capacity, suitable for compact tools, and energy storage batteries.

Price Comparison:
Lead-acid batteries vary widely in cost based on industry and usage, from a few RMB to tens of thousands. While initially cheaper, their life cycle tends to be shorter. Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive, about 2-3 times the cost of lead-acid batteries, but their longer life cycle justifies the investment.

Environmental Impact:
Lead-acid batteries contain heavy metals like lead, posing environmental risks if improperly handled. Lithium-ion batteries, with less toxic materials, are considered greener and have stringent manufacturing and usage standards.

Service Life and Performance:
Lead-acid batteries offer around 300-500 cycles, whereas lithium-ion batteries last longer, with 2000-5000 cycles. They also function better in wider temperature ranges and exhibit different charging and discharging characteristics.

Internal Materials:
Lead-acid batteries contain lead oxide, metal lead, and sulfuric acid, while lithium-ion batteries use materials like lithium cobalt oxide, graphite, and organic electrolytes.

Comparison Summary:

CategoryLead Acid BatteryLithium-Ion Battery
Life Cycles≥300≥2000-5000
Charging Rate0.02CVaries (0.2C-0.7C)
Prices0.3-0.6 rmb/whVaries (0.5-1.2 rmb/wh)

Lead Acid vs. Lithium-Ion in the Two-Wheeler Industry:
Lead-acid batteries, due to their safety and lower cost, have dominated the electric vehicle battery market. However, with increasing safety measures and advancements, lithium-ion batteries, especially with battery swap station solutions, are gaining traction despite their higher initial costs.

The Future of Lithium Batteries:
The global demand for lithium-ion batteries is rising due to the growing new energy vehicle market and advancements in battery quality, safety, and raw materials. The technology’s high energy density, safety, and diverse applications position it as a leading energy source in various fields.

The choice between lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries significantly impacts the performance of two-wheeled electric vehicles. While lead-acid batteries currently dominate the market, the development of high-performance lithium-ion batteries, especially ternary lithium batteries, is swiftly progressing in the two-wheeler industry in China.