Batteries are the heart of the electrical system of your truck, usually quietly sitting there doing their job when required but sometime being a complete pain when they decide to call it a day, usually on a cold frosty morning.
Battery development has recently taken an upward surge due to the auto industry investing billions in to electric vehicle developments. So we have taken a look at the latest Lithium-ion Battery versus conventional Lead Acid battery, it is a bit like margarine versus butter. Personal preference, cost etc, we take a look at the facts to see whether the modern technology of Lithium-ion is worth the extra cost over our traditional Lead Acid.
Lithium has been around forever but was officially recognised in 1817, it’s only recently with the push of solar energy that we’ve been utilising its efficiency to store energy. It’s soft enough to be cut with a knife, heat resistant and lightweight, which is why most of us carry around a Lithium battery every day in our smart phones.
So how does the lithium-ion battery compare to our trusty lead acid version.
Weight and size is the obvious difference, an average lead acid weighs in at about 40kg whilst the lithium-ion is about 13.6kg. That’s nearly 75% (a quarter) of weight saved for us trail and trial blazers. Size is just as comparative with the lithium-ion battery being 70% (one third) smaller.
Efficiency, is the real crux of the matter. You’ve guessed it, the lithium-ion battery comes out on top again because it’s 100% efficient on both charge and discharge. The lead-acid battery discharges at 80% and losses approximately 15 amps whilst charging which reduces the batteries capacity over time.
The Cycle life, in others words how long does the battery last. The lithium-ion battery can have an extended life from 6-10 times longer with rechargeable versions having more then 5000 cycles over the 400-500 cycles of a lead acid battery.
Voltage comparison, don’t worry we don’t have to get our heads around volts and amps. We just need to understand that a lead acid battery reduces it’s voltage whilst in use dropping to an output of about 80 %. The lithium-ion has a constant output of 100% regardless of the level of power left in the battery.
Cost comparison is just as wide and the main sticking point when considering converting from the old faithful lead acid battery. How much you spend on a truck 12v lead acid battery is down to you and your conscience and I suspect if your happy paying less then £50 then lithium is not for you. Average cost of a good 12v truck lead acid battery is around £100 but a lithium battery is 6 times more costly at around £600. So purchase price is a bit of a stumbling block but the lithium will last up to 10 times longer so price per year it is a cheaper option.
For the finicky amongst us the 24kg of extra weight saved by running lithium will also reap a saving on fuel. That 24kg is equivalent to 12 large bags of sugar that is negligible unless you’re trekking or carrying it to the car.
For earth lovers and tree huggers it’s lithium all the way, no comparison. They deliver a safer, higher quality or performance for a longer time.
The choice is yours people ….