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Posted on : Sep 26, 2018

“As we focus on the battery technology of tomorrow, today’s market leader, lead-acid technology, will continue to play a significant role in the future of vehicle energy storage,” said Rigby, advanced market and technology strategist, Johnson Controls Power Solutions in Battery Show 2018.

He highlighted the key takeaways from the panel discussion which looked at the progression in lead-acid technology as well as future competition from lithium-ion. “Our conclusion: it’s not ‘either, or’ – it’s ‘and.’ Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries will work together to further vehicle electrification, delivering on automaker expectations and meeting consumer needs.”

Other key observations from the discussion:

  • Takeaway #1: Lead-acid batteries clearly have a place in the future of energy storage. The number of vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) is large and still growing. In 2017, 96% of the 94 million new vehicles built included an ICE engine. And more than 99% of the 1.3 billion vehicles registered on the road today have a traditional powertrain, relying on lead-acid batteries to start the engine and manage the electrical load.

  • Takeaway #2: The most practical way to increase efficiency for mass-market vehicles and meet emissions and fuel economy requirements is through low-voltage electrification. Systems such as 48V electrification use two batteries – one lithium-ion and the other lead-acid – to do what each does best. Dual chemistry options currently offer the most cost-effective solution for low-voltage electrification.

  • Takeaway #3: Even as more sophisticated applications emerge, we see untapped opportunities for lead-acid batteries to support increased vehicle electrification. The panel highlighted two such opportunities. First, a bipolar design can improve cycle life and overall lead weight. Second, enhanced charge acceptance can increase efficiency and cycle life, both essential for handling next-generation vehicle electrical loads.

  • Takeaway #4: The industry must come together to commit to the responsible management of the batteries of today and tomorrow. Lead-acid batteries continue to be the most recycled consumer product in the world at 99%. We must strive to develop life cycle best practices for the next generation of batteries like we see in the lead-acid battery industry, which is the world’s most successful example of a circular economy.

Source: Johnson Controls

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