Growing automotive industry is propelling the growth of the global lead acid battery market. Lead acid batteries are usually used in cars as starting
batteries to deliver a short burst of high power to start the engine. The batteries are also used as deep-cycle batteries in boats and campers to power
accessories such as winches, lights, and trolling motors. Lead acid batteries provide back-up power for critical needs such as military operations and
hospitals, and help control power fluctuations as well. Used for more than 140 years, lead acid batteries are considered to provide the best value for
power, and energy per kilowatt-hour, and have the longest life cycle. Moreover, they also offer an environmental advantage.
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Recycling of Lead Acid Battery: An Environment-Friendly Solution
Lead acid batteries highly recycled consumer products. A typical lead acid battery contains 60-80% recycled plastic and lead. The used batteries are
collected for recycling, as mandated by most state laws. The used batteries are crushed into nickel-sized pieces and the plastic components are separated.
The plastic components are then reprocessed to manufacture new plastic products whereas purified lead is delivered to battery manufacturers and other
industries. The recycling cycle goes on indefinitely that makes lead acid battery disposal extremely successful from cost and environmental perspectives.
How friendly is Lead Acid Battery for Electric Vehicles?
Growing concerns about environment has led to the introduction of electric vehicles boasting lesser fuel consumption. It is estimated that the hybrid
electric vehicles will be very popular by the end of this decade. However, this might affect the global lead acid battery market. Lead acid battery has
difficulty in coping with low temperatures. For a vehicle with stop-start mechanism that leads to automatically switching off the engine when the vehicle
stops, lead acid battery is not much effective in providing the short burst of high power to start the engine again under low temperatures. With growing
consumer demands for better vehicle performance, lead-acid batteries in vehicles will become obsolete.
Because of heavy weight and poor performance, lead acid batteries are being increasingly shunned across countries such as China, the largest automotive
market in the world. In e-bikes, battery-assisted pedaling has been replaced with a lithium-ion battery offering throttle. In China, almost all electric
two-wheelers are running on lithium-ion batteries that offer better performance.
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Global Lead Acid Battery Market
Super capacitors: The Ideal Replacement for Lead Acid Batteries
Super capacitors or ultra-capacitors are electrochemical double layer capacitors that have four times the life of rechargeable batteries and allow much
faster charge-discharge. Super capacitors are being increasingly used in electric vehicles to cope with regenerative braking. Automotive experts have
pointed out that super capacitors and not batteries are the future of electric vehicles. This would largely impact the wide usage of good old lead acid
batteries in automobiles in coming years.