How exactly do these two battery types differ? Here’s everything you need to know.
The main component of an electric two-wheeler is the battery pack. This power source contains particles that interact to produce an electric current rather than storing electricity in its entirety. Lead, sulfuric acid, lithium compounds, and other metallic and chemical compounds are included in this.
Lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries are the two main types of batteries used most frequently in electric car propulsion at the moment. In actuality, lead-acid batteries were the first kind of rechargeable battery. The reactions that cause the charge and discharge take place on a plate bathed in diluted sulfuric acid, which contains a negative electrode constructed of porous lead. The lithium ions in lithium-ion batteries flow back and forth between the positive and negative electrodes, making them a sort of rechargeable battery.
When picking the sort of battery you desire, a lead-acid battery commands a substantially lower price, which will obviously be important. The two-wheeler may become heavier with the batteries fitted since lead-acid batteries are hefty, which prevents them from having the best dynamics.
In addition to the battery’s charge, the discharge also has a significant impact. Lead-acid batteries discharge far more quickly when they are not in use, and the rate of discharge only rises over time. Therefore, if your bike hasn’t been used in a few months, a significant amount of charge has been lost, and starting it after a long break may be difficult. Another crucial factor is that lead-acid batteries operate badly in cold climates since their capacity is reduced to 50% at freezing temperatures. The lead-acid batteries do, however, have the advantage of recovering from deep discharge more frequently and better.
Lead-acid batteries are widely utilized in a variety of transportation devices because of their inexpensive cost and good power-to-weight ratio. They’re also said to be ideal for automobile starter motors that require high currents. Lead-acid batteries are heavier than lithium-ion batteries and have lower efficiency and energy density. They are also more difficult to charge and have a shorter lifespan. Because of these shortcomings, many electric vehicle owners prefer lithium-ion batteries over lead-acid batteries.
How does a lead-acid battery work?
Lead-acid battery discharge and charging employ electrochemical reactions similar to those seen in Li-ion batteries. A lead-acid battery works differently than a lithium-ion battery in the following ways:
- Atoms flowing from the positive to the negative electrode
- Electrons traveling from the negative to the positive electrode
- Hydrogen and oxygen gases are produced during charging
- In between the discharging and charging processes, the voltage of the battery reduces
Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive because they are technologically more advanced. Additionally, these have less of an impact on the riding dynamics and are much lighter than lead-acid driven ones.
Additionally, Li-ion batteries have a significantly longer storage life than lead-acid batteries due to their slower discharge rate. These batteries also function better in colder temperatures; in freezing temperatures, a Li-ion battery would lose only 10% of its capacity. Nevertheless, they cannot be charged at extremely cold temperatures. Lithium-ion batteries are popular among electric vehicle enthusiasts due to their compact and lightweight design and low self-discharge.
But it can’t be all good news. A lithium-ion battery degrades faster than a lead-acid battery when charged at a higher voltage. Similarly, because lithium-ion batteries are particularly sensitive to high temperatures, they can catch fire and cause harm if overheated.
Furthermore, while lithium-ion batteries are more powerful than lead-acid batteries, they require additional safeguards to function effectively and last longer. So, whether you possess a lithium-ion battery-powered scooter, bike, or motorbike, ensure sure the temperature, voltage, and discharge rates are all kept within acceptable ranges.
How does a lithium-ion battery work?
During draining and charging, this sort of battery transports electrons from one electrode to the other.
Electrons go from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during the discharging process, i.e., when the lithium-ion battery is powering, say, your electric scooter. This process is reversed during the charging phase.
Although each battery type has advantages and disadvantages depending on the circumstance, lithium-ion batteries are generally more reliable and thus more suitable for electric two-wheelers. But given that the Indian two-wheeler market is still price-conscious, lead-acid battery-powered EVs might not go out of style for a while.
Lithium-ion batteries have been shown to be more powerful, dependable, and long-lasting than lead-acid batteries. They feature a far better energy density, a lower self-discharge rate, and a smaller design than lead-acid batteries. In addition, when compared to lead-acid batteries, they have a longer lifespan, charge faster, and are more environmentally friendly.