Lead-Acid Dominates Automotive Energy Storage – Lithium-Ion Coming On Strong

3 years ago by Mark Kane 14

Lead Acid Dominates Automotive Energy Storage – Lithium Ion Coming On Strong

Lead Acid Dominates Automotive Energy Storage – Lithium Ion Coming On Strong

Current BMW i3 Battery

Current BMW i3 Battery (lithium-ion)

Lead-acid batteries have been highly popular for over 150 years and it seems that their domination will not be interrupted in automotive applications.

“Lead-based batteries are currently the only available mass-market technology for SLI applications in conventional vehicles, including those with start-stop and basic micro-hybrid systems, due to their excellent cold cranking performance, reliability and low cost. Starter batteries of 12V are standardised globally. The handling and behaviour of these batteries is well understood in all EU countries.”

Of course, lithium-ion batteries are the type that allow manufacturers to produce contemporary electric cars, but 12 V lead-acid batteries are and will be in the foreseeable future common in all cars, regardless of drivetrain type (ICE, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric). In EVs and PHEVs, lead-acids will be used as auxiliary batteries, because they work and are cost effective.

BIGFOOT #20 - the EV with lead-acid batteries!

BIGFOOT #20 – the EV with lead-acid batteries!

However, according to a study from European, Japanese and Korean automotive associations (ACEA, JAMA and KAMA), the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers (EUROBAT ) and the International Lead Association (ILA), lithium-ion batteries are/will be essential in all applications where high energy density is needed.

“Lithium-ion rechargeable battery systems entered the mass market of small-sized consumer applications in the early 1990s. Their up-front cost is at present significantly higher than corresponding battery technologies based on other chemistries. Therefore, larger-sized lithium-ion batteries are currently found in segments such as military and space applications, where their high energy and power density as well as their superior cycling ability create value. The high capacity of the active materials and a single cell voltage of up to 4.2V (depending on active material used) give lithium-ion the highest energy density of all rechargeable systems operating at room temperature.”

“In automotive applications, they are the product of choice for plug-in HEVs and full EVs, in which both these criteria are important. For hybrid vehicles, lithium-ion systems have started to compete with NiMH batteries and are now used at an industrial level in several hybrid cars on the market. For use in SLI,  start-stop and micro-hybrid applications, lithium-ion batteries still require improvements in cold-cranking ability and economic packaging (including cost level) to be considered a viable mass-market alternative to lead-based batteries. Their strengths and limitations in these applications are under continual evaluation from European OEMs.”

“Research is also ongoing on the possible use of lithium-ion batteries in new segments of micro-hybrid application such as dual-battery systems (together with a 12V lead-based battery). In such combinations they provide benefits including good cycling ability and high energy yield. High levels of research and development are ongoing to raise their performance for electric vehicle applications, improve safety, and reduce costs, with strong developments projected in the next 10 years and beyond.”

NiMH chemistry probably will be stuck in standard hybrid applications, as lead-acid takes about 50% share of micro hybrids (start-stop systems) and lithium-ions grab some part of full hybrid systems.

Avicienne’s 2020 projections for market development of automotive applications and their corresponding battery technologies (2013)

Avicienne’s 2020 projections for market development of automotive applications and their corresponding battery technologies (2013)

Here is the summary for the next six years to 2020:

Summary Forecast of Battery Technologies for select applications to 2020

Summary Forecast of Battery Technologies for select applications to 2020

Source: A Review of Battery technologies for Automotive Applications via Green Car Congress

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14 responses to "Lead-Acid Dominates Automotive Energy Storage – Lithium-Ion Coming On Strong"

  1. Thomas J. Thias says:

    Different data collecting Enterprised can conclude vastly differing results.

    While your report,from Green Car Congress sourced from,”a new study published by associations representing the European, Japanese and Korean automotive industry (ACEA, JAMA and KAMA); EUROBAT (the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers) and the International Lead Association (ILA)”, States,”Industry study finds lead-acid to remain most wide-spread automotive energy storage for foreseeable future; new chemistries continue to grow”

    Navigant Research states a more robust market for Lithium Ion Batteries!

    “Lithium Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles Will Surpass $26 Billion in Annual Revenue by 2023”

    Link Goes To Navigant Research-

    http://www.navigantresearch.com/newsroom/lithium-ion-batteries-for-electric-vehicles-will-surpass-26-billion-in-annual-revenue-by-2023

    Should be a very interesting next 5- 7 years in Traction Battery Technology development!

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias

    Sundance Chevrolet Inc.

    517-749-0532

    Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

  2. Jouni Valkonen says:

    This so called “research” does not consider at all that Tesla will manufacture c. one million electric cars with an average c. 80 kWh battery pack in 2020. If typical car starter battery is 48 Wh, then this means that Tesla is selling alone more lithium-ion batteries than all global demand for lead acid batteries combined.

    It is just ridiculous how ignorant people are with new technology. These conclusions are already outdated in 2014!

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Actually Tesla is selling already in 2015 more lithium-ion batteries than what is the global annual demand for lead-acid starter batteries.

      1. Jouni Valkonen says:

        I would estimate that by the end of 2015, Tesla alone has nearly 50 % market share from global battery demand. This includes all battery chemistries. By the end of 2015, Tesla will be more than two times larger than Toyota and three times larger than Nissan-Renault if the company size is measured in kWh’s.

    2. A123killedatleast1company says:

      “It is just ridiculous how ignorant people are with new technology.”

      Yeah. You.

      Automotive batteries are 40 to 100 AMP hours, not 48Wh like you said. Your calcs are 10x-20x lower than reality. Also, the lead acid market was 15 Billion USD, not counting China or Russia.

      Tesla has produced maximum 50K vehicles x 85kWh total. Less than 1% secondary batteries worldwide.

      Educate yourself.
      http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/battery_statistics

      1. Jouni Valkonen says:

        So, I did have decimal point in wrong place, sorry about that. Typical car starter battery has 480 Wh capacity. If there is 80 million cars sold annually this is in total 40 GWh capacity. If Tesla produces 50 000 cars in 2015, this meas 4 GWh total demand for lithium-ion batteries. That is already 10 % from Lead acid starter battery demand.

        Tesla is planning to sell in 2018 about 500 000 cars, so Tesla’s demand for batteries exeeds in 2018 the global demand for car starter batteries!

        So, even if I was one order magnitude off with my calculations, it caused only three year error in the end conclusion!

        This well underlines how ridiculously ignorant you are with the sense of scales and you have hard time to see the big picture of new technology. 😉

        1. A123killedatleast1company says:

          I told you to educate yourself. Stop posting nonsense that makes you look ignorant.

          You said Tesla already makes more Li-Ion than worlwide SLA. I showed you how wrong you are.

          Now you make even more claims with imaginary data. Seriously, read more, talk less.

          “The automotive sector is projected to grow over the next five years, adding demand for lead-acid batteries. Overall, “the market for lead-acid batteries will grow from 83 GWh and $9.4 billion in 2011, to 165 GWh and $16.1 billion in 2016,”

          “to achieve their production target of 20,000 Model S cars in 2013.[3][4][8] As of March 2013, Tesla’s production target for the Model X was between 10,000 to 15,000 cars a year.[4]”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_X#History

          500,000 cars in 2018 is a fantasy. I like Tesla, but they are not going to increase sales 1000% in 4 years.

          Since you only seem interested in wrong or imaginary numbers, no point continuing. But seriously, educate yourself.

          1. Jouni Valkonen says:

            Fremont factory has capacity for 500 000 cars and today only battery supply is limiting the expansion rate of Tesla. Tesla has already taken substantial measures for preparations to manufacture at full capacity in Fremont.

            The guidance assumes about 200 000 sold Model S and X and about 300 000 third gen vehicles. Of course there may be slip in schedule that this level of output is achieved in 2019. Most likely battery supply will continue to be the bottle neck for the expansion rate.

            Tesla’s official guidance for 2019 is 700 000 cars per year. And first gigafactory will be by then online with full production capacity for 500 000 cars and Tesla is planning to two additional gigafactories. So Tesla is planning battery production capacity for 1.5 million cars by early 2020’s.

            And I remind you that today Tesla is more valuable company than Fiat. And is about half of the valuation of GM or Ford. So investors are expecting that Tesla will rapidly grow to be one of the largest car manufactures in the world. This requires production rates with seven digits!

        2. A123killedatleast1company says:

          Tesla production in 2020 for 500,000 vehicles is still only 35GWH.. lead acid is 85GWH now, and double that before 2020.

          Tesla battery contract with panasonic is only 20GWH until 2017.

          http://www.teslamotors.com/about/press/releases/panasonic-and-tesla-reach-agreement-expand-supply-automotivegrade-battery-cells

          http://i2.wp.com/cleantechnica.com/files/2014/03/tesla-gigafactory-number-of-cars.png?resize=620%2C350

          I’m not sure what point you are even trying to make, so let’s review everything you’ve said that’s wrong so far:

          “Tesla will manufacture c. one million electric cars with an average c. 80 kWh battery pack in 2020” WRONG
          “Tesla is selling alone more lithium-ion batteries than all global demand for lead acid batteries combined.” WRONG
          “Actually Tesla is selling already in 2015 more lithium-ion batteries than what is the global annual demand for lead-acid starter batteries.” WRONG
          “I would estimate that by the end of 2015, Tesla alone has nearly 50 % market share from global battery demand.” WRONG
          “Tesla is planning to sell in 2018 about 500 000 cars, so Tesla’s demand for batteries exeeds in 2018 the global demand for car starter batteries!” WRONG

          You are contrinuting NOTHING to this discussion but lies.

          Now, I can’t say a prediction from selling 35,000 to 700,000 in 5 years is wrong, just that a 2000% increase has never happened in the history of autos. Ever.

          http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/06/news/companies/tesla-sales/

          1. Jouni Valkonen says:

            Tesla is preparing to build THREE gigafactories. Not one and not even two. Together this is capacity for 1.5 million cars.

            But as you are mere troll who cannot write properly, it is pointless to continue with arguing with you.

  3. Thomas J. Thias says:

    Anyone notice that the International Lead Assiciation (ILA) contributed to this study? See the Green Car Congress quote
    in post #1.

    Heh.

    Best-

    Thomas J. Thias

    517-749-0532

    Twitter.com/AmazingChevVolt

  4. QCO says:

    It’s an interesting chart. I guess we (here) are so focused on high density traction batteries that we forget about all the other cost effective lead-acid applications. Every EV, including Tesla, has one (12 V house battery). And the heavy weight is actually an advantage for fork lift and tow motor traction. They also benefit from a hundred years of manufacturing optimization.

    One trend is clear, nickel batteries will be history as they are displaced by lithium battery economics.

    1. A123killedatleast1company says:

      cost is it. Lead has terrible performance 40wh/kg but it’s been good enough for long enough that its tough to displace. The higher cost of lithium would seem to be less of an issue in starter batteries for much longer life and performance but people or companies will pay $100 for SLA, not $1000 for a lifepo4 version. The benefits simply aren,t worth it. Hopefully soon they will be.

      Also, the “green” switch to ebikes in scooters is actually a massive environmental disaster. People aren’t switching from dirty 2 cycle mopeds (which have been restricted since the 90s). No, the 10s of millions of ebikes are replacing some of the 800million bicycles in use. And 95% if electric scooters in China are still powered by lead acid, which has increased pollution. Also, the added power generation has displaced some of the smog from the city to generation sites, but is a net increase.

      Not exactly the assumption people have when they hear “going green” but there’s always more to the story once facts get involved.

      All the links, including 20 page chinese reports on scooters 1990-2010 can be found on google.

      EVs still face some pretty major challenges, even tho the minor progress so far is massive compared to the last 100 years.

  5. Priusmaniac says:

    Actually on the Prius there is one big weak point, and that is…the lead battery. It is the single item that cause the main complains because when it fails, the car becomes totally unusable. You can’t start it, you can’t use the accessories and you can’t even open the trunk.
    I had that twice and I would really have appreciated a lithium battery in its place.
    Lead batteries in moving systems are not appropriate because they have low energy density, weight a lot and have that tendancy of sunden failure.