Why Engineers Have a Soft Spot for Lead-Acid Alternatives to Lithium-Ion Batteries

2,057 Published by BSLBATT May 25,2021

From laptops and mobile phones to hybrid cars, lithium-ion batteries have become the standard for many manufactured products. While these batteries have long been well known among engineers, they enjoy a reputation among consumers as being new, cutting-edge technology. Incorporating lithium-ion batteries into your products gives you an opportunity to set your company apart while delivering superior performance and value.

In 1980, John Goodenough invented the foundation of the lithium-ion battery. The cobalt-oxide cathode, a lithium battery component, is used in almost every portable electronic device across the world. Many people have tried to improve the cobalt-oxide cathode, but no one has succeeded. Since 1980, the performance and capacity of lithium technology has increased steadily. However, it wasn’t until three to four years ago that a stream of engineers in the U.S. market began equipping their electric products with lithium-ion batteries.

Lead-acid batteries have provided power and reliability required for the aforementioned applications for years with good monitoring and maintenance, but a new report from Vertiv contends they have “traditionally been regarded as the weak link in the critical power chain,” touting high maintenance costs and requiring frequent replacement.


At first, not many engineers understood how lithium-ion batteries would improve their products. Some chose to stay with lead acid batteries. But products that incorporated lithium began to gain a corner on the market.

It takes a convincing argument for new technology to replace a traditional power source. But for many engineers, the benefits of lithium technology are persuasive.

What Makes Lithium The Most Reliable Choice

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have a reputation as the most dependable battery solution. Lead acid batteries lose battery power as they discharge, not to mention with every discharge cycle. But lithium batteries operate at a much higher capacity.

For customers, reliability is a major selling point. It’s inconvenient when an application loses power before a customer is done using it due to poor battery performance. Customers are now demanding more from their products.

Engineers have turned to lithium technology because it offers the following advantages:

● Longer battery life span

● Faster charging

● Less frequent charging

● Steady power levels throughout discharge

● Remains powerful through many discharge cycles

When a better battery solution was presented, engineers grew distrustful of lead acid batteries because of their poor performance. Customer dissatisfaction, a shorter life span and premature battery failure are some of engineers’ most common complaints against lead acid.

How Lithium Got Its Reliable Reputation

The early adopters who started using lithium batteries in their products were often major industry players, but some small, private companies also recognized why lithium was a good opportunity early on.

In particular, lithium became the most popular battery option for cell phones and laptops, although it was also widely used in marine and solar applications.

Lithium-ion batteries gained prominence as customers became more active on the Internet, researching technology options and leaving product reviews. Since lithium reached the marketplace, its reliable reputation has spread through the following channels:

● Case studies

● Word of mouth

● Competition in the market

● Expert reviews

● Product testing

Choosing The Best Battery Solution For Your Application

If you are an engineer thinking about making the switch to lithium, it’s important for you to feel safe in your decision. You may be hesitant because you haven’t used lithium batteries in your products before, and you don’t want to chance your sales success. The factors to consider in selecting the right battery solution for your product include:

● Weight

● Volume

● Lifetime

● Initial cost

● Temperature sensitivity

● Maintenance

Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery

Rest assured, lithium-ion batteries are a cost-effective option that save your customers money on battery changes in the long term while promoting better product performance overall. In a competitive market where lithium is considered to be the most reliable standard, don’t get left behind.

With so many factors to consider, you’re bound to have lots of questions, whether they’re about maintenance, recharging, returns or recycling. To gain this expertise, it’s helpful to work with a trusted partner who specializes in lithium battery solutions and provides the information and advice you need to maximize the benefits of switching to lithium.

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