With Lead Based Batteries and Lithium Batteries, we seem to feel there are batteries everywhere. These power units provide us with a consistent energy supply for different needs. With the different batteries technology out there, you might find it confusing choosing the right one for your device.
Lead Based Batteries vs. Lithium Batteries
When comparing Lead-based batteries and Lithium batteries, it is good to note that they are products from different technologies. As you may have rightly guessed, the latest technology offers an improvement over the old ones, and that is what makes the Lithium batteries our choice.
Whether you want to replace your current electric golf cart batteries with new ones or you are buying a new golf cart and want to know what battery to choose for your new equipment, this comparison is to educate you on what is best for you.
Comparing lead-based and Lithium batteries for electric golf cart
Today, both the old and newer battery technologies are in the market, leaving you to choose the better product for your device. Without much ado, let set our basis for comparison: Cost, Performance, Durability, and Resilience.
The origin of Lead-based batteries was 1859, invented by a French physicist, Gaston Planté. These rechargeable power units are affordable and capable of generating high currents. They are used for various applications, including for starter motors in an automobile.
Benefits of Lead-based battery
The benefits of lead-based cells are Cost efficiency, easy maintenance, and energy performance.
These batteries are the most primitive, and despite the arrival of other battery technologies, they remain the most used batteries globally.
Lithium batteries can trace its origin to the 1970s. It was produced in commercial quantities in 1991. It’s a newer battery technology that started as a power source for small applications like cell phones and mobile devices. The technology was later improved to deliver higher power needs for bigger applications like electric cars. Lithium batteries possess a high energy density. They also have several specific cathode formulations for different uses.
Lithium batteries’ benefits include High energy density, High-performance, Resilience, Maintenance-free, and long-lasting.
But now, how do they compare?
Lead-based and Lithium-based batteries compared
Below are some factors we will use to compare lead-based cells with Lithium-based batteries:
By far, lithium batteries perform better than lead batteries in almost every aspect. The energy density is three times that of lead batteries, making it better for high-surge current applications. It performs excellently in load-carrying capacity with a high weight-to-performance ratio. Hence, it needs fewer batteries for higher performance.
Lithium batteries have a higher battery cycle than lead-based batteries. (The battery-charging cycle of a cell is the number of times a battery can be charged and exhausted before its performance diminishes.) While lead-based cells have a battery cycle of between 500-1000 cycles, lithium batteries can go as far as 1000-2000 cycles! Lead batteries also have limited capacities. Barely using 50% of the battery’s capacity can damage the battery. But the capabilities of lithium batteries are more than 85%.
Whether you go for lead or Lithium, you need to charge your battery-powered golf cart. It takes quite some time to charge batteries, from a few to several hours. So, if you want to charge, you should have a second cart to use in the meantime or a battery that charges fast. Your ideal battery should be able to charge quickly and run on that single charge for a long time.
Lithium batteries take the lead here. While a lead-based battery charges for about 8 hours, lithium-based batteries require about 1 hour for an 80% charge and barely 2½ hours for a full charge. Besides, lithium batteries can run for longer periods, while lead batteries have a shorter life span and running your cart down as the voltage lowers.
For your golf cart, you might prefer lithium batteries to lead-based as they require no maintenance along the line. Lead-based batteries, however, require time-to-time maintenance to check chemical spills and possible failures. Such procedures can cost you a lot of time and energy.
Regarding costs, lead batteries have taken the edge. Leading technology has been around for a couple of years. Competition and relative prices of raw materials have taken the price down the notch. Lithium battery technology, on the other hand, is new and more complex. It also uses expensive raw materials, which do not get less costly. However, while the initial cost is essential, you need to consider the overall cost implication to determine the better one.
Lithium batteries pose no pollution or energy-related damages to the environment. On the other hand, lead batteries contain lead. If lead leaks, it is not “friendly” to the environment! Besides, lead-based cells are more likely to be affected by environmental factors than lithium batteries.
If you need a good battery for your old golf cart, or you want to get a new cart, consider a lithium-based option. In terms of capacity and performance, it is inarguable that lithium batteries will go a long way in satisfying you. However, if your primary concern is cost, then the lead battery might be your best option. Nevertheless, it will be wiser for you to pick quality over price; spending more now will help you avert other damages and unexpected future costs!