Lead technology’s position in the automotive battery market got further enhanced last week according to specialists attending a car industry meeting in San Francisco.
Findings presented by the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) – the leading research group supporting automotive battery technology – showed lead well-placed to remain the dominant technology for years to come.
Latest market figures presented by Avicenne, a respected consultancy examining the battery market, clearly showed that lead technology still takes the greater part of the rechargeable sector, worth some $70 billion.
Furthermore, its compound annual growth rate is set to continue in double figures for years to come.
But the real technical excitement came from ALABC research on the issue of dynamic charge acceptance – the phenomenon of a lead battery being able to charge and discharge rapidly, especially in applications such as so microhybrid cars. These are expected to account for more than half the world’s new car models by 2025.
“The automotive world has been encouraging the lead battery industry to meet this challenge,” said Terry Murphy (pictured), chairman of Hammond, a developer of lead battery additives – a broad technology being evaluated to improve lead battery performance. The combined science effort of a number of companies working in this area – essentially evaluating refined additives in battery performance – has shown that they were right. “A one percent additive in a battery can yield a 100% gain in performance,” added Murphy.
Stuart McKenzie, a promoter of a revolutionary lead battery component from New Zealand based ArcActive, concurred with Murphy’s take. “Without the science companies such as ours have been doing, there is little doubt the auto industry would turn to lithium ion, an expensive and potentially hazardous technology and one that still has no proven recycling technology to cope with lithium end of life. Today they can turn to lead technology with confidence.”