Product Reviews16 April 2020
Lithium vs. Lead Acid Batteries... Which is Better?
If you haven’t noticed, lithium batteries are becoming more and more popular with mobility scooters than their predecessor, lead acid. So why is lithium so popular, what’s the difference between lithium and lead acid and what can you do to prolong their life?
Lithium batteries actually re-charge at double the speed and they weigh a third less than lead-acid. This means that for those who use or need a portable scooter, which requires lifting into the back of the car, having a lithium battery will make picking up a scooter, much easier. Separate to this, a lighter battery means the battery itself can propel your scooter more efficiently as it has less weight to move. This also reduces the overall demand on your mobility scooters motor. The only downfall is that lithium batteries will cost you more upfront, but they’re more efficient and offer a significantly longer life span.
Lead acid has been around since the mid 1800’s. They’ve have stood the test of time and regardless of weighing more than lithium batteries, they’re still around today for a reason. Lead acid is dependable, and it’s more cost effective on a cost per watt basis. Lead acid takes longer to charge, however, they can cost hundreds of dollars less than a lithium battery, depending on the size. Lead acid batteries can also offer a relatively decent lifespan, if they are cared for properly.
CARING FOR A LEAD ACID VS LITHIUM BATTERY
Remember your first cordless phone? Remember how you use to have to plug it in and charge it in full, then drain the battery completely and then plug it in again? That’s because the way we use and charge lead acid, responds differently to lithium with regards to the way its used and charged. A lithium battery can be run all the way down to 0% capacity, whereas a lead acid battery should only be run down to 50% capacity if you want to maximise its life cycle. Though a lead acid battery can go all the way down to 0%, it’s not recommended if you want it to last as long as possible. You’ll need to replace your mobility scooters battery possibly once a year, whereas a lithium battery may last several years (depending on how much ou use it).
A lithium battery can be plugged in and left overnight. Once it’s charged you can actually leave it plugged in as long as you like, and this will in no way affect the batteries lifespan. With lead-acid, it’s recommended that once the battery is charged, you unplug it. This is a slight inconvenience because let’s face it, no one is going to wake up from having 8 hours of sleep after just 6 hours, to unplug their mobility scooter once it’s fully charged.
So what’s the verdict?
Though lithium is lighter and charges faster, it’s of course more expensive than lead acid. Lead acid is heavy, it charges slower and you shouldn’t drain it past 50%. If you want a battery solely based on price, then you’ll get more wattage out of a lead acid battery which means if you keep using lead acids for years to come, you’ll get more bang for your buck. Keep in mind that this means more maintenance and less convenience as you can’t just drain it or plug it in and forget it.
If your goal is convenience, then lithium is the winner, as its lighter, charges faster, goes further and you can drain the battery to 0%, re-charge and keep it plugged in as much as you like. If you tend to forget things or have difficulties lifting, than lithium is your new best friend!
To discuss lead acid and lithium batteries further or to get your battery tested or replaced, ring us today on 9242 7333. OR, like us on facebook to see our regular posts about our products and services. :)
Happy scooter battery shopping!
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