Spiral wound lead-acid battery exceptional power and excellent thermal characteristics make it a promising choice for hybrid electric vehicle applications. The hybrid electric vehicle presents a new and unique challenge for energy storage systems. The batteries require high power for acceleration and hill climbing and good charge acceptance for regenerative braking and overall energy efficiency. Since the on board auxiliary power unit results in much lower demands for battery energy capacity, lead-acid batteries fit quite well into these performance requirements. Many of the remaining challenges involve the development of battery management systems which must function to maintain the battery pack at peak performance and achieve an economical cycle life. Related to the issue of battery management is information about conditions that may cause damage or unbalance of the pack. Experiments are described investigating the effects of extreme cell reversal on battery capacity and cycle life. The results demonstrate the amazing robustness of the lead-acid battery for tolerating over discharge.