Lithium Batteries Replace Lead-acid Batteries?

Lithium Batteries Replace Lead-acid Batteries?

Date:Oct 08, 2020

 Starting in 2020, the demand for electric bicycles and electric motorcycles under the new national standard will rewrite the industry's structure. Faced with the total number of more than 300 million and more than 90% of them are over-standard electric vehicles, the trade-in market demand plus new demand, Will greatly increase the annual sales of electric bicycles. Research institutions predict that sales of electric bicycles this year are expected to exceed 50 million.

Based on good expectations for the electric vehicle market, as early as the new national standard was released, many people believed that lithium batteries would soon replace lead-acid batteries, but this is not the case.

As we all know, compared with lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries have the advantages of high energy density, long life, small size and light weight. However, lead-acid batteries are still the mainstream in the market. why?

First of all, the cost advantage of lithium batteries is not outstanding. According to many dealers selling lithium electric vehicles, under normal circumstances, the price of lithium batteries is 1.5-2.5 times that of lead-acid batteries, but the service life is not good and the maintenance rate is also high.

Second, the maintenance cycle is too long. Once a lithium battery fails to repair, it will take about a week or even longer. The reason is that the dealer cannot repair or replace the defective battery inside the lithium battery. It must be returned to the manufacturing company, and the manufacturer will disassemble and assemble. And many lithium batteries cannot be repaired.

Third, compared with lead-acid batteries, safety is a flaw.

Lithium batteries cannot withstand drops and impacts during use. After piercing the lithium battery or severely impacting the lithium battery, the lithium battery may burn and explode. Lithium batteries have relatively high requirements for chargers. Once the charging current is too large, the protective plate in the lithium battery may be damaged and cause burning or even explosion.

Large-brand lithium battery manufacturers have a higher product safety factor, but the price is also higher. The products of some small lithium battery manufacturers are cheap, but the safety is relatively low.

Some people will say, don’t foreign countries like lithium batteries? That's good for export!

The substantial expansion of market demand at home and abroad is undoubtedly a huge development opportunity for domestic electric bicycle companies. But from the current point of view, the electric bicycle industry also faces many challenges. Since 2018, the EU has made a final ruling on anti-dumping and anti-subsidy on Chinese electric bicycle exports, imposing extremely high tariffs on Chinese electric bicycles, which has an adverse impact on domestic electric bicycle exports. Car companies want to avoid high tariffs and need to build factories in Europe for OEM production, which poses a big challenge to the company's technical and financial strength.

Conclusion

Back in China, with the increasingly fierce competition in the electric bicycle industry, intelligence, light weight, fast charging, long battery life, long life, and high cost performance have become essential for electric bicycles. From this point of view, lithium batteries are indeed a trend. However, companies need to address the above-mentioned problems in a targeted manner. If they cannot, it is impossible for lithium batteries to replace lead-acid batteries on a large scale at least in the next five years.

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