A New Phase of Innovation for Advanced Lead Batteries

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Emissions reductions and climate change mitigation are at the forefront of policy agendas across the globe, driving demand for advanced technologies to support these efforts.

During this pivotal time, the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) has launched a new Technical Roadmap dedicated to the role of one particular technology for this clean energy shift: advanced lead batteries,

Innovation is our priority, and it’s what we strive to propel across the global lead battery industry. Batteries are one of the critical players underpinning the shift to greater levels of decarbonization and electrification. And, as one of the most widely used battery technologies across every sector, lead batteries are set firmly within this green transition.

Higher levels of performance and energy efficiency across applications from conventional vehicles and EVs to renewable energy and telecom backup are the targets for CBI’s Technical Roadmap.

The innovation journey of the lead battery has not just begun but it is entering a new phase. Responding to evolving technical requirements and soaring demand to support clean energy has set the technology on an innovation path to explore the untapped potential within advanced lead batteries.

Through CBI-driven research, we’re working with our global membership from across the battery value chain and end-users, universities and governments to ensure the highest-performing batteries are available to support the low-carbon goals set out by societies worldwide.

With a set of new goals for research, we’re working with the industry to deliver next-generation advanced lead batteries for each application:

  • Start-stop and micro-hybrid applications: Ensure that recent improvements in Dynamic Charge Acceptance (DCA) are maintained, whilst improving high-temperature performance and ensuring no trade-offs in key parameters such as Cold Crank Amps (CCA) and water loss.
  • Low-voltage EV applications: Improve DCA and charge acceptance, whilst increasing charging efficiency and lifetime.
  • Energy storage systems: Improving cycle life, calendar life and round-trip efficiency whilst reducing acquisition and operating costs are the key priorities.
  • Micro-mobility applications: Improving gravimetric energy density, recharge capability and service life.
  • Motive power applications: Lowering TCO by increasing cycle life, recharge time, and producing maintenance-free batteries.
  • Industrial applications: improving cycle and calendar life whilst reducing battery costs.

These research goals are combining the latest market analysis with a scientific vision to ensure the technology delivers what is needed. With predictions for the global lead battery market to grow by 45,000 MWh between 2025 and 2030, these new goals will feed into CBI’s future research programs, which launch projects dedicated to delivering performance enhancements in the technology.

And it is important that research targets each application area as demand is increasing across the board for lead batteries.

By 2030, micro-hybrid vehicles will represent 75% of new car sales in the U.S. alone, with lead battery technology a major player in this market. For energy storage, a 35,000 MWh increase in demand for battery energy storage means all batteries will be called upon to contribute to the growing need. And for the motive power and industrial sectors, lead batteries represent upwards of 89% of each of these markets, respectively.

Advanced lead batteries are fundamental to many aspects of society. Used in vehicles on the road and warehouse vehicles, used in backup power for critical services such as hospitals, telecoms and data centers, and the increasing use as energy storage for stabilizing national grids and renewable energy projects are all ways in which advanced lead batteries are underpinning the shift to a clean energy future.

The opportunities for the technology to accelerate its innovation journey are vast, and CBI’s research goals are setting the industry on the path to grasp them.

About the Author: Dr. Alistair Davidson is Director of CBI, managing all the consortium’s work programs. Alistair attended the University of Oxford and obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh. He has lectured at both Washington State University, USA and the University of Chongqing, China.

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