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Lead Battery Industry Continues to Thrive and Innovate

September 2016

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Lead Battery Industry Continues to Thrive and Innovate

September 2016

Innovation in lead battery technology and growth in lead battery production is continuing rapidly as the industry adapts to changing energy storage markets.  While lead batteries remain the most popular rechargeable battery worldwide, accounting for 75% of total capacity due to their unique combination of performance, low cost, safety and recycling rate, manufacturers all over the globe are taking steps to ensure these products can meet the demands of current and emerging applications. Here are some of the latest announcements from battery manufacturers illustrating the energy storage industry’s commitment to investing in lead batteries:


Advanced Battery Concepts

Announced its GreenSeal® bipolar lead-acid battery has exceeded the rigorous EN50342‐1 cycling & corrosion testing requirement, making it the world's first bipolar automotive starting battery to pass these standards.

Earlier this year, the company also announced a collaboration with Axion Power International in a joint technology assessment program to test the performance, efficacy and cost efficiency of using Axion's negative electrode technology and materials in ABC's GreenSeal® bipolar battery.


East Penn Manufacturing 

Recently announced a new collaboration with fellow ALABC member RSR and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to use Argonne’s state-of-the-art analytic technologies to accelerate research of lead batteries.

A producer of the well-known UltraBattery®, East Penn also introduced its new Fahrenheit 31 battery AGM technology, which cycles 50% longer than standard AGM batteries in extreme heat conditions.



Bolstered by the success of its MW-scale grid support projects using the UltraBattery® technology, the Australian company has developed an UltraBattery-based 20 kW UltraFlex system for off-grid and dual-purpose applications (incorporating renewable self-consumption, diesel cycling and UPS) and has already achieved consistent fuel savings for its off-grid clients in the order of 50% or more.



Announced it has helped companies to convert 5,000 internal combustion lift trucks to battery power through its Convert to Electric (C2E) Program, saving them more than $125 million in fuel costs.

Exide Technologies 

The European manufacturer announced the launch of its next-generation maintenance-free TENSOR xGEL lead traction batteries, which exhibit high-power, increased energy efficiency and the ability for rapid recharge.

Meanwhile, the North American headquarters recently announced a partnership with the U.S. Navy to expand operations at their Fort Smith, Arkansas facility, which produces a variety of industrial lead-acid batteries for the Navy’s nuclear submarines.  This joint venture is funded by a $30.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, and significantly expands the current 224,000-square-foot facility to boost production expectations.  The Fort Smith line currently produces a variety of lead-acid batteries that serve a wide range of commercial applications, including energy storage and emergency AC/DC backup power deployed on naval nuclear submarines.

Johnson Controls International

Announced an investment of $445 million to boost production of its absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries worldwide.  The investment includes $245 million to double AGM output in North America by the year 2020 and $200 million to build a new battery plant in China.


The Brazilian company is building a new $65m facility to increase its lead battery production capacity by 40% and announced its enhanced flooded batteries have achieved significant cycle life testing results at the Akkuteam battery testing lab in Germany, where its AGM batteries will be tested later this year.


Narada Power Source

In the continuation of an ALABC-sponsored project, Chinese member Narada was able to boost the number of successful power-assist cycles for their lead batteries in hybrid port cranes and elevators from 700 to over 26,000 showing that advanced VRLA batteries are an ideal power source these emerging applications.


NorthStar Battery

Unveiled a completely redesigned line of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries with enhancements that deliver longer lifetime and exceptional performance at high rates of discharge with fast recharge times.  The upgrade has also enabled the company to extend a full warranty for these batteries operating in environments as high as 95ºF.


Trojan Battery

Recently introduced its J200-RE battery as the newest addition to Trojan's premium line of advanced lead-acid flooded batteries for renewable energy applications, featuring its proprietary Smart Carbon™ additive that helps to enhance its performance in partial state-of-charge (PSoC) in renewable energy applications.


U.S. Battery

Continues to promote its advanced deep-cycle XC2® batteries as part of the company's Xtreme Capacity® product line, demonstrating higher initial capacity, higher overall capacity, longer cycle life, improved energy density, better recharge ability, and stronger plates than traditional deep-cycle batteries.