The ALABC is a research consortium originally formed in 1992 to advance the capabilities of the valve-regulated lead acid battery in order to help electric vehicles become a reality.  

The research resources of the world-wide membership of ALABC are pooled in order to carry out a large program of R&D which would otherwise not be possible.

In 2003 the consortium changed its research focus to the end markets of 42-volt and hybrid-electric vehicle systems.  However, the goal - as always - is to achieve performance enhancements which will allow the VRLA battery to succeed in all the important markets that are now in prospect.  These include the telecommunications, remote area power supply, 36/42-volt automotive systems and hybrid electric vehicle markets.

During the past several years ALABC research has identified a number of modifications that can be made to VRLA batteries to improve their performance significantly under hybrid electric vehicle duty.  The design features, however, have not been tried in combination, nor tested in the field and so the ALABC launched a demonstration phase where batteries with these beneficial features are (i) constructed; (ii) performance tested in the laboratory; (iii) then evaluated in HEVs in the field.  This demonstration phase began in January 2006. 

To date, four companies have delivered the contracted batteries and initial test and performance data are incredibly encouraging.  The new batteries are being supplied by East Penn and NorthStar Batteries in North America; Tudor Exide in Europe; and Furukawa Batteries/CSIRO in Asia.  In addition, ALABC is also supporting the demonstration of a bi-polar lead-acid design from Sweden's Effpower, which is currently being road tested in a Honda Insight.

The ALABC is managed by the International Lead Zinc Research Organization, Inc., based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.  ALABC membership is open to all and currently stands at 48 organizations.

As a pre-competitive research consortium, ALABC offers its members the opportunity to highly leverage their research investment and participate in cutting edge research carried out at many of the world's finest R&D facilities.