Replacing lead acid traction batteries

Lead acid batteries are popular in light commercial vehicles such as golf cars, surface boats, material handling vehicles such as forklifts, airport ground support equipment, e-bikes and mobility vehicles for the disabled. Two alternatives, ie lithion-ion and supercapacitors – will imminently replace lead acid traction batteries.

Reasons for the need to replace lead acid traction batteries include:

  • Handling of acid
  • Short life
  • Lead pollutant
  • Poor energy and power density
  • Three sets needed for a forklift (one in use; one charging; one cooling down)
  • Large size - takes up space


Take note

  • Both lithium-ion and supercapacitors are almost ready to replace traditional lead-acid batteries in some traction applications.
  • Many of these evolving solutions will find themselves of value in a variety of industrial applications.
  • Current advances in supercapacitor technology have been remarkable.


Published as: Two devices will replace lead acid traction batteries

By P Harrop, IDTechEx

Electricity+Control, August 2011 (pgs 32 -33)