The phrase “one size fits all” doesn’t apply to car batteries. There is a specific kind that will cater not only to your needs but also to the kind of vehicle you are driving. Here are the kinds of batteries with their pros and cons and what makes them different from one another. You might want to consider these before investing in your next car battery.
Flooded Lead Acid Battery (Wet Cell)
The oldest car battery type is also very common and most affordable. Also called SLI Battery which means Starting, Lighting, Ignition. Made up of 6 cells with a liquid electrolyte solution which is a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. Lead plates are suspended in the solution within a plastic battery casing. Positive and negative plates have different coatings so that the current flows through them. At full charge, it can produce 12.6V. It is easily rechargeable but it would experience a substantial reduction in battery life when it reaches 50% of its charge.
Silver Calcium Battery
This is still a lead acid battery however the grids that are traditionally made of lead-antimony alloy or lead-calcium alloy are replaced with lead-calcium-silver alloy instead. Known for its resistance to corrosion and destructive effects of high temperatures. This improvement results in increased battery life and a high starting power over time. The downside of this battery type is that it is more expensive and requires more charging voltage than others.
Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB)
This is an enhanced version of lead-acid batteries but introduced as a class lower than AGM batteries. This has improved cyclic durability compared to the existing wet flooded batteries. It has additional carbon additives, glass mat separators and higher pack pressures to enable longer cyclic lifespan.
Gel Cell Battery (Dry Cell)
It is a type of lead acid battery that produces a kind of gel or silica substance when the electrolyte mixes with sulfuric acid. It requires little to no maintenance because of the gel like formation when ignited. Leaks are not a problem as well because it has a valve that removes excess pressure.
Absorbent Glass Mat Battery (AGM)
This battery kind supports car manufacturers that equip their cars with the start and stop system. It requires a special power to provide the higher demands of new cars. It is spill-free, maintenance-free, and resistant to vibration. Start-stop systems in cars entered the U.S market in 2013 models quickly rose to popularity also in Europe. Vehicles with this feature automatically shut off the engine when it stops at a traffic light. Another, it restarts quickly when the clutch and pedal are engaged.
Deep Cycle Battery
A deep cycle battery is a kind of lead battery designed to run reliably even after until 80% of discharge. But it is not recommended to discharge until 45%. It might provide a starter burst and sustained power for your vehicle but it reduces the life span of the battery.
Designed to be lighter than others because electric cars travel more when they weigh less. They last longer than lead acid batteries and are expected to last from 10-20 years. It is also recyclable which makes it attractive for environmentally conscious drivers. However, it is more expensive and requires more care than others.
Nickel Metal Hydride Battery
Considered as an old type of hybrid car battery but it is still in use today. Proven to withstand extreme weather conditions like extreme winters and fiery hot summers. Another advantage of it is that it is easy to recycle. Although you might need a separate cooling system when charging this because they tend to run hotter during charging. It is also larger than other battery kinds which compensates for its lack of power. But it doesn’t help with the weight.