Lead batteries: making electric vehicles safer

Lead batteries: making electric vehicles safer

Lead batteries support safety systems in the electric vehicles that are integral to low emission mobility.

By: Dr. Christian Rosenkranz, VP Industry & Governmental Relations EMEA, Clarios and Chairman of the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI)

Europe is at a critical crossroads in its ambitious goals to achieve a climate-neutral economy by 2050. With initiatives driven through the EU Green Deal to decarbonise Europe, one of the central ways in which this will be achieved is through low emission mobility.

Electric vehicles are at the forefront of discussions regarding Europe’s low emission vehicle fleet and the future of the automotive industry. 12V lead auxiliary batteries will be a critical onboard component for electric vehicles, and indeed the range of lower emission vehicles such as hybrid vehicles.

The 12V lead auxiliary battery provides backup power for safety relevant features such as power steering and brake boosting. But they’re also essential for a vehicle’s comfort features such as radio and sound systems. In the event of the failure of the car’s propulsion battery, the auxiliary lead battery takes over and powers the safety features of the vehicle to enable the car to safely pull over.

As a technology, lead batteries are highly safe and reliable. The lead battery industry, which collects lead batteries at end-of-life at rates of almost 100% in Europe, is one of the leading examples of circular economy in Europe.

From a production and supply standpoint, lead batteries are domestically produced in Europe for all of the target markets. This independence from global supply structures exists due to the established and well-maintained recycling industry, where almost 80% of material in a new lead battery comes from recycling. Even though the impact from full cradle to grave is small, in a recent lifecycle analysis of the environmental impact during the manufacturing phase, 12V automotive lead batteries as a technology were shown to have a lower impact compared to other technologies.

The safety record of lead batteries makes them an invaluable technology for Europe’s future low emission mobility sector. We are in the age of the battery, and recognition should be given to the essential role different chemistries will play in achieving Europe’s green ambitions.

Originally published by the Consortium for Battery Innovation

Read more about how lead batteries are supporting EU rail travel.

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