There are many types of car batteries available in the Nigerian market. That’s why you should be familiar with them all before visiting a seller.
A car battery is a rechargeable battery that is used to start a vehicle. Its main purpose is to send a voltage to the starter, which provides the spark for the internal combustion engine.
Automotive or car batteries also power the electrical components in your car. These include your headlights, wipers, radio as well as USB ports.
The car batteries in a vehicle should not be judged based on their size. Although they look small, they have played a significant role in running your vehicle, from start to finish.
Now you may wonder how your car batteries will get charged since they will be exhausted if you keep using them. Well, the running engine has been designed to charge the battery in the car.
However, all car batteries will finally wear out after many years of service. By then, the car battery would have undergone numerous cycles and the battery will need to be replaced.
How Many Types of Car Batteries Are There?
There are many types of car batteries in Nigeria. There are more than 7 types, each best suited for a particular type of car and price as well.
The reason why there are many car battery types is that modern cars have varying power needs. This is why many types of car batteries have to be manufactured to suit those needs.
Classification of Car Batteries
Car batteries can be classified based on a few factors, and they have been listed below.
- Based on the type of electrolyte used in its chemical cell
- Whether or not it is maintenance-free or sealed
- Based on the charge and discharge cycle of the battery
What Are the Main Types of Batteries Used in Cars? (Based on the Type of Electrolyte)
- Lead-Acid Batteries
- Lithium-Ion Batteries
- Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries
Lead-acid batteries are very common in the Nigerian market. These types of car batteries are high-powered, inexpensive, safe, and reliable. However, they have a short lifespan and high vulnerability to extreme ranges of temperature.
The lead-acid battery is a type of rechargeable battery first manufactured in 1859. It is also the first type of rechargeable battery to be ever made.
It can supply high surge currents and run high-end devices, but it has a low low energy density when compared to lithium-ion batteries.
A wet-cell inverter battery has an electrolyte that is composed of sulphuric acid. This sulphuric acid is diluted with distilled water. The negative terminal is usually made of pure lead. The positive terminal is made up of PbO2. Rubber plates are used as separators.
Since a battery cell like this has an acidic electrolyte (sulphuric acid) and lead plates (pure lead and PbO2), such a battery is known as a “Lead-acid” battery.
Although most lead-acid batteries don’t last long, they are still preferred for many reasons. Firstly, they meet up with the power requirements of most cars. This is why they are used in Starting, Lighting, and Ignition (SLI) batteries.
Secondly, lead-acid batteries are not expensive, making them a good option for use in starter motors.
Lithium-ion batteries are very common in hybrid and electric vehicles (EV). The Li-Ion battery can store more energy in its chemical cell while also charging at a faster rate.
Talking of its chemical constituents, a lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery that is also composed of chemical cells. In these cells, lithium ions move from the negative electrode through an electrolyte to the positive electrode. This happens during discharge.
When recharging the battery, the process will be reversed. Lithium ions will move from the positive electrode to the negative electrode.
Li-ion battery cells use an intercalated lithium compound at the positive electrode and graphite at the negative electrode (most of the time).
Generally, a lithium-ion battery will cost more than its lead-acid counterpart. This is because of many reasons. Firstly, a different kind of electrolyte is used. Secondly, Li-Ion car batteries last longer than lead-acid types.
Most lithium-ion car battery manufacturing companies give their customers a warranty period of 5 to 8 years. However, they can last more than 10 years if used in good conditions.
Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries
The chemical cell of NiMH batteries has an alkaline electrolyte. Potassium hydroxide is most commonly used, as well as other compounds.
The positive electrode is nickel hydroxide, and the negative electrode is hydrogen (in the form of an interstitial metal hydride). Hydrophilic poly-olefins are used as separators.
The nickel-metal hydride NiMH battery is mostly used in hybrid vehicles and electric cars. This car battery has a longer life cycle than lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.
However, NiMH car batteries are not preferred for many reasons. Firstly, they have a high self-discharge rate. Secondly, they are more expensive than lithium-ion and lead-acid types.
Thirdly, they generate a lot of heat when used at high temperatures. This is why NiMH batteries are no longer preferable for use in electric vehicles.
As of 2020, most Ni-MH batteries have been replaced by lithium-ion types. However, they are still used in some hybrid vehicles like the 2020 Toyota Highlander.
Most of the first generation hybrid cars used the NIMH battery. This includes the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Ford Escape Hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid and other electric cars.
Types of Car Batteries (Based on Maintenance, State of Electrolyte and Design)
- Flooded Lead Acid Battery (Wet Cell)
- Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB)
- Gel Cell Battery (Dry Cell)
- Absorbent Glass Mat Battery (AGM)
Flooded Lead Acid Battery (Wet Cell)
The flooded lead-acid battery (FLA) has been around for many years. It’s the oldest type of car battery. It’s commonly used in fuel vehicles as the Starting, Lighting, Ignition (LSI) battery. It is not expensive to buy and it has a lifespan of 3 to 13 months.
Speaking of its chemistry, a flooded battery is a wet chemical cell. It is made up of 6 chemical cells, a liquid electrolyte solution of sulfuric acid and H2O (water). A flooded lead-acid battery can supply a voltage of 12.6V when it is fully charged.
These types of car batteries are reliable for starting motor cars. They supply just enough electricity needed to boost start and ignite the engine. They also meet up with the electrical requirements of most vehicle accessories. This is why you can use the radio and headlights, listen to music and charge your phone in a petrol or diesel car.
A flooded lead-acid battery is a wet cell. This means that it has to be in the liquid state so that electrons can flow. As a result, you will need to top it up with water regularly.
Also, you have to install these types of car batteries vertically. That way, its electrolyte will spill out easily. FLA batteries should be exhausted beyond 50 per cent if you want them to last longer than their warranty period.
Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB)
The Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB), is also a wet cell battery. However, it is optimized for higher performance. Just like the flooded battery, it has a liquid electrolyte solution. However, it is sealed. That way, the electrolyte won’t spill out of the container.
These types of car batteries can maintain a life cycle that is above twice the one of flooded batteries.
The EFB battery can maintain about 85,000 engine cranks compared to a flooded battery that provides 30,000 engine cranks. They are commonly found in cars that use a start-stop system.
Gel Cell Battery (Dry Cell)
A gel cell battery is also like an EFB battery. The difference here is that a gel cell is a sealed and valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery.
The acidic electrolyte is kept in a gel form. This is why the battery won’t spill out even if it becomes broken. The gel form also protects the electrolyte from stratification, a condition associated with other battery types.
These types of car batteries make use of calcium in their lead plates, instead of the usual antimony. Also, silica is added to the electrolyte solution. It is through this action that the liquid electrolyte solidifies a little bit and turns into a gel.
Gel cell batteries have an increased cycle life. A deep cycle gel battery can last between 2 to 5 years. Since they are in gel form, they are more resistant to vibration and shock.
These types of car batteries are no longer used in many cars. This is because a better and faster-charging type (called AGM battery) has been developed.
Absorbent Glass Mat Battery (AGM)
The Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) is also a valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery. It has both the properties of wet and dry cell batteries.
It is similar to gel (dry cell) batteries because it is completely sealed. This makes it spill-free, and maintenance-free.
It is similar to a flooded (wet cell) battery because it has a liquid electrolyte. However, a fibreglass separator (a Boron-Silicate “glass mat”) will absorb the electrolyte solution. That way, it will be kept in place.
This type of car battery has a higher performance than the flooded and gel cell types. It is made to supply the higher electrical power needed in modern cars. They will never leak, even if punctured. This is one of the reasons why they can be used underwater.
These types of car batteries can charge up to 5 times faster. They can also maintain a cycle life that is 3 times more. The AGM battery is commonly used in cars that have automatic start-stop technology. This is also one of the best types of car batteries for braking energy recovery.
These types of car batteries can cost almost twice the amount of other batteries. The good news is that they have a prolonged lifespan. A deep cycle Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery can last between 4 to 7 years.
Types of Car Batteries (Based on the Battery’s Charge and Discharge Cycle)
- Shallow Cycle Battery
- Deep Cycle Battery
What Does Cycle Means in a Car Battery?
A car battery’s cycle refers to the discharge and a recharge cycle. So, if you exhaust your car battery and then recharge it, you have completed one cycle.
Once you get this logic, you can easily relate it to the different uses of a battery. This is why you should ask about a battery’s charge and discharge cycle before buying it.
Shallow Cycle Battery
A shallow cycle car battery is a type that is not designed to run for long periods. It is the type found in fuel cars. This is why it is also known as a “Lighting, Starting, Ignition (LSI)” battery.
Ignition is when you are trying to start your car by inserting your car key. It requires a short burst of electricity that will give the car a big boost to start. That short burst of electricity will be supplied by the Lighting, Starting, Ignition (LSI) battery.
Once your car starts, the car battery will no longer be used, until the next time you want to start your car. But remember, that shallow cycle battery is the one that will power the electrical components in your car. These include your headlights, wipers, radio as well as USB ports.
Shallow cycle batteries are not designed to be discharged over long periods. Once it reaches 50 per cent, you should stop using and charge at once. If you fail to do this, the lifespan of your fuel car battery will be shortened.
Deep Cycle Battery
Deep cycle batteries are the type used in hybrid or electric cars. There is no big burst of energy required to start an engine. The electricity will be supplied throughout running your car.
A deep cycle battery can be used continually. It can be discharged beyond 50 per cent discharge down to 20 per cent. You should stop using your electric car battery and recharge it once it reaches 20 per cent.
Generally, deep cycle batteries have a longer lifespan than shallow cycle batteries. A deep-cycle lead-acid battery should maintain a cycle life of more than 1,000, even if you drain it beyond 50 per cent.
Which Type of Battery Is The Best For Cars?
Lithium-Ion, (Li-Ion) batteries are the best automotive batteries for both fuel and electric cars. Looking at it with a critical view, it’s not hard to see why.
Lithium-ion batteries can store a lot of energy while also having a lesser weight. They are more lightweight than most other batteries where a different electrolyte is used. This also means that an electric car can travel more distance on one charge.
Also, lithium-ion batteries don’t have a high self-discharge rate as the other batteries that have a different electrolyte. This allows them to retain their charge as the battery ages. Lithium-ion batteries also have a good shelf life.
Lithium-Ion batteries have become very popular in recent years. As of today, over 90 per cent of newly manufactured and refurbished hybrid cars use a lithium-ion battery by default.
The Best Car Battery Brand in Nigeria
Starplus Batteries is the leading manufacturing company of inverter and car batteries in Nigeria. We are regarded for our high-quality standards. So we design and manufacture our batteries using superior quality components and raw materials.
We are the leading automotive battery manufacturer in Nigeria. Our battery manufacturing plant is fully equipped with advanced machinery.
Our strength is our team of highly expert and technically qualified professionals, who work in close association with our clients and provide them with responsible solutions.
Starplus Batteries are regarded for our high-quality standards, so we design and manufacture the car battery with superior quality components. We do all these while also keeping to international quality standards.
Corporate Office: 85, Ikorodu Road, Lagos, Nigeria.
Factory Office: Km 20, Ikorodu Sagamu Road, Sagamu, Ogun State.