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Using lead-carbon batteries for energy storage in EV fast chargers would not only ease the charge costs for EV owners, but also alleviate the power demand on the electric grid.
Lead Carbon Batteries Could Find Niche in Energy Storage for EV Chargers
Just when everyone thought lead-based battery chemistries would have no place in the future market for pure-electric vehicle infrastructure, one company is looking into the potential of advanced lead carbon batteries as an integral part of meeting future demand for EV fast chargers. New ALABC member Electric Applications Incorporated (EAI), a spin-off of current ALABC member ECOtality North American in Phoenix, AZ, is exploring the use of battery energy storage systems (BESS) to reduce demand of EV fast chargers on the electric grid, and is proposing under the new ALABC program to test and determine the best lead-carbon battery design for this application.
In an earlier non-ALABC research project, EAI and ECOtality recognized the cost and demand advantages of incorporating a BESS into an EV fast charging station. Since cost is already one of the most significant barriers to mainstream adoption of pure EVs (significantly due to their expensive lithium-based batteries), EAI researchers examined multiple ways to reduce the cost of easy and affordable access to fast charging stations. Because of the significant power demand these fast chargers can have on the electric grid (50kW to 120kW), electric utility power demand charges often make fast charging cost prohibitive. However, the researchers found that a BESS can reduce the grid power demand by supplementing grid power during fast charging of plug-in electric vehicles. In addition, since the battery is stationary, many of the requirements that inhibit lead-based battery performance in automotive applications (weight and volume) do not apply, and the cost and recycling advantages of advanced lead-acid and lead-carbon batteries (over lithium-based chemistries) make them an ideal match for this application, especially considering that such batteries would not require the temperature-control mechanisms needed by their lithium counterparts.
Some researchers suggest that while widespread adoption of pure EVs is still several years away, they estimate that there will be at least 4,000 fast charging units in the U.S. alone by 2017. EAI President Don Karner believes that when the shift toward an EV-based infrastructure begins to spread, advanced lead-acid batteries could play a significant part in the adoption of fast charge systems.
“Advanced lead-acid and lead-carbon batteries have the potential to dominate distributed energy storage applications such as battery energy storage supporting electric vehicle fast charging,” said Karner. “These applications that support the electric grid will grow in importance as the cost of energy continues to increase.”
EAI recently proposed a demonstration project under ALABC to look at the various types of carbon-enhanced lead-acid batteries in a laboratory setting and find which would best meet the BESS conditions for fast charging applications. The best performing technology would then be used to construct a 20 kWh BESS for installation in a fast-charge station. If successful, it could position advanced lead-carbon technology as the primary candidate for a new niche market – at the expense of the ever-encroaching lithium chemistries.
Obama’s SOTU Address Reflects Changing Reality for Clean Vehicle Market
This month’s edition of the ALABC’s U.S. Battery Policy Blog by John Howes discusses how President Obama’s recent State of the Union address reflects the changing reality of the clean vehicle market and the effects on the battery industry. Two years after pledging to make the U.S. the first country to put one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, President Obama chose a different tone and a broader perspective in relation to cleaner vehicles, since sales of plug-ins and pure electric vehicles continue to lag. The shift in dialog indicates that the progress that has been made in regard to adoption of cleaner vehicles (namely, more mild- and micro-hybrid systems) is not the progress originally envisioned by the administration, but rather a boon for cost-effective technologies like lead-acid batteries.
One of the ALABC’s newest members, Guangdong Dynavolt Power Technology Co. Ltd. is a fully-integrated battery enterprise with one of the most advanced research and development centers in China. Dedicated to the research, development, and manufacture of lead-based power sport batteries, Dynavolt is one of the leading Chinese exporters of starter batteries with sales operations in over 100 countries and regions around the globe and an annual output of 20 million units. Their state-of-the-art R&D facilities have produced outstanding results in the areas of gel electrolyte, high-rate starter, thin plate, and lead-carbon batteries.
Founded in 1986 and made public in 2012, Dynavolt is the first battery manufacturer to launch the Gel Nanotechnology Maintenance-Free Motorcycle (MG series) batteries used in the majority of motorcycle models worldwide. They are also the first Chinese motorcycle battery manufacturer to apply their cold cranking rate to the most stringent international standards.
With its R&D infrastructure and established network in the power sport sector, Dynavolt is well-equipped to cooperate with organizations like the ALABC in the micro-hybrid start-stop, motive power, and energy storage battery markets.

The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium
1822 NC Highway 54E, Suite 120, Durham, North Carolina 27713 USA
Tel: 919-361-4647 | Fax: 919-361-1957 |

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