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Difference between lead acid battery, lithium battery, sodium ion battery and graphene battery


This article helps you understand the difference between lead acid battery, lithium battery, sodium ion battery and graphene battery

Electric vehicle is a common transportation that can be seen everywhere on the street and alleys. Battery is the core component of electric vehicle, the battery quality directly determines the electric vehicle's range. So, how to find battery with high safety factor, cost-effective and long service life is a problem that most people struggle with when choosing electric vehicles. There are mainly lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries, sodium batteries and graphene batteries on the market today, but many people don't know the difference. This article will help you understand.

1. Concept difference

1.1 Lead-acid batteries

The electrodes of lead-acid batteries are mainly made of lead and its oxides, and the electrolyte is a battery with sulfuric acid solution. In the discharge state of lead-acid battery, the main component of the positive electrode is lead dioxide, and the main component of the negative electrode is lead. In charge state, the main components of both electrode are lead sulfate. Lead-acid batteries are charged and discharged by chemical reaction between the active materials on the positive and negative terminal and sulfuric acid in electrolyte.


1.2 Lithium battery

Lithium battery is a kind of battery which uses lithium metal or lithium alloy as positive/negative material and non-aqueous electrolyte solution. The material of lithium battery negative electrode is metal or lithium alloy material. It is dependent on the transfer of the positive electrode and the negative electrode at the beginning to complete the charge and discharge operation of the battery. Now the lithium battery mainly includes lithium iron phosphate battery, lithium iron manganate battery and ternary polymer lithium battery.

1.3 Sodium ion batteries

Sodium-ion batteries, a type of rechargeable battery, rely on Sodium ions moving between the positive and negative electrodes to work in a similar way to lithium-ion batteries. That is, during the charging and discharging process, Na+ is inserted and released back and forth between the two electrodes: During charging, Na+ is removed from the positive electrode and embedded into the negative electrode through the electrolyte; it is opposite when discharging. The new 18650 sodium ion battery uses sodium ion transfer, rather than lithium ions, to store and release electricity.

1.4 Graphene batteries

Graphene technology is still in the development stage and is not yet ready for large-scale use. At present, graphene batteries used in China are essentially lead-acid batteries. Graphite powder is added on the basis of lead-acid batteries, which makes the batteries have excellent heat resistance, corrosion resistance and conductivity, so that the durability of the batteries has been greatly improved. Graphene batteries, in a sense, are an enhanced version of lead-acid batteries.

lead acid battery

2. Price difference

Lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries are made by a completely different process, and lithium battery technology difficulty and materials costs are greater than the lead-acid batteries, therefore, lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than lead-acid battery, regardless of the brand factors, lithium battery would be about 3 times the price of lead-acid batteries, such as 48V20Ah battery, the new lead-acid battery costs 500 Yuan to 700 Yuan, while the lithium battery costs 1200 Yuan to 1500 Yuan, so the lead-acid battery is more cost-effective.

And sodium-ion batteries, due to sodium is abundant and widely distributed, can be 20%~30% cheaper than lithium-ion batteries. Sodium-ion batteries therefore have a huge potential price advantage.

Graphene batteries, as we said before, is an enhanced version of lead-acid batteries. So, compared to lead acid batteries, the lead plate is a little bit thicker. The general graphene battery is about 5kg heavier than a lead acid battery. At the same time, the graphene technology is added, so the price of graphene battery is a little bit higher than a lead acid battery, maybe 10% to 20%.


3. Difference of safety factor

The potential safety hazard of batteries is spontaneous combustion, and lead-acid batteries do not have the characteristics of deflagration because the electrolyte is sulfuric acid. Lithium battery does not contain cadmium, lead, mercury and other elements that pollute the environment. The lithium metal it uses is a very active metal. Its safety mainly depends on the thermal stability of battery materials, and is also closely related to abuse conditions of the battery such as overcharge, needling, extrusion and high temperature. In contrast, in terms of safety, lead-acid batteries will be even better.

Sodium ion battery also has relatively safe performance, it can work normally in the temperature range of minus 40℃ to 80℃, the capacity retention rate is close to 90% in the environment of minus 20℃, high and low temperature performance is better than other secondary batteries, its battery thermal runaway phenomenon is much less than lithium ion battery.

As for graphene battery, the process difficulty and materials used for production are basically the same as those of lead-acid battery, except that graphene elements that can increase conductivity are added, this method of operation is in the same logic as the early lead-acid battery adding the corrosion-resistant “cadmium” element. Therefore, in terms of safety, there is no obvious difference between lead-acid battery and graphene battery, and they are both non-combusting battery type.

4. Difference in service life

Theoretically speaking, the main components of lead-acid batteries are sulphuric acid and lead plate, which are easy to be consumed and damaged during battery use. In the cycle charge and discharge times, lead-acid batteries generally only 300 times, therefore, the theoretical life is generally about three years.

Lithium battery and lead acid battery is different, its lithium metal are more durable, and the design theory of circulation cycle count is usually greater than 1000 times, therefore, the theory of life in general can be used for 5 years or so. Moreover, the durability of lithium ion is more breakthrough. The current known lithium battery with relatively long life can reach 25,000 cycles of charging and discharging, and it is expected to be used for about 70 years, which is impossible for lead-acid batteries.

As the radius of sodium ion is larger than that of lithium ion, it is difficult to embed and take off in the reaction process and easy to cause structural changes, resulting in a short cycle life. Reduced to 80% life, the sodium-ion battery can be recharged 2,000 times, far higher than the 300-500 cycles of lead-acid batteries, but significantly less than the 4,000-6,000 cycles of lithium-ion batteries

Graphene battery, as a update version of lead acid battery, it naturally strengthen the weaknesses of the original version , including the life and the design of the lead-acid battery charge and discharge times mentioned above in 300 times or so, and graphene battery charge and discharge times is around 500 times, improves the two-thirds. Of course, the specific usage depends on the owner’s maintenance awareness, but in theory, it is the same type of battery as lead-acid batteries, which are vulnerable to "injury" and generally have a life span of three years if not maintained during use.


In fact, throughout the development of the global battery industry in recent years, although due to changes in relevant policies and market development factors, lithium battery, sodium ion battery, graphene battery and other battery industries have developed rapidly. However, in terms of the current global scope, lead-acid battery is still the chemical battery with the largest market share and the widest range of use, especially in some other developing countries. Lead-acid battery is still playing a pivotal role in the market because of its more affordable, more mature and stable recycling technology.

lithium battery


Better (Xiamen) Power Technology Co., LTD., as a global lead acid battery manufacturing solution expert and full resource operator, has advanced lead acid battery equipment research and development, production and manufacturing capacity, and has gathered the industry's excellent mechanical engineers and battery experts for many years to develop engineering project integration services. Committed to providing customers with R & D design, project construction, complete sets of equipment, installation and commissioning in one of the general contracting system integration services. With more than ten years of painstaking efforts, we now have more than 500 products for customers to choose from. At the same time, we can provide customers with value-added services such as battery factory design, battery product design and tooling, battery manufacturing technical support, battery production management guidance and consulting to meet customers' diversified product needs and personalized customization services.

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