Lithium Battery vs. Lead-Acid Battery: Understanding The Difference

With the variety of available battery types, a common debate is between lead-acid and lithium batteries.

When picking a battery, you want a reliable and cost-effective option.

The article below will discuss the various aspects of lithium and lead-acid batteries. 

Lead Acid Batteries

A lead acid battery comprises a negative (porous lead) and positive (lead oxide) electrode dipped in an acidic dilute sulphuric acid solution.

When discharged, the lead on each electrode breaks down to create the electric current flowing through the electrolytes.

When charging, lead forms at the electrode.

Thanks to the various types of developed lead acid batteries, you can use lead acid batteries for a variety of applications.

Although there are several other options, here are the two most popular picks. 

Flooded Lead Acid Battery (FLA)

Flooded Lead Acid Batteries contain liquid electrolytes that openly move within the battery case.

To prevent electrolytes from leaking out, you have to keep them upright.

In terms of price, FLA batteries cost the lowest in the market and need high maintenance to last longer.

Sealed Lead Acid Battery (SLA)

SLA batteries are often called VRLA (valve-regulated lead acid batteries).

The electrolyte is stored in a sealed container containing a valve to release gaseous buildup within the battery system. 

The two most common types of SLA batteries include:

Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM)

The AGM battery separates the electrodes by a glass fiber mat.

The mat functions as an absorbent for the electrolyte solution.

There are enough electrolytes to moisten the mat but not enough to seep through in case there’s a puncture.


With gel batteries, an electrolyte gel serves in place of the electrolyte liquid.

The gel is silica based and has the consistency of a paste, eliminating the chances of a leak and reducing the evaporation rate.

Lithium (Li-Ion) Batteries

With lithium batteries, the movement between the negative and positive electrodes generates electricity.

Lithium batteries don’t need a liquid electrolyte giving them a significant boost compared to lead acid batteries. 

Several types of lithium batteries vary in application, size, and construction.

Today the best battery technology is the LFP (Lithium Ferrous Phosphate).

Lithium-Ion Battery vs. Lead Acid Battery

Lead Acid Batteries Lithium Batteries
Depth of Discharger (DoD)50%95%
Cycle life and Lifespan300 Cycles5000 Cycles
Self Discharge Rate (SDR)4% per week1% – 2% per week
Size and Weight 30kg6kg
Energy DensityLowHigh
Charging Efficiency 85%100%
Initial Cost$65 – $100 per kWh$150 – $300 per kWh
Cost Over Their LifespanOnly lasts about 2 yearsLasts up to 10 years
Charging Time8 hours to fully charge2½ hours to fully charge
SafetyRequire one to follow strict precautions There are no safety precautions to consider
MaintenanceHigh maintenanceLow maintenance
Environmental ImpactToxic to the environmentEnvironment friendly
Warranty1-year warranty5-year warranty

Lead Acid vs. Lithium-Ion Battery – Application Comparison

Below are some of the various battery applications you’ll need to choose between the two choices.

Solar Applications

Today the number of people choosing to set up solar panels in commercial and residential premises is increasing.

You’ll need a battery bank or high-capacity battery with several battery units to store the power generated by the solar panels.

Therefore, lithium batteries are the better option because they can handle deep charges and have increased efficiency, meaning they charge faster, provide power for longer periods, and store higher amounts of energy than lead-acid batteries.

Lithium Battery vs. Lead-Acid Battery: Leisure Battery

If you own a leisure vehicle, for example, a caravan or motorhome, you’ll need a battery to power the appliances.

Keeping in mind that additional maintenance and safety are key factors. 

Lithium batteries are the better option for such instances because they provide safer operation with increased performance.

Lithium Battery vs. Lead-Acid Battery: UPS Batteries

You’ll need a reliable battery backup system for an uninterrupted power supply.

In this case, both battery options can do the job. However, lithium is cheaper, considering the lifespan savings.

Caption: UPS Battery

Caption: UPS Battery

Electric Vehicles

When considering a battery choice for an electric vehicle, your top priorities should be lightweight design and increased performance.

Lithium batteries have dominated the market over other battery options because they provide constant power during the entire discharge cycle.


There you have it; now you are informed on what battery type to pick that better serves your needs.

Each battery has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

However, after discussing it, it’s safe to say that lithium batteries have an advantage over their counterparts, lead acid batteries.

For all your battery needs, feel free to contact Cloom Tech.