Lithium vs Lead Acid | What's the Difference?

Lithium vs Lead Acid | What's the Difference?

Lithium vs Lead Acid

There’s no denying that lithium batteries are the future of battery technology and are quickly surpassing standard lead acid, AGM and gel batteries, but why? There are many factors that come in to play when looking at lithium compared to lead, so in an attempt to try and better peoples understanding of the differences between the two, we’ve compiled a list of facts to determine what it is exactly that separates them.

Campervan in the middle of tall woods.

Photo by Kurt Von on Unsplash



The first key difference to look at when comparing lithium with lead is the weight of the two. If we take a 100ah lithium battery (328mm x 172mm x 220mm) the weight of this would be approximately 13kg. If we had a lead acid battery of the same dimensions, it would weigh approximately 25kg, making the lithium battery almost half of the weight of the lead acid battery. 

Faster Charge

Sometimes you need your battery to be running asap, maybe you’re going on a spontaneous weekend getaway in your motorhome, but you’ve come to your battery only to find it’s flat and needs 8 hours to charge. With lithium batteries, this problem could be almost eliminated, with some lithium batteries potentially able to fully charge in 1 hour!

Longer Life

A LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery can have up to 60% more usable capacity than a lead acid battery. A 12v battery will begin to stop powering electrical applications running off of it once it drops down to around 10.6v, this goes for both lead acid and lithium. The difference between the two comes with the capacity used while getting to 10.6v, a lead acid battery will use around 45-50% of it’s capacity before reaching the 10.6v mark, whereas a LiFePO4 battery will use around 97% before reaching 10.6v, meaning a lithium battery will last twice as long, if not more than a lead acid battery.

Lithium vs Lead Acid battery graph showing the usable capacity of both batteries.

This graph shows that the discharge curve of the lead acid battery is different to that of the lithium battery, showing the lithium using around 60% more of its capacity.



With lithium batteries being quite the upgrade from lead acid batteries, there is obviously a greater cost involved. If we take the same two 100ah batteries from earlier for example, the lithium battery will likely cost around 5x more than the lead acid, if not even more. Some will say it’s definitely worth it, some will say it absolutely isn’t, it all depends on which is more suitable for your applications, if you have a big lithium leisure battery running nothing but a fridge it will be great, but could be seen as slightly overkill, do you want to run your small fridge for twice as long with a battery that costs 5x more than you’d usually pay? Probably not. But on the other hand if you have a lead acid leisure battery being pushed to its limits with multiple applications running off of it at once, then maybe it’s time to give lithium a try.


So, that was a quick insight into the differences between lead acid and lithium batteries, hopefully this helped with whatever battery decision needed to be made. If you are still unsure and find yourself having more unanswered qustions, we recommend having a look through the Lithium Battery information that is documented here. Or, why not get in touch with our team? Whether it's just a bit more information that you require or if you are looking at sourcing new batteries, you can contact us here

You can also find our range of lithium batteries here, and the rest of our batteries here, but don't worry if you can't find what you need, if you contact our team it may be that we are able to work with you to find the perfect battery for you!

Lithium vs Lead Acid | What's the Difference?
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