Lithium vs. Lead Acid (AGM) Batteries: What You Need to Know

There are many things to consider when deciding between lithium-ion and lead acid (AGM) batteries for your automated guided vehicle. Based on your application, it is important to think about cost, performance, maintenance, and other factors that may affect the productivity and profit of your workflow.


Cost


Lithium-ion batteries cost more upfront than lead acid batteries. Long term though, lithium-ion batteries save more money. Lithium-ion batteries last longer and need to be replaced with less frequency than traditional lead acid, which need replaced 2-3 times more often.


Size


Most applications tend to prefer smaller, light-weight batteries, but that is not always the case. Lithium-ion batteries save space and are also lighter than lead acid. In some instances, an AGV may need a heavier battery to help with counterbalancing the vehicle. In this type of application, a lead acid battery would be better due to its heavy weight.


Charge Time


Generally, standard lead acid batteries take around 8 hours to fully charge, then need time to cool down. Lithium-ion batteries can fully charge in as little as an hour. At America In Motion, we use AGM batteries which is an advanced lead acid technology that provides a longer life span and a quick recharge time. AGM batteries charge even faster than lithium-ion but don’t last as long.





Performance


As lead acid batteries discharge, their voltage drops. This means the longer they are used, the slower they will run. Lithium-ion batteries on the other hand, store more energy providing consistent and reliable voltage. Overall, lithium-ion batteries have a longer, more consistent performance.


Environment


Lead acid batteries have been around for quite a while and are easier to recycle. Most places recycle them for free. Click here to find a recycling place near you. Recycling for lithium-ion batteries is a bit more challenging. Currently the cost of recycling a lithium battery is inexpensive but that cost may go up in coming years.


FAQs


Below are answers to frequently asked questions about lithium-ion and lead acid batteries.


Are lead acid and lithium batteries safe to use?


All lead acid and lithium-ion batteries are equipped with multiple built-in safety features ensuring the safety of those working. Batteries are maintenance free, sealed, unspillable, and won't gas. Lithium-ion batteries should be avoided in applications that are exposed to excessive heat, water, flammable or corrosive gasses.


Can an AGV be designed to fit both lithium-ion and lead acid?


We can design for either or both because our builds are custom and designed from scratch.



For additional information regarding AGV batteries, contact our National Sales Manager by clicking here.




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