There’s a case to be made for utilizing deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries in your golf car from an environmental viewpoint. While there are oft en comparisons that show lithium-ion batteries can be of benefit in many products, the facts still show that on a cost per watt -hour, nothing compares to the overall performance of these deep-cycle batteries for use in larger applications like golf cars. Although lithium-ion batteries work well in many applications, for golf cars, there’s an important environmental issue that has not been addressed.
It’s important to point out that flooded lead-acid batteries have a recycling rate that is greater than 99 percent, according to the Battery Council International. While this is a tremendous benefit to the environment, the use of lithium-ion batteries is threatening the system. The International Lead Association reports that lead-acid batteries are recycled at the highest rate of any commercial product but warns that with the increase of lithium-ion battery use, the introduction of these batteries into the lead recycling system has resulted in a number of safety incidents.
Lithium batteries are not recycled in the same way flooded lead-acid batteries are and as such pose an environmental concern, especially since lithium ore is only available in certain parts of the globe, making it very susceptible to price changes and global demand. In addition, lithium battery contamination into the lead-acid battery recycling process has been on an increase. If lithium-ion batteries are mistakenly or knowingly added to the recycling stream, an increased risk of fi res and explosions can occur during transport, storage, battery breaking and smelting processes of used lead-based batteries.
Th e U.S. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) are proposing to develop standardized labels that are color-coded to allow for better identification between lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. “In the end, not only are lithium batteries not currently being recycled, but consumers would have to pay to dispose of spent lithium vehicle batteries,” said Wehmeyer.
Most battery experts agree that lithium-ion has its place and is safe for many uses, but the success doesn’t necessarily translate into its safe and efficient use in other industries, at least for the moment. For more information on flooded lead-acid batteries specifically manufactured for electric vehicles and more, visit www.usbattery.com