Using A Lithium-Ion Battery For A Motorcycle Can Be Very Beneficial
The sad fact about motorcycle batteries is that we only give them our attention when they start showing the signs of failing. It’s true that the lead-acid battery technology has come a long way providing us with highly reliable batteries that last for several years. However, there are some grease monkeys out there that are still looking for more. Here we are going to join them and try to understand why using a lithium-ion battery for a motorcycle has slowly become a trend nowadays.
Here we are going to take a look at both battery types, everything that you have to know about them, and the different core qualities of each battery type. This will give us an idea of why some motorcycle owners are considering Li-ion batteries as a suitable replacement. It will also tackle the benefits and drawbacks of a lithium-ion power cell has to offer.
Understanding How Batteries Work
Batteries are containers that are built with a single or multiple power cell that has several plates or electrodes. These plates are submerged in electrolytes that allow a chemical reaction that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. If the battery is charging or discharging, ions or positively and negatively charged particles react with the electrolyte and electrode. This reaction creates electrons that travel through the plates going to the positive and negative terminals of the battery to deliver electrical current.
Lead-Acid and Lithium-Ion Battery Technologies
To get a better picture and for better understanding let’s take a look at the lead-acid and Li-ion batteries.
● Lead-Acid Battery – A conventional lead-acid battery has six power cells that produce 12 volts in total. Each of these battery cells contains lead metal that serves as the negative electrode, lead dioxide as the positive electrode and sulfuric acid which serves as its electrolyte. When this battery is discharging, both the positive and negative electrodes are going to be coated with lead sulfate while the sulfuric acid will be converted into water. This produces the electrons that will flow out through the battery terminals to produce the current that will travel through the external circuit.
● Lithium-Ion Battery – Normally, a typical Li-ion battery only has four battery cells but each of them can produce 3.2 volts for a total of 12.8 volts. Each of its power cells contains Lithium metal oxides as the positive electrode, graphite or carbon as the negative electrode and high purity electrolyte that commonly contains lithium salt. When Li-ion batteries are in the state of discharge, the chemical reaction causes lithium ions to move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode. Then this process is reversed when the battery is in a charging state.
The Core Qualities of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Considered as the latest innovation in battery technology, Li-ion power cells had a huge impact in the aftermarket because of their compact and lightweight design. Compared to their lead-acid counterparts, they are a lot smaller and lighter that promotes convenience. These batteries come in a multitude of subtypes where each of them a uses specific metals for positive electrode component.
Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in power tools, handheld devices and gadgets, electric vehicles, and hybrid cars. They are also used in the product lines of Zero and Victory Empulse electric motorcycle. Now that it successfully penetrated the motorcycle aftermarket. Let’s take a look at the qualities of a Lithium-ion battery that makes it a more beneficial choice compared to its lead-acid counterpart.
● Energy Density – One of the best benefits that a Li-ion battery has to offer is its exceptional energy density. Due to the compact feature of Li-ion batteries. You can replace your bike’s lead-acid battery with a lighter and smaller lithium-ion battery that has an equal energy capacity. This will allow you to make your motorcycle lighter and improve its performance.
● Better Longevity – Lithium-ion power cells are designed to offer a longer service life which is beneficial in the long run. Compared to a lead-acid battery, this type of power cell has more charge-discharge cycle. It is engineered to last for years, allowing you to maximize its use.
● Low Rate of Self-Discharge – Batteries don’t last forever, and it’s normal for them to lose their ability to store charge over time. However, having a lower rate of self-discharge will come a long way to provide you extended battery life. Among all types of battery, Li-ion power cells have the lowest self-discharge rate which is much better than lead-acid batteries.
● Higher Cranking Amps – Using a Lithium-ion battery on your motorcycle will boost its performance because it offers more cranking amps than lead-acid batteries. They can also provide great performance even in cold conditions. With the higher cranking amps and cold cranking amps from a Li-ion battery, your bike won’t have any problems starting even in cold climates.
Taking into consideration all the benefits listed above, thinking about using a Lithium-ion battery for a motorcycle can be a smart and practical move. Although this type of battery is considered to be expensive, the core qualities that this battery type has makes it reasonable. Since most of the benefits that it offers will take effect in the long run.