Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers

Batteries are revolutionising the transport sector with various degrees of hybridisation and electrification - from start/stop to mild hybrid, plugin hybrid and full electric vehicles. Batteries will be a key element for the decarbonisation of mobility.

Automotive SLI (starting-lighting-ignition) batteries are required to power a vehicle’s starter motor, lights and ignition system, as well as providing power to the vehicle’s on-board electronics. In start-stop and basic micro-hybrid vehicles, the installed battery must also provide start-stop functionality and entry-level braking recuperation. Lead-based batteries are currently the only available mass-market technology for these applications. They are used all the way from the conventional SLI battery to the auxiliary lead battery in electric vehicles to power the 12V board-net and to provide safety functions.

The so-called “mild hybrids” use a 48 volt system with a combination of lead and lithium batteries to store energy while breaking, which is then used to boost the vehicle’s acceleration and/or power certain functions of the ICE, such as brakes, steering or air-conditioning.

Electric and hybrid vehicles will be a cornerstone of the strategy to decarbonise the transport sector, with a 35% benchmark for newly sold passenger cars by 2030, as agreed by the EU Institutions. In plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles, high voltage battery systems of at least 15kWh are installed to provide significant levels of vehicle propulsion, either for daily trips (20-50km) in plug-in hybrid vehicles, or as the only energy source in full electric vehicles (100km+). Comparatively, batteries for electric vehicles require a higher energy density because of their longer electric driving ranges. Therefore, the battery’s energy density is a primary focus in this class. Fast recharge capability is also required to limit the period of time needed for recharge, with quick recharge to 80% important to extend the operating range of the vehicle. Batteries for both types of vehicle must also be highly efficient, with low internal electrical resistance and sufficient calendar life.

Overall, batteries of different technologies will all be fundamental to achieve the new CO2 emission targets for both passenger vehicles and heavy duty vehicles.