Lithium or Lead? Which E-bike Battery is best for you?

Lithium or Lead? Which E-bike Battery is best for you?

Batteries are essential for people in different ways. They provide power to start your vehicle and function as a power resource of electricity. So battery storage is becoming popular almost in every sector. Moreover, when it comes to the battery groups of this discussion, it seems people sway between them. So, which could be the best? 


And to decide which battery type is the best, you have to think also about their usage. And we are talking about electric bikes. So lithium batteries are preferred by riders and manufacturers. The reason is that they have a durable power capacity. On the other hand, if you want the battery as a power backup, the best option is the other battery group. 


These batteries are the main battery groups in the field. And one is made using the metal lithium, while the other is made using Lead. And there is a difference in their chemistries. This fact makes their performances and costs different. Moreover, both types of batteries can be productive. As mentioned, it depends on their usage. However, there are differences between the two that are worth studying for your benefit. We’ll help you to decide which to choose.

Debate on the Two Types of Batteries

According to the rankings, many believe that batteries that contain lithium are better. The reason is the high volume energy and weight energy. Moreover, they are smaller in size and lighter. In addition, they have a long life too. And with a good battery capacity, they help you run a long distance. 


However, people tend to buy Lead-acid batteries than other types of batteries. The reason is that the former type isn’t expensive. 


Moreover, one cannot judge these batteries only because they are good or bad. The reason is that both have their advantages and disadvantages. Hence, they become beneficial for different groups of people. For example, today, batteries that contain lithium are primarily used in electric bikes. In contrast, Lead batteries are in four-wheel e-scooters. 


Chemical Types of Batteries 


Batteries are in several categories. The most common one is the Lead battery, as it has a long history. And they are the first rechargeable battery that came to the market. And they can supply high currents. In addition, they are more affordable than other battery types. As a result, these batteries have attracted motor vehicles. 


The second category of batteries is Lithium batteries. And this is also rechargeable. Besides, these batteries are commonly used in mobile electric vehicles. Hence, this is the most suitable battery type for electric bikes. 


Comparison Between the Groups of Two Batteries  

Which battery is cheaper? 


The lead-acid battery is available in many quantities and various pack sizes. And it is a resourceful battery category. But the richness of the battery depends on how you apply it. So acid batteries are the best choice for complex stationary usages. In addition to that, it suits you best if there is a big space and the energy you want is low. Hence, people use these batteries mostly in power stations. In addition, people use them in storage systems for renewable energy. An example is inverters.  


In contrast, the other battery type has a higher energy thickness. It is 125-600 Wh/L. Accordingly, they provide similar power but in a smaller space. So suppose that you travel a certain distance on your electric bike. So these batteries can fit in a smaller room with less weight. Thus, in terms of the battery cost and size, Lithium batteries might be your most suitable alternative. 


Which battery type is more eco-friendly? 


Lithium-ion batteries are more ecological because the material in them isn’t dangerous. As these batteries contain ground-safe ingredients, they can be recycled. They also have a longer lifetime compared to the other battery type. Hence, we can say that a Lithium battery is the most suitable for eco-friendliness. 


On the other hand, Lead is a material that has the potential to cause cancer. So, it is harmful to the environment too. Moreover, these batteries have chemicals like Sulphuric acid. It is highly poisonous. However, these batteries’ recycling rate is higher than other batteries. Moreover,  this battery group is easily available. Hence, they are cheaper than the other battery group. 


Charging Speed 


The energy required by Lithium-ion batteries to charge is less than Lead batteries. And it takes the former type 2-3 hours to charge fully.  


On the other hand, Lead-acid batteries have lower energy. Apart from that, their performance in relaxed temperature environments is also poor. And the self-discharge rate of these batteries is higher when compared to Lithium-ion. 




The longer lifetime is with the Lithium-ion battery. However, you can see the best results if you use it correctly. The minimum lifetime of this type of battery is around five years. In other words, it is 2000 charging circles. However, if you know how to use these batteries properly, they will last longer. Simply, it means you can recharge and use these batteries without having to replace them. The durability of this battery group is 45% longer when compared to the other batteries. Hence, considering all the facts, your e-bike will have maximum performance with a Lithium-ion battery. The reason is that these batteries have a greater energy density. 


And Lead batteries have a life span of 1000 charging circles. That, too, is only if you use them with proper care. However, harmful environmental factors can negatively affect the lifetime of Lead batteries. Moreover, excessive use also brings negative effects. 


And as e-bike riders, you must manually look for the battery percentage before each ride. 


Energy Density 

It would help to consider this factor when buying an electric bike battery. Lithium batteries have high energy density when compared to the other battery group. 



You have to remember that these batteries can cause many problems. Therefore, you have a responsibility to be careful when dealing with high-voltage batteries. So, if you overcharge any of these battery types, it would result in an explosion. Moreover, the acid in the lead-acid battery is dangerous. And there is a possibility that the battery’s acid would leak. 


In the other battery type, if the heat exceeds, that heat would spread even to the surroundings. Moreover, once it happens, the battery may explode. So it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to build strong battery packs. 


Lithium-ion Batteries in E-bike 

There have been significant changes in the market for this battery type for electric bikes. The high demand for e-bikes has increased the usage of this battery group. 


Moreover, the electric bike market is highly competitive. Hence, considering the eco-friendly nature of batteries is not enough any longer. And there are different categories of this battery. For example, Lithium Iron Phosphate is one type of these batteries. 


According to experts in the field, the most suitable battery pack for e-bikes is a 36V pack. The reason is that it suits better as it has a slim frame. Hence, it can easily sit on an e-bike. 


In addition, there are in-tube battery packs available in the market. So, you can keep the battery hidden on your electric bike.


Advantages and Disadvantages of These Batteries


One feature that riders love about this battery type is its small size. And this feature alone is enough to give you a good impression of electric bikes with this battery group. As a result, you can fit a maximum of three batteries in one electric bike. So, the distance you can cover increases. Thus, you can go up to 100 miles. And this will save the time you will be charging one battery at a time. 


This battery type mainly aims at mobile vehicles like electric bikes. So they are manufactured accordingly. Therefore, they are easy to fix into a frame of an e-bike. In addition, these batteries are small enough to place in any place on your electric bike.


The biggest issue with these batteries is that they are more expensive than other types. Moreover, this price range changes according to the battery voltage and capacity. Somehow, the standard electric bikes use batteries at starting price of $300. And most bikes’ battery price range is $400-500. 


However, when comparing this price with these batteries’ lifetime, it seems the price is acceptable. For example, this battery type costs five times higher than the other type. But acid batteries have a shorter lifetime. Accordingly, you may have to renew the battery by paying money. On the other hand, these batteries last a long time. So you don’t have to replace it every year. 


Lead-acid Electric Bike Batteries 

These batteries come inside a case that is made of hard plastic. As a result, you can turn around this case, and the acid won’t leak. As a result, they become suitable to use in electric bikes. And there are acid batteries that come in unsafe cases too. Such batteries aren’t ideal for electric bikes. The safe category of acid batteries is popular as SLA. 


Moreover, these batteries are more significant than the previous type. They have more weight. As a result, you cannot fit these batteries easily into your e-bike. And they never come packed along with electric bike necessary mounting hardware. And this means you have to carry the battery in a container-like bag.


Moreover, e-bike batteries must be placed as low as possible in an e-bike. The reason is that it makes it easier for the bike to maintain the center of gravity. Accordingly, you can handle your bike easily. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of These Batteries 


The most significant benefit of these batteries is their price. Moreover, this battery type is available in many online markets and your local stores. So you can easily find one of them. And if you buy these batteries from the local market, you don’t have to pay shipping charges. That makes the price even cheaper. 


The other good aspect of these batteries is that they can output high power. The previous battery type discussed above doesn’t handle much current. However, acid batteries can manage a good amount of current. So acid batteries are the best choice if you hope to buy an electric bicycle with high power. 


One of the key disadvantages of these batteries is their excessive weight. And no need to hide this fact because the word ‘Lead’ itself suggests it. So, to handle this additional weight of the battery, you need a strong solution for riding. Moreover, one can experience a perfect electric bike ride when one carries less weight. Hence, this battery type is an obstacle to that. 


The other disadvantage is that these batteries don’t last long. Many people claim that it remains up to 200 charging circles. But what we have experienced is 100 circles. For example, suppose you could ride up to 15 miles with one charge when the battery is new. But a year later, the distance you can ride decreases to 10 miles. Likewise, it keeps decreasing year by year. 

Which Battery is Preferred by Countries?

Since electric bikes are eco-friendly, many people worldwide have started using e-bikes. Moreover, even young people tend to use e-bikes more and more. Besides, it doesn’t matter whether you are a kid or a businessman. Thus, almost everyone understood the benefits of electric bikes. 


And many countries give a big priority to e-bikes. For example, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, China, and so on are among those countries. 


And people ask why many choose these batteries over other types of batteries. The answer is not complicated. Thus, these batteries are lightweight and powerful. And they are safe. As a result, they cause your e-bike to ride faster and exist longer. 


So, this battery type is a perfect innovation in the field of technology. Hence, many have identified them as the best charging option nowadays. 


How to Select the Best Battery Type for Your Electric Bike? 

The basic idea of an e-bike depends on a battery. So, when you select a battery, remember to check the following. For example, its performance, cost, and the number of miles you can cover. The following guide will help you with this. 


As you know, electric bikes are a perfect development in the industry. And the whole idea of an e-bike center around its battery. Moreover, battery technologies are also developing rapidly. So, choosing the right one has become a challenge.  So, the primary factor to look for is the speed of the battery you select. In addition, other factors like capacity, cell construction, and the type of battery are equally important. 


Moreover, the battery that you need depends on the type of bicycle you have. Accordingly, each bicycle type requires a battery that has different chemistry. And they should be in various capacities. 


Final words 

As described, both battery types have their advantages and disadvantages. However, according to the riders’ experiences, they prefer lithium batteries. It is true that they are expensive. However, riders can get a perfect riding experience with these batteries only. The reason is that they are lighter in weight. As a result, they fit easily in your e-bike. In addition, this battery group has a long lifetime. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about their expiration for a long time. 


In contrast, acid batteries are cheaper. And they are available at any place so that you can find one quickly. However, their lifetime is not as long as the battery mentioned above. In addition to that, these batteries are heavy. So you must find a strong riding method to deal with this extra weight. And you have to deal with the additional weight of this battery type. As a result, you cannot get a perfect riding experience with this battery group. 


Vicky Houston

Hi, I am Vicky! At e-bikeguide, we are passionate about electric bicycles and love sharing our knowledge and research with you. We strive to be the ultimate resource to learn all you can about caring for your lovely electric bike!

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