Lithium-ion vs. Lead Acid Jump Starters. Who wins?

Lithium-Ion Batteries vs. Lead Acid Batteries in Jump Packs

In the past, jump packs have always utilized lead-acid batteries, but the jump packs of the future are turning to lithium-ion batteries for their ability to deliver the same amount of power in a much smaller and lighter product. Take for example in our every day lives, our cell phones and laptop computers have gotten smaller yet still manage to hold a charge a lot longer. Why? It's all due to the growing use of lithium-ion batteries.

Here are some of the ways lithium-ion and lead acid batteries stack up to one another:

  • Energy Density in Volume Lithium-ion delivers up to 4X more power than lead-acid for the same amount of space.
  • Energy Density in Weight Lithium-ion provides up to 6X more power than lead-acid for the same amount of weight.
  • Self-discharge All batteries leak a bit of their charge while they sit on a shelf; it’s inevitable. However, some batteries discharge faster than others, and when you call on that battery in a time of need months later, it may not be able to deliver: Lithium-ion discharge rate - 3 to 5% of charge/month Lead-acid discharge rate – 5 to 15% of charge/month
  • Cycle Life This is defined as the amount of times a battery can be fully charged and discharged before needing to be replaced. A longer cycle life means an extended lifespan. Lithium-ion has nearly double the cycle life of lead-acid batteries. Exact numbers will vary depending on the types of lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries since each has varying types of chemistries.
  • Maintenance In general, lead-acid batteries are more high-maintenance than lithium-ion. They lose charge quickly and degrade easily, whereas lithium-ion batteries are more of a Steady Eddie. Lithium-ion requires a lot less attention and can go longer periods without maintenance.
  • Capacity The bigger and more abundant cells allow lead-acid batteries to hold much larger capacities than equivalent lithium-ion. To get equal capacities, you would have to increase the number of lithium-ion cells in a battery pack, eliminating the big advantage of lithium-ion: it’s compact!
  • Cost Lithium-ion is the more expensive option over the industry grandfather: lead-acid. Comparative battery packs can easily go for triple the cost or more. However, the cost of lithium-ion batteries will pay for itself many times over in the long run.
The winner? While there are tradeoffs for each, it’s easy to see where most jump-start needs can be met with the lithium-ion alternative. From energy density in volume and weight to self-discharge rate, cycle life and maintenance, lithium-ion has a lot of advantages. So you be the judge.
Back to blog