An automotive or car battery is chosen primarily for its starting, lighting and ignition (SLI) capabilities. Its main purpose is to supply electric current that feeds the starter which starts the engine. For this reason, automotive batteries, including truck batteries are designed to deliver maximum current for a short period of time. Once the engine is running, power for the car’s electrical systems is supplied by the alternator.
The battery size and performance specifications are determined by Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) based on vehicle requirements. Automotive and car batteries are developed and manufactured for application in passenger vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs), small bakkies, light commercial vehicles, as well as heavy-duty trucks.
Although automotive and car batteries are rechargeable, they are not developed for deep discharging and a full discharge can dramatically reduce the battery’s lifespan.
SLI batteries for passenger and light commercial vehicles comprise of six series-connected cells that provide a 12-volt (12V) system. Some truck batteries have 2 x 12V cells connected in series for a 24V electrical system.
Automotive lead‑acid batteries include Sealed Maintenance‑free batteries (SMF), Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB +C) and Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) batteries.
The EFB +C battery designed by AutoX is in a class of its own and is one of the best car batteries on the market. Developed for start-stop applications and aggressive African conditions, this battery can withstand high temperatures and high vibrations. Boasting high performance ratings, the EFB +C battery is capable of cycling and running at a high rate. It also operates effectively at a partial state of charge and has a high dynamic charge acceptance which implies that it charges quickly, faster than most other batteries. The majority of start-stop applications in Africa are fitted with EFB +C batteries.
AutoX AGM batteries are supplied under the premium VARTA brand. This brand, renowned for its high performance, is predominantly utilised in the OEM market.
|VEHICLE TYPE||VEHICLES||BATTERY TECHNOLOGY||BATTERY BRANDS|
|Passenger||Standard||Willard, SABAT & HiFase|
|Standard start-stop||Willard, SABAT & HiFase|
|Standard start-stop with regenerative braking||VARTA|
|Commercial||Light commercial||Willard, SABAT & HiFase 12V|
|Heavy duty||Willard, SABAT & HiFase|
2 x 12V
Battery types cannot be interchanged between applications. The higher specification battery, namely VARTA AGM batteries, can be used in a standard or standard start-stop vehicle, however, the lower specification battery, a Standard SMF battery, cannot be used in any of the higher spec start-stop vehicles.
A battery’s lifespan can be enhanced by having it tested by a battery specialist once a year in order to detect problems early on. To ensure battery efficiency, vehicle electronics need to be optimised according to battery capabilities. Click here for a list of nearby Battery Specialists.
Whilst in service in an automotive vehicle, the battery is charged by the vehicle alternator. Should the battery become discharged after for example a long period of non-use, we recommend that the battery be charged using an external intelligent charger to fully restore state of charge.