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  • Writer's pictureTriad Electric Vehicles

Which Battery Type Do I Need?

Compare the differences between High Performance Lithium and basic SLA. Look at cost, size, weight and long term value to decide which battery you need in an all electric vehicle.

As the direct manufacturer, make em' both so you can decide which battery type is best for your needs. If you have battery questions, just contact us by email or call the experts at 855-648-7423 for details.


Let's review:

Automotive Grade Lithium Batteries and BMS Lithium batteries are 10X lighter weight and are 4 times smaller in volume. They are removable, provide computerized critical battery health reporting data at the push of a button or with the use of an app on a smartphone or tablet. They can be recharged up to 1200 times when maintained properly to save thousands of dollars of replacement costs over very long periods of time. They are at least 95% efficient to provide consistent reliable power for longer distances especially for those who are over 180 lbs. Lithium batteries discharge a consistent 48V during operations and are 1200% more sustainable over time due to their ability to be able to be used for 5-8 years consecutively without replacement. Lithium batteries can be recharged mid cycle which significantly shortens charge times. Lithium batteries have a 1-year warranty against OEM defects, and they are the standard for all electronic devices including phones, tablets, laptops, e-bikes, tools, solar power storage and electric cars. The Triad Lithium battery has a fully integrated computerized Battery Management System (BMS). That means it has its own internal computer to monitor and regulate the all the battery cells for you, and it balances and regulates the internal voltage for efficiency and safety. The BMS automatically regulates charging and discharging. Its onboard touchscreen monitor or smartphone app provides a human interface so users can access critical battery data in the most user-friendly way possible. There is no other battery that provides the user with this critical information to read and understand the battery so you can see the battery state of charge  (SoC) and overall battery state of health (SoH) at any time 24/7 to maintain the battery for up to 8 years of consistent use. Yes, High Performance BMS powered batteries cost more upfront, but they do not lose power during operations as the battery discharges like SLA. They keep discharging 48V throughout the entire discharge cycle and you get continuous power and torque until the very end. High Performance BMS powered batteries are much more lightweight and have the ability to display battery health at all times. They can be recharged for many years to save a lot of money over time. This type of battery cell is what today's electric cars use. The output voltage does not decline when in operations. It always discharges 48V for high performance. For more details on the important functions BMS controls read more here. https://www.3wheelelectricscooter.com/post/11-important-functions-triad-smart-bms-automatically-provides


The case for SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) Batteries

Yes, lead acid batteries work, but an SLA vehicle is engineered only for Lead Acid batteries. We do make SLA options, and since we are the direct manufacturer, our SLA models are less expensive than our competitors. You can compare Triad and each of our competitors prices here. NOTE: You can't take a scooter that is built for SLA and just drop lithium batteries in it to make it perform better. A vehicle made for SLA - must ONLY use SLA batteries. The internal vehicle components can only be made to carry 12V because that is the true nominal voltage of this battery system and the components have to conform to nominal voltage for continuity. SLA options use 4 - 12V sealed lead batteries in series, not one 48V pack. You will notice at the end of battery life for SLA, battery 1 in series will be the lowest voltage and battery 4 will be a bit higher. Battery one is getting the most draw from the series to power the vehicle. But you will not replace 1 battery, you will replace all 4 at that time.


You will notice SLA batteries seem great when they are new, but they do not work well for everyone over time. After a full charge, you will notice that once you reach about 85% the vehicle will begin to slow down a bit. Once you get closer to 60% discharge, the speed, climbing ability and any resistance like gravel or thick grass will impact the vehicle performance. This is the case for any scooter that uses SLA batteries. Whether its a Triad, a Five Star, a Challenger X, Zoomie, EWheels, RMB, or Chaser 1000, whatever it is, no matter, its SLA, and that is the nature of sulfur acid and lead batteries.


The voltage of SLA batteries will decline during use. There is no BMS. From 12V, 11, 10, 9, 8V and so on until its dead. As the voltage decreases in use and over time, the power you feel decreases because this type of battery is not considered a "high efficiency" battery. But thats ok, you may not need a high performance battery. Thats why we need to know whats best for YOU! SLA packs use 4 batteries in series, and by comparison they are considered extremely heavy. Lead batteries work, but offer efficiencies that hover around 50%. The weight of the battery adds extra weight during operations which in itself contributes to a faster battery discharge. There is is no data reporting. Battery health can only be done with a voltage meter, or by noticing you have no power. You will only know your lead battery needs to be replaced when the vehicle’s power is depleted. You must charge SLA  batteries longer and longer the older the battery gets, and at the end of the battery life cycle (200 recharges on average) you will find yourself charging 8-12 hours for 5 -7 miles of use, generally. When you get to this point, its 100% time to replace the battery. As the battery ages, and the recharge cycles get close to 200 recharges, the distance, power, speed and torque will be affected. Time for new batteries. Even with newly installed lead batteries, you can feel the Power, Speed decrease in real time while the vehicle is in use and once you reach about 40-50%, the battery is out of power (re: low battery efficiency). Over time, as the battery charge and discharge cycles increase, the overall capacity to hold power will decrease until it requires replacement.


With lead batteries, power and distance decrease with each recharge and it’s kinda like having a shrinking gas tank every time you fill up. The good thing is that SLA batteries are so prevalent in the United States, you can find them almost everywhere, and if you know how to replace them yourself, it can be relatively inexpensive. NOTE: SLA battery options are not available for Hawaii, Alaska, UK, EU, Canada or Australia. SLA battery options are ONLY available for the lower 48 US market. SLA battery option availability is limited to Quantum Dual and CSX models only. International orders to UK, EU, CAN, and AUS all have strict RoHS regulations prohibiting the use of lead in batteries to protect their environments and to prevent birth defects of their citizens. UK, European Union, Canada, and Australia do not allow any batteries with more the .01% of lead into their countries. Lead batteries can only have a 60-day warranty because they are not a reliable “rechargeable” battery, and by today’s standards. SLA batteries are considered “semi-disposable” since they do not last very long under regular use and require frequent $300 out of pocket replacements for a professional to change the batteries and recycle them by law. So even if you only replace them once a year, its still a potential hidden cost of $2400 for replacement batteries by comparison to the high performance BMS option.


Depending on your lifestyle, how often and how fast you drive, what kind of environment you are in, flat or hilly for example, or if you are using your Triad for work in commercial or industrial applications, these will be the determining factors on which battery is best for you.


Knowing the pros and cons of both will help you make your decision when choosing which battery is right for you. SYNOPSIS:


SLA could be the option for you if you don't use it on a daily basis, and you have no need to lift it for traveling. Maybe you are more familiar with lead batteries and how to keep them in good condition like with lawn equipment and classic cars, and see no point in spending the money. Thats a totally valid point! Maybe you just simply like the fact that you can find these lead batteries almost anywhere for replacements, and you want to cross that bridge when you come to it because you know how to extend the life of an SLA battery. Perfectly acceptable reasoning and there's no argument here. Shoot, maybe you just don't like the idea of high tech batteries in general. There is nothing wrong with that either! If any of this rings true, SLA could be right for you.


Lithium may be the battery to choose if you use the vehicle every day, are a person who is over 180 lbs, who want to charge faster, go over high resistance areas off road, up steep hills, and have more effective battery capacity to save thousands of dollars long term to avoid battery replacement costs and potentially avoid days of downtime over the lifetime of ownership.


A lithium battery is the only option for those who need reliable power for operations for work, or towing, and want to use the vehicle daily for many years of reliability. The high performance BMS option is for those want to avoid the hidden costs of replacing old battery technology.  If you are working and using your Triad every day for business, and you don't want to be submitting expense reports every 3-6 months for replacement batteries, having a high performance BMS powered Triad battery is important for you.



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