Not all lightweight batteries are created equal

January 17, 2013

This is the first part in a multi-part post, where I am going to compare lightweight batteries currently available for sale in North America. I am going to include as many competing brands as possible, but may not be able to look at all of them. I hope you enjoy this, and find it informative.

As far as I can tell, there has never been a real comparison of lightweight lithium batteries in the powersports market. There have been a few reviews, and some articles written about lithium start batteries in general, but no one has ever discussed the real technical differences in these products.

That lack of detailed analysis and comparison has led people to believe that all lightweight lithium batteries are created equal.

They are not.

Like every other piece of gear, there is a wide range of product price and quality in this market, and some batteries are better value than others. Some of the very expensive batteries are not a great value, and some of the less expensive ones are fantastic.

This type of analysis has not been done before, so I am going to give it a shot.

Since Full Spectrum Power introduced the first lightweight lithium battery to the powersports market in 2008, there have been a huge number of companies that have come into the market, with their own version of a lightweight battery. I assumed that when the market started to recognize that LiFeP04 based batteries were a great performance solution, that we would see a number of competitors and was looking forward to it as a challenge. I have always been competitive, through my years as a bicycle and motorcycle racer, and now as a business owner supporting championship winning race teams around the world.

There are a number of important metrics we can use to evaluate the lightweight battery market, and a number of questions to be asked and answered when discussing the various options available. In no particular order, we are going to look at these things which I feel are important in evaluating all of the lightweight battery choices.

Who is manufacturing these batteries?
What cells are used in each battery?
Where are these batteries being produced, and where are the components made?
When did each of these companies begin building batteries?
What have these battery companies accomplished with their batteries?
Are these batteries tested and UN-DOT approved?
How much do they cost?
What are their capabilities, and how are they rated?

So, how do Full Spectrum Power Pulse batteries compare to the other batteries in the market? Well, I obviously feel that our products are the best, and am going to explain what makes for a good lightweight battery I will try to write all of this information in simple terms, and will do my best to limit overly technical jargon.

This topic is going to take more than one post to cover, and is likely going to span three or four weeks worth of reading. To make it easy to follow, I will post a short analysis each week, with a explanation of the information presented. I will include some pictures as well.

Next Monday I am going to post the second part of this series. We are going to look at the bottom of the battery market first, looking at the products that are using what the battery industry has called “cell of unknown origin”. These lightweight lithium batteries are in fact using scrap cells- literally, cells which were destined to be recycled after failing manufacturer Quality Control (QC) tests, and have found their way into a large number of batteries in the powersports market. Yes, there are companies selling lightweight batteries with JUNK cells in them.

See you next week.