“Why don’t you guys have lithium-ion batteries?”
That’s a question that we get asked all of the time. More specifically, why we continue to sell lead-acid batteries instead of lithium-ion. Without question, lithium-ion batteries do present some distinct advantages that other types of batteries don’t offer. However, they do have some shortcomings and disadvantages that differ from those of traditional lead-acid batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries have a lot of advantages when it comes to maintenance, energy density, and efficiency, but one of the biggest drawbacks to buying lithium-ion batteries right now is the price. Currently, in New Zealand, lithium-ion batteries cost roughly four times the amount of lead-acid batteries. You are going to get some notable differences in performance with a lithium-ion battery vs. a lead-acid, but currently, the cost far outweighs the benefits that these batteries can provide.
Lithium-ion batteries need added protection that lead-acid batteries don’t. They can be easily overcharged or discharged below a safe limit, which means you needed protective circuitry incorporated in your battery system. This is not only an added cost but an added complication as well.
Another reason that we have yet to jump on the lithium-ion bandwagon is due to the fact that this is a technology that is still largely in its infancy. Though lithium-ion batteries have been in popular use for years, much of the technology is still volatile and ever-changing and evolving. Lead-acid batteries are a mature and refined piece of technology that is reliable, safe, and well understood.
Though we don’t currently provide lithium-ion battery power set-ups, it is not something that we expect to avoid indefinitely. As technology improves and the cost of these batteries begin to level out, this is a product that we believe will be much more viable in our business, in the foreseeable future. For the time being, while lithium-ion batteries do have many distinct advantages over lead-acid, we don't believe this outweighs the current price difference, so will continue to sell lead-acid batteries until lithium-ion becomes the superior option.