Lead batteries enable the movement of global commerce and power transportation innovation. Whether traveling by land, sea or air, people and goods rely on lead batteries to deliver them safely to their destination. The industry itself also provides thousands of green-economy jobs. Without this cost-effective, safe and reliable technology, modern life would come to a grinding halt.

Personal and Public Transportation

In the U.S., Americans rely on 275 million cars and trucks powered by lead batteries to take them where they want to go for work and play. Each is powered by a lead battery, including electric vehicles (EVs).  Lead batteries safely transport Americans 34 million times each weekday via public transportation. This is just a sliver of the world’s 1 billion vehicles which are on the road today, each with a lead battery for power and safety features.

Commercial Transportation

Lead batteries are responsible for the uninterrupted movement of global commerce from roadways to rivers, rail, airline and ocean marine. In a global marketplace, lead batteries are essential to transport goods via oceangoing vessels and airplanes. When a ship arrives at port, a lead battery powered crane will unload the shipping containers so forklifts can move the contents to lift trucks for delivery to distribution centers where forklifts move the goods in warehouses until they’re ready for transport to their final stop.

Lead batteries have long been used in the aviation industry and are the go-to battery type for powering aircraft. They’re found in piston aircraft, turboprops and business jets.


In the rail market, lead batteries start and power trains and rapid rail systems. Like cars, locomotives need a battery to start the engine as well as to provide electric power for lighting and controls when the engine is off and power isn’t being generated.

In the heavy-duty tractor-trailer fleet, lead batteries not only start the engine, but is the source of power for a multitude of cab and bunk convenience times drivers have come to rely on to make their jobs easier and road life more comfortable.

Start-stop technology made possible by lead batteries

A Sustainable Power Source

Start-stop engine technology, made possible by advanced lead batteries, reduces fuel consumption and emissions by stopping the engine when the car comes to a full stop, and seamlessly restarting when the brake is released. In the U.S. this means 5.3 million tons of greenhouse gasses are eliminated each year.

When the engine is off, start-stop lead batteries save fuel. This can yield fuel savings ranging from 3% to 10% depending on driving conditions. Utilizing this technology is one of the most affordable ways for drivers to cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Traditional, electric and hybrid-electric vehicles all depend on lead batteries for starting, lighting, ignition capability, voltage regulation and reliable energy storage.

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Carole Mars The Sustainability Consortium Director

The high recycling rate of U.S. lead batteries means a large percent of U.S. lead battery manufacturing supply chain inputs (73% of its lead) are sourced from domestic recyclers.

Dr. Carole Mars, Director of Technical Development and Innovation, The Sustainability Consortium