Re: Battery comparison

Hello to Richard and All,

Richard Acuti wrote:

Optima batteries I’m familiar with. I have one in my DeLorean. I visited the Orbital website and it seems to me that Orbitals are the same thing only they are manufactured by Exide.

Is this correct?

No, not correct. Similar? Yes. The Exide Orbital in fact, got its start as a made-by-Optima cheaper version of the Red Top starting battery. I was at the factory and got to see Both the Optima and Exide versions being manufactured. Back then, Optima made a rather bland looking all grey colored battery with the identical case as their regular RT and YT batteries (only all grey), but stuffed it with less active materials, so the Exide licensed battery was lighter and only had 650 cca instead of the RT’s 800 cca ratings. That was then….today, Exide has their own design battery they build themselves. Though it looks like an Optima, it is taller, narrower, a pinch longer, and 40 lbs. vs 44 lbs. for the YT.

>Does Orbital have an advantage over Optima?

In tests performed by qualified EVers, the mighty Exide Orbital can blow away any Optima YT with 2000 amps discharge capability vs about 1400 max amps from a YT. The rated ahrs is different, as one might expect between a 40 lb. battery and a 44 lb. battery, at 50 ahrs vs 55 ahrs.

Hawker batteries appear to be a different animal. AGM technology but they appear to be smaller for lighter duty. Definitely not traction batteries…not for a 4 wheel vehicle anyway. I’ve read that some of you use them for accessory batteries. Is this correct?

Way off here. Hawker batteries ‘can’ be smaller, as they make a lot of models to choose from. Lighter duty? This one had me laughing, sorry, I’m not making fun of you. Hawkers are legendary for their ‘extreme’ heavy duty nature! Little 13.5 lb. Hawkers belt out 800 amps all the way down a drag strip! I know of no other lead acid battery (excluding TMF type) that can routinely do this without harm. Hawker also makes deep cycle AGM group 31 12V batteries (larger than the group 34 Optima YT and the same size as Optima’s group 31 model), and very soon will have an Optima sized drop-in replacement. Yes, many use the smaller sized Hawkers as 12V accessory batteries, but many have also used larger hawkers to power their entire EV. One of my EVs runs on 29 Hawker batteries.

See Ya…..John Wayland

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2 Responses to Re: Battery comparison

  1. Clayton says:

    Hi Guys,

    I have a chemical back round not electric and am looking to put together a road going EV. Looking at DC, can you supplymewith the contact where I can source everything from?

  2. Phil says:

    Hi John, do you have any experience with the new Exide Mega-cycle batteries specifically the XMC-31. I’m considering building my first EV and thought this would be a good choice (14 XMC-31 total weight about 1000lbs). I can’t find very detail specifications on it, but it appears to have about a 15% greater energy density than the 34XCD. It has twice the total energy (@25 amp drain) per battery and weighs about 1.8X as much. It appears to deliver more power per battery based on the MCA but less per unit mass. The mass of the battery is quoted in various places at 69lbs and 72lbs in others. Exide claim twice the cycle-life compared to other deep cycle batteries but I can’t find any detailed information/numbers on this important claim. I have written to Exide and I’m still waiting their reply on this.
    All the best. Phil.
    ps I’m probably responsible for half the hits on your Bluemeanie page ;-)