Due to the improvement in the economy of Africa, there has been a rise in the purchasing power of individuals. In addition, there has been immense growth in the automobile sector. The demand for passenger vehicles has increased considerably and is set to grow further in the coming years. Therefore, the production of vehicles has increased due to the rise in demand for automobiles. This has resulted in the rise of lead acid battery manufacturing, thereby driving the growth of the Africa lead acid batteries market. The use of lead acid batteries in cars, buses, trucks, trains, and airplanes is supporting its growth in Africa. Major automakers in the commercial vehicle segment are also focusing on producing hybrid and electric vehicles across different model ranges, which are set to use lead acid batteries as the power source Therefore, with the rise in demand for vehicles, the requirement for lead acid batteries is set to grow uniformly. All these factors are expected to boost the demand for lead acid batteries in the automotive sector. The increasing requirement for UPS systems and inverters in homes and industries are also driving the demand for lead acid batteries. The use of UPS systems and inverters is complementary to that of lead acid batteries. All UPS systems and inverters require batteries to function and lead acid batteries are among the most efficient energy storage sources for such devices. Their low cost and reliability are set to increase the demand of these batteries in the coming years, in Africa.
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However, materials used in the manufacturing process of lead acid batteries such as lead and sulfuric acid are hazardous substances, and require appropriate handling. The lack of recycling systems and collection can result in environmental pollution. Therefore, the governments of various countries including Africa have issued stringent norms and regulations relating to lead acid batteries. Such regulations set up for limiting the lead emission in lead batteries are inhibiting the growth of lead acid batteries in Africa, thereby driving demand for other environment friendly batteries.
The competitive advantage that lead acid batteries possess, as compared to their substitutes, is their low price. Therefore, lead acid batteries are preferred by a large number of consumers in Africa. Lead acid batteries are facing strong competition from lithium-ion batteries because there are a number of positive traits to the latter. But the price of lead acid batteries being much lower than that of lithium-ion batteries makes the former more attractive to consumers in the developing nations of Africa. There are numerous countries in Africa, which are either under-developed or developing. Therefore, the scope of affordable lead acid batteries in various application sectors is of great significance in such countries. In addition, the reliability factors of lead acid batteries are immense as they are shock and overcharge resistant and leak proof. Such notable features provide great opportunities to lead acid battery manufacturers to do business in numerous regions in Africa.
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Lead acid storage batteries have numerous applications, which range from small batteries used in hand tools to large battery structures used by electrical component companies for load leveling. Lead acid batteries used in electric vehicles need to undergo frequent and deep cycling and the batteries used for emergency lighting need to remain in ‘float’. Therefore, different type of lead acid batteries is used for specific applications depending upon the desired capacity, operating temperature, power requirements and voltage. By determining the battery’s duty cycle, its application is ascertained. The duty cycle of a battery include operating parameters of a cell in the battery. Such parameters are cycle length, discharge rates, length of time in the standby mode and depth of discharge. The duty cycle along with the parameters is included in the battery design engineering which helps to determine the type of charger to be used. The major lead acid battery applications are industrial, commercial, residential, power and automotive.