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Unless you’re an avid petrol-head, understanding what is underneath the hood of a car is a mystery. For most people, their knowledge of how a car works extends as far as: knowing where to put petrol in, how to turn on the ignition, and then driving from A to B. Everything else between is anybody’s guess! But of course, there is so much more to it and to be honest, it doesn’t hurt to know a little bit more about your motor, particularly when it comes to the heart of the car (aka, the car battery).

In this article, we’re going to take you through the various types of car battery with a little insight how to each of them work. Let’s take a look…

What are the different types of car batteries?

So, there are 3 main types of car battery. They are as follows:

  1. Starting, Lighting, and Ignition Car Batteries (the SLI car battery)
    1. The majority of vehicles on the road have an SLI battery.
    1. As the name suggests, in addition to starting the vehicle, they also power all of the electronics as well.
    1. SLI batteries have a fairly short charge cycle (the time it takes for the battery to charge and discharge).
    1. The SLI battery delivers power in short bursts of time, such as the starter motor of the vehicle.
    1. An SLI is made up of 6 galvanic cells, producing 12-volts of energy.
    1. Each of the 6 galvanic cells provides 2.1 volts each.
  • Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) Car Batteries
    • The Li-ion battery is one of the most under rated of the 3, and is most commonly used for PHEV’s (plug-in hybrids).
    • The Li-ion is typically more expensive than a conventional Lead-Acid car battery.
    • A Lithium-ion battery has grown in popularity in recent years coupled with the rise of the hybrid car.
    • They store greater charges than the other battery types.
    • Li-ion batteries also weigh less than standard car batteries, with the same power output.
    • They boast a good 5-10 years’ life-span.
  • Lead-Acid Car Batteries
    • Lead-Acid car batteries require the least amount of maintenance.
    • Lead-Acid batteries are sealed which means that they cannot be serviced, only replaced.
    • Like the SLI, Lead-Acid car batteries work in short bursts, providing power for the starter motor.


Mechanic attaching jumper cables to car battery in repair garage

What is a standard car battery type?

The most standard car battery type is the SLI car battery (Starting, Lighting, and Ignition). These are found in most vehicles on the road and if you aren’t sure, there’s a good chance that your car has an SLI battery in it.

If you aren’t entirely sure, you can either contact your local mechanic, or speak with G7 Battery instead—a reputable dealer of used and new car batteries. They will be able to offer you solid advice, help identify your battery type, and offer an alternative replacement when the time comes.


Is a car battery Wet Gel or AGM?

You’ll find that most car batteries are in some form or another, made up of lead-acid. In some cases, it can be easy enough to mistake a lead-acid battery for a gel battery (aka, gel cell battery), when in actuality, they are an AGM battery.

AGM batteries are a type of lead-acid ‘dry-cell- car battery, which are completely sealed and again, do not required maintained and can only be replaced. Instead of using a type of water or gel, AGM car batteries have a network of glass fibres inside them, creating a mesh inside the battery itself.

Again, if you aren’t entirely sure what type of battery you have, don’t panic! Nor should you feel ashamed. You don’t know until you know. Simply contact your local mechanic or a reputable car battery dealership and they will identify your car battery type for you.

Then, should you have any issues or discover that it is time to fix or replace your battery, then you can do so with confidence.


So, there are three main types of battery:

  • SLI
  • Li-ion
  • Lead-Acid

Each of the car battery types have their own pros and cons, so be sure to do your research before making a decision to switch from one to another. A knowledgeable car battery dealer will be able to offer honest advice on which type is best suited to your needs and budget.

Good luck and stay safe out there on the roads! May your car battery last for as long as—if not longer—than it says on the tin!