Lithium-ion battery technology has been improving battery life and performance in many different forms of electronics. Recently, this lithium “technology” has taken a full-on assault on the powersports industry, and why wouldn’t it? The lead-acid battery has been around longer than the automobile, and we were due for a major improvement. By design, the lithium-ion battery is much lighter and can make a lot more power (cold cranking amps, or CCA) than the conventional lead-acid battery. Life expectancy is much greater, and the internal materials are not hazardous to our health. As with every new technology, initial pricing was extremely high, but it is quickly coming down to a reasonable level. We really don’t see it being very long before OEMs start switching over to this modern-day technology from the factory.
Shorai manufactures nearly two dozen different-sized LFX prismatic-cell lithium-ion batteries to fit thousands of powersports applications. Shorai LFX batteries deliver more energy to starters faster and more efficiently than their heavier, lead-acid equivalents. Shorai LFX batteries also do not suffer the chemical degradation that affects other types of batteries. Available through over 2500 select dealers worldwide or online at www.shoraipower.com, Shorai pricing starts at $100 for smaller ATV applications to $330 for the largest UTV application with a massive 540 CCA. Shorai battery “smart” chargers are $85, but they claim charging occasionally with a standard lead-acid charger is okay.
Price: Starting at $100
Antigravity sells OEM case-type lithium batteries as well as more custom-application “small-case” options. The OEM case-type batteries start at $120 for a four-cell YTZ7 or $180 for an eight-cell YTZ7 with multiple sizes, and options all the way up to the biggest YTX12 in a 24-cell for $470. OEM casetype batteries average twice the cranking power with half the weight. The super-impressive small-case batteries offer a weight savings of closer to 80 percent, super-impressive cranking amps, all in a super-small battery just right for many custom projects.
Antigravity does offer and recommend a specific “smart” lithium battery charger that will charge to intended peak voltage and then shut off. Standard lead-acid-type automotive or motorcycle chargers with a desulfinate or quickcharge feature should not be used, as they will damage the Antigravity battery. Antigravity chargers start at $65 for a 4-amp model.
Another really cool lithium Antigravity part is the Micro-Start PPS. The PPS, or Personal Power Supply, is the world’s smallest lithium jump-starter/ battery booster and will not only jump-start any car, truck or powersports vehicle, but it also powers electronic devices such as laptops, iPads, etc. The PPS does all this at 14 ounces, and it fits in your pocket.
Price: Starting at $120
ALIEN MOTION POWERSPORTS
Alien Motion batteries feature lithium/ferrous technology, or LiFePO4. The super-powerful batteries range from 15 ounce to the biggest model still weighing less than 4 pounds. Alien Motion batteries are said to be environmentally friendly and carry a two-year warranty. Their 5-amp Balancing charger sells for $50, and shipping within the U.S. is free.
Price: Starting at $80 and ranging to $270 for the largest applications. Free shipping
EarthX claims to have and use a patent-pending technology—“ BMS,” built-in Battery Management System. EarthX’s BMS balances charge level at all times, protects against overcharging for safety, protects against over-discharge for battery life, protects against short-circuiting and requires no special charger. EarthX lithium batteries are 80 percent lighter than conventional batteries, offer a two-year warranty and are made in the USA.
EarthX cells work in temps from -30 to 60 degrees Celsius, and they can not freeze or boil. EarthX cells have the highest rating in the industry at an impressive 4000 charge cycles, or eight years of life. EarthX makes a lithiumion battery for most any ATV and UTV application; in fact, to our knowledge, they are the only lithium battery manufacturer that makes a model with a higher amp rating than the massive stock battery in Polaris’s new RZR XP 1000.
Price: Starting at $129 to $725 for the massive, high capacity ETX48E.
Featherweight lithium batteries by Western Powersports are available through the parts counter at your local dealership; just ask for the WPS catalog if your dealer doesn’t stock them. The Featherweight is 50 to 70 percent lighter than a conventional lead-acid battery with increased cranking amps. Featherweight batteries feature 6 to 12 times more cycle life than conventional batteries, a two-year warranty, and they can be mounted in any position. WPS’ Featherweight battery also comes with a built-in LED test gauge and can be recharged to 90 percent within six minutes.
Price: ATV applications start at $88 up to $306 for the biggest UTV application
CV4 LIT CELL
CV4’s Lit Cell batteries are 4-, 8-, 12- and 16-cell; 12-volt; lithium-ferrous; hard-case racing batteries with a built-in balancing charging point. The smallest, $110, 4-cell model features 135 CCA at 13.6 ounces, and the largest 16-cell model has 500 CCA for the largest powersports-engine cranking needs.
Price: $110 to $270
Skyrich Powersports Batteries claims to strive for superior-quality products at a lower cost to the end user. Skyrich is the OEM supplier for Ducati and feels that should speak worlds for their quality level. The Skyrich lithium batteries use a more eco-friendly lithium-ion polymer technology than the typical lithium cobalt batteries. They feature five times the lifespan and a quarter of the weight of a conventional leadacid battery. Pricing starts at $88 for a YTZ5S to $530 for the largest, most expensive model. Skyrich recommends a lithium smart charger, and theirs retails for $80. Another very cool Skyrich product is the lithium jump-starter. At 13.5 ounces and 6x3x1 inches in size, it can jump-start your pickup and then double as a mobile electronic charging device.
The Ballistic batteries are 4-, 8-, 12- and 16-cell lithium-ion batteries that are up to 80 percent smaller than the stock battery and offer weight savings of up to 10 pounds compared to stock. They feature a three-year warranty and are made in the USA. Like the incredibly similar CV4 batteries, the Ballistic batteries will not be the stock size/shape, and they may require a custom hold-down or strap. They’re maintenance-free, as they will hold more than 90 percent charge for over a year.
Price: Starting at $110
Delron makes powersports-replacement lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries for most OHVs, and they’re 60 percent lighter than lead-acid OEM units and last five times longer. They have a three-year warranty and have a quadterminal configuration to fit applications. Also, they can be mounted in any position and operate in temperatures from 0 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Battery Tender claims a two-year shelf life and 2000-plus charge cycles too. The Battery Tender Plus Lithium is a 1.25-amp battery charger designed to fully charge a LiFePO4 battery and maintain it at proper storage voltage without the damaging effects caused by trickle chargers. Included is a quickconnect ring terminal harness for hard-to-reach areas and alligator clips for an alternate connection for LiFePO4 batteries up to 12 amp-hours. ❏
Price: Starting at $99.95 for 120 CCA (BTL09A120C) to $299.95 for 480 CCA (BTL35A480C)