The Car Battery History Behind The Small Box Under Your Hood

The car battery is an essential component of any modern automobile, powering everything from the starter motor to the headlights. But have you ever wondered about the history behind this small box of electricity? Let's take a journey back in time to explore the evolution of this game-changing piece of automotive technology.

Blog Overview:

  • The early stages of car batteries and how they help to innovate the battery in general
  • The invention of the nickel-iron battery, the steppingstone for all batteries to come in future years
  • Major breakthrough which lead to the car batteries we know today
The Beginning

The first car batteries were actually based on a technology that dates back to the early 1800s: the Voltaic Pile. Invented by Italian physicist Alessandro Volta in 1800, this battery consisted of alternating layers of zinc and copper discs separated by pieces of cardboard soaked in saltwater.

These early batteries were impractical for automotive use, because of their weight and low power output. It wasn't until the late 1800s that new battery technologies began to emerge, bringing the invention of the car battery we know today closer to being complete.

One of the earliest of these new battery types was the lead-acid battery, which was invented in 1859 by French physicist Gaston Plant. This battery used lead plates submerged in sulfuric acid to produce a more powerful electrical current than the Voltaic pile. Lead-acid batteries quickly became the standard for automotive use, and they are still widely used today.

The Nickel-Iron Battery - Important Innovation In History

In the early 1900s, new battery technologies continued to emerge. In 1901, Thomas Edison developed a nickel-iron battery that was more durable and longer-lasting than the lead-acid batteries of the time. However, these batteries were more expensive and never caught on for automotive use. Despite that, they built the stepping stone for modern car batteries.

The First "Modern" Batteries

In the 1960s, the first rechargeable batteries were developed, including the nickel-cadmium battery and the lithium-ion battery. These batteries were lighter, more powerful, and longer-lasting than their predecessors, and they quickly became the standard for use in portable electronics.

Today, the car battery continues to evolve. New technologies such as the lithium-ion battery and the solid-state battery hold the promise of even greater power and efficiency. As electric vehicles become more common, the importance of the car battery will only continue to grow - they will become more and more powerful.

While we are on the topic of car batteries, is yours performing well? If not, make sure to visit us at Hoesly Automotive so we can take a look!

Written by Hosely Automotive