Whatever Happened to SLA (Sealed Lead-Acid) Technology?
The Sealed Lead Acid or SLA battery has been perfected over the years and can provide an attractive option depending on the individual rider application.
Please note: While the figures below are indicative of our own experience absolute numbers shall vary significantly depending on battery condition and on how, where and how often the bike is ridden.
Here's how the SLA battery compares to Li-Ion:
Lower price: The commonly used 24V/10-12 Ah pack, consisting of two batteries, costs about $90 to replace. If lasting 2-3 years thus $45-30/year. A $500+ replacement Li-Ion battery, if lasting 5 years, would run $100+/year.
Shorter range: Half or less the miles per charge but still often around 10 miles.
Heavier: A 24V/12Ah SLA pack (two 12V batteries) weighs about 19 lb and a 24V/10Ah about 17 lb. An extra 13-11 lb (compared to a Li-Ion pack) may of course be an issue if much lifting is involved. Performance, even with a 'mere' 250 W motor, shall on most rides by most riders not noticeably differ as only an about 5% overall weight difference with SLA, e.g. bike 47 lb + rider 160 lb + 17 lb SLA = 224 lb versus 47 + 160 + 6 = 213 lb.
Riding and handling: As SLA batteries are usually placed on or hanging from the rear rack some riders do notice the extra 11-13 lb at the bike's tail, while of course not different from riding any bike with a light-to-moderate load on the rear rack or in panniers.
SLA Kits and Complete Bikes Offered
See E-BikeKit: 350 or 500 Watt and the iZip Vibe: The 2012 model, with one 24V/10Ah SLA battery, is $999. You can double the range by simply adding a second complete $130 battery, that fits instantly in the dual slot custom rack.