Jeff Bennett and
Oct. 9, 2013 2:53 p.m. ET
General Motors Co. GM -0.89% is dropping a lithium-ion battery from a popular midsize sedan in favor of a less-costly lead-acid battery, a move that highlights the tension between high technology and high cost in the auto market.
The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu uses a "start-stop" system with a lead-acid battery to improve fuel economy and achieve the same fuel economy as the older model, which used a lithium-ion battery-based eAssist technology to boost mileage. The new technology is standard on all 2014 models; EAssist was a $1,500 option on 2013 Malibus.
The Malibu's new stop-start system uses a lead-acid battery in the trunk—no bigger than a half-gallon box of ice cream—and a larger lead-acid battery under the hood to turn off the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine when the vehicle is stopped or idling. The engine restarts when a driver pulls their foot off the brake.
I googled "GM ends lithium battery" and found references to an article in the WSJ where GM is getting away from lithium, and going back to "new technology" lead acid. How is it dead, with so many companies going to, and continuing using it?
The BMW using PbC was the most striking DD I found.