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Why Don't You List the AH Rating on the Scorpion Stinger Batteries?


Scorpion Stinger IllustrationThis question has a very logical answer, but is a little hard to explain. Because these are LiFePo4 batteries that are able to use up to 96% of their actual capacity, rather than the typical 40% for starting lead-acids or up to 80% for deep cycle, it gets very difficult to communicate capacity in a market that is dominated by lead acid batteries. Some manufacturers have decided to deal with this issue by rating their batteries AH rating as a "Lead Acid Equivalent". While this does make some sense, it is neither accurate nor practical. I'll explain.

It is not accurate to rate a lithium battery in equivalency to "Lead Acid" because there are major differences in the usable capacity of a lead acid battery depending on the composition, the application, and the thickness of the plates.  Most Lithium manufacturers, that use the "Lead Acid Equivalent" rating, compare their batteries to the lead acid batteries that their lithium battery would most likely be replacing. When most people see 'lead acid equivalent' they think that means equivalent to all lead acid batteries that share that same AH rating, rather than one specific lead acid battery. While this rating can be of some use, there is a fair amount of estimating in this formula.

Rating a lithium battery in "Lead Acid Equivalent" is also not practical. There are a couple of reasons that this is true.  As I mentioned before, lead acid batteries have a variety of applications, and for each application there is a different 'type', or construction, of lead acid battery to meet the application.  Lithium batteries do not function the same way. Unlike lead acid batteries which are under the Peukert Effect, lithium batteries can be used up to 96% of their real capacity every time, in a little or as much time as it takes to do so, with very slight exceptions.  So, for an application like running an electric bike or powering a portable sound system, the same exact lithium cells can be used as are used to crank an engine.  The problem arises when someone purchases a lithium battery that has been equivocated to a starting lead acid battery, and uses it for running an electric bike and finds out that the rated AH of 10 AH does not run their 1 amp motor for 10 hours.  So, in other words, the exact same lithium battery could have a different AH 'lead acid equivalent' rating depending on the lead acid battery used to compare it to.  I.E. "Lead acid equivalent" is a relative rating with no real standardized plum line and can be extremely misleading.  


Warning SignBecause of the appearance of mis-information that the "Lead Acid Equivalent" rating can give, some of the other lithium manufacturers have chosen to rate the 'true capacity' of their lithium batteries instead.  While this is great for people who are using these batteries for running motors, lights, fans and other deep cycle applications, it is not helpful for those starting engines.  If Scorpion advertised a lithium battery than can easily spin over bored out V-twins, but is only listed as having 8.5 AH, people begin to get very confused.  The lead-acid they pull out is listed as having 28 AH, so the must be no way that a 8.5 AH battery could possibly be enough.  This leads us to how Scorpion has rated their batteries.  

Scorpion Battery was faced with this dilemma.  Either rate these Stinger batteries in an easily understandable "Lead-acid equivalent" that is not truly accurate, or rate them in a confusing 'real-capacity' that has no real bearing on the real world power sport experience.  So they found a third option.  Scorpion decided to not rate their batteries in AH ratings at all. Instead, they graph out the real performance of the batteries, side by side the best lead-acid and lithium batteries on the market.  This gives you, the user, the confidence to know in a real world kind of way, exactly how much starting power your Scorpion Stinger has, without giving an confusing and seemingly inflated number, or a confusingly low number that is not practical. 

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4 people commented, Jeremy, Mark W., JBV
This article is rated 4.3 out of 5
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  • Mark W.
    The lack of CCA info is concerning.. I understand your resistance to a comparable number. Graphs like dyno readings are subjective. You show a test graph vs a Shorai but it is at 70 deg F. Lots of batteries look good at that temp…lets see comparisons at 40 and at 20 degF..I have seen many batteries fall flat on their face when a cold start is needed.

    Reply  •  Rated article 4  •  December 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    • Jeremy
      Mark, Good point, though as both batteries were at the same temperature the comparison is still valid. Lithium batteries are notoriously slow in the cold (-10C and below) so they are not recommended for use in Snowmobiles or in ATV’s that are used in extreme cold. Since both the Shorai and the Stingers are lithium, that would apply to both.

      Reply  •  Rated article 5  •  December 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm
  • JBV
    Does not fully answer the question. Not all batteries sold are for motor vehicle use. In that case, the “start up” power is not relevant and the AmHr or equal type rating would be nice to have. At least provide some sort of comparison.

    Reply  •  Rated article 3  •  December 10, 2013 at 10:28 am
    • Jeremy
      span class="caps">JBV

      It answers the question about why Scorpion has chosen not to do so. Scorpion only sells lithium batteries for Motor Vehicle use. Batterystuff ONLY recommends using the Scorpion for use in motor vehicles.

      Reply  •  Rated article 5  •  December 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm