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When to Choose EFB?

When to choose EFB? When to choose AGM? Consumers are demanding more from their cars and the batteries that power them. It’s no longer about getting from Point A to Point B. Many advanced safety features and modern conveniences are now considered standard options, and many more are available in upgraded packages. 

However, these amenities come with a price and not just the MSRP. In the past 10 years, we have seen a 30 percent increase in cycling failures, due to the additional computerization in today’s vehicles. In short, batteries have not been able to keep up with the increased power demands. New battery technologies, such as Enhanced Flooded Batteries (EFB) and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) have been developed to meet these needs. 

With these choices come decisions to make when selecting a replacement battery for your vehicle. There are several factors to be taken into consideration: 

  • Factory-installed equipment – First, and most important, take note of the type of battery installed by the manufacturer. Some modern vehicles come standard with AGM, while others such as the Ford Bronco Sport and Honda CRV have an EFB. Many cars, however, still have a standard flooded battery under the hood. While an AGM or EFB may be a suitable upgrade replacement for a standard flooded battery, replacing an AGM or EFB with a standard type may result in reduced performance or battery life.
  • Modern amenities and safety features – The number of electrical devices in modern vehicles has increased 500% in the past 20 years. As a result, the batteries under the hood need additional energy to support these electronics.

    Starting the engine, in combination with supply to other electrical equipment, requires high peaks of power and also a variable power drain, causing the battery to discharge during a trip. EFB are specifically designed to resist the kind of cycling-related failures associated with the increased electrical demands of modern vehicles.

  • Environment – Where you live plays an important part in battery life. Temperatures have reached record highs on the west coast and in the southwest United States. Warmer climates translate to higher under-hood temperatures.

    On average, car batteries last three to five years; according to AAA, batteries in the farthest northern regions last 58 months or more, and down to less than 41 months in the most southern states. EFB batteries are proven to have a higher heat tolerance than AGM batteries.  

  • Traffic conditions – How you drive can also take its toll on battery performance. Short trips don’t allow the alternator enough time to fully recharge the battery. Each time the battery is not recharged to the full state of charge, the harder it is for the battery to start the vehicle the next time. In addition, if a vehicle sits idle for a length of time, the residual power drain from the electronics may cause the battery to discharge to the point where it can no longer crank the engine.

    In independent testing, EFB have been shown to have a dynamic charge acceptance rate two times higher than a standard flooded battery design, allowing a faster return to a higher state of charge after deeper cycling.

As the battery technology of choice for many OE European car manufacturers, EFB has a proven track record overseas for start-stop applications. EFB’s market share in Europe is larger and it outpaces that of AGM batteries, thanks to its performance, versatility and overall value proposition. 

Because of its increased battery life, high heat tolerance, durability and greater energy availability, EFB is a suitable replacement for vehicles with standard flooded batteries under the hood. 

By Alex Templeton, Director of Marketing, Stryten Energy

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