Thought leadership

Choose AGM batteries to keep your customers safe and satisfied

June 15, 2020

Today’s consumers demand even more automotive features for comfort, safety and convenience. The array of battery options to power those features now includes standard flooded batteries, enhanced flooded batteries (EFBs) and absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries.

As partners with OEMs worldwide, Clarios sees an expanding move toward AGM batteries. These batteries reliably handle demanding loads and varied driving patterns and applications. They resist corrosion and tolerate high vibration, deliver superior high heat performance, and hold acid in a non-spillable design, for safety in any situation.

Aftermarket providers can simplify stocking by choosing AGM batteries; Clarios AGM batteries can support nearly 90 percent of the U.S. cars requiring a replacement battery for high electrical loads, including start-stop technology. Equally important, consumers see enhanced service with these key AGM benefits:

Better performance. Today’s high electrical loads require automotive batteries to play an increasingly crucial role in everything from powering cutting-edge safety features such as pedestrian detection systems to simultaneously charging multiple devices. Consumers are aware of this: In the 2020 Clarios Drive Behavior Study, more than half of the 6,000+ respondents considered it “very important” to have a vehicle battery designed to handle these features.

OEMs also consider this important, and they select AGM batteries as the preferred power source for demanding applications. In fact, the number of vehicles in the market using AGM batteries will almost triple by 2025. EFBs lag in performance for power-hungry vehicles; they were designed specifically to support low to medium start-stop vehicle functionality, and never intended for conventional vehicles.

Longer service life. Most U.S. vehicles are non-start-stop, which means the battery is expected to operate at 100% state of charge. This is a challenge for EFBs designed with greater carbon content for high charge acceptance. Operating in this state can cause premature failure, sparking and even battery disassembly. Aftermarket providers, in turn, are left with unhappy consumers and higher warranty costs. It’s worth noting that market researchers say battery failure is now the third most commonly reported vehicle problem — and the top 15 models with highest battery replacement rates all used a flooded battery. The AGM battery, however, stands tough in the most demanding conditions.

Minimal acid stratification. In an EFB, the acid can separate, move to the bottom of the battery, and even escape into the air. Acid stratification can also lead the vehicle’s battery management system to misread the state of charge, giving a false positive. This is especially an issue when an EFB is used to replace an AGM battery. AGM batteries support lower warranty claims and higher consumer satisfaction than EFBs and other flooded batteries, thanks to the immobilized acid design that limits acid stratification.

Enhanced safety. An AGM battery’s non-spillable design gives automakers more flexibility in battery placement. The battery can be placed in locations such as a wheel well, under the passenger compartment, or in the vehicle’s trunk. Replacing AGM batteries with EFBs in these locations introduces a clear safety risk: an accident could lead to EFB acid leaks, spills or worse. Plus, because non-spillable batteries are not classified as hazardous, they offer greater flexibility in shipping, handling and storage.

Chosen by OEs, validated in industry-leading labs. Clarios understands both the OEM and aftermarket viewpoint and can answer your questions on third-party test results for battery cycling, state of charge measurement, heat tolerance, charge acceptance and other factors important in today’s market. Through our in-depth knowledge of battery design, lab and fleet testing, as well as extensive global OE and in-market experience, Clarios AGM batteries consistently outperform EFBs, providing the right solution for aftermarket partners and consumers.

As Clarios advances battery technology to meet vehicle needs and consumer demands, we’re also ready to help you advance your aftermarket business. Ask us about the right battery solutions, including a range of flooded and AGM designs.

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