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Old 03-11-2013, 21:53   #1
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Price of lead batteries to go up???

It would appear that the last lead smelter in the US is about to go belly up.

Doe Run workers to be cut at end of December : Business

The US had been the world's 3'd largest lead producer behind China & Australia. Does anyone think that this might have an effect on the price of lead batteries in the US? It would certainly seem likely to me.
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Old 03-11-2013, 22:11   #2
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Re: Price of lead batteries to go up???

Lead is dead for tomorrow's batteries.
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Old 03-11-2013, 22:14   #3
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Re: Price of lead batteries to go up???

Possibly a little, but not much really. Shipping heavy materials is pretty cheap these days, and I don't think this smelter was dealing with a significant percentage of US consumed lead.
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Old 03-11-2013, 23:12   #4
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Re: Price of lead batteries to go up???

So why would lead battery prices go up? I'm sure there are lots in Mexico and other places that are not as over-regulated as they are here.
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Old 04-11-2013, 00:46   #5
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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Lead is dead for tomorrow's batteries.
Only if, by tomorrow, you mean 20-50yr from now.

There is a whole existing infrastructure that is geared for producing and using FLA's. The sunk costs argue for the continued support for that technology. Lithium is great but the infrastructure is not there to produce the batteries in the quantities that would make them remotely competitive on price in applications that didn't have special requirements such as energy density or specific energy.

I expect it to be at least 10 yr before Lithium makes a real dent in the marine market and a lot longer before they take over. Boats just aren't weight sensitive enough to justify their use until the price difference gets a lot closer.

I wouldn't even expect the internal combustion car and truck segment of the market to switch until there is almost parity in price.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:15   #6
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Re: Price of lead batteries to go up???

Quote:
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Lead is dead for tomorrow's batteries.
Low cost of (solar + LifePo4) will mean (wind generators + lead batts + solar) won't be first choice on boats where sun is available.
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