As cars become more electrified and autonomous, the traditional 12 Volt lead-acid battery is taking on a new and challenging responsibility as a critical source of power across the evolving range of electric vehicles. The constantly expanding offerings of the VARTA® Partner Portal help workshops to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to service electric vehicles’ 12V batteries and thus remain at the cutting edge of technology.


More and more electric vehicles are entering the market to support the European Union’s targets of reducing CO2 emissions by 37,5% until 2030. Their emergence has intensified the demands of the low-voltage power net and is continually redefining the role of the 12V battery. Enhanced levels of vehicle autonomy have driven the 12V battery to become a critical safety component providing redundancy and drive support.

An electric car’s high-voltage Li-Ion battery powers the drivetrain and the propulsion system, but not the whole vehicle and its electrical power net. The internal electrical 12V power net system with its comfort and critical safety features is powered by a 12 Volt lead-acid battery, also known as an auxiliary battery. It works as a secondary power source for the vehicle’s electrical system and ensures that the car maintains its functionality while driving but also while being parked and the high-voltage battery is disconnected from the drive train.

Comfort and safety features like lane assist, front assist or proactive occupant protection are handled by onboard smart systems which also draws power from the 12V net system. The same goes for most of the car's monitoring functions which are operated by automatic control systems. This in turn increases the need for a reliable, high-performance power supply.

A 12 Volt battery like the VARTA® Automotive AGM acts as a secondary power source to ensure the uninterrupted function of safety-critical systems.

Why is lead-acid technology still being used in a modern electric vehicles?

Lithium-ion technology is often considered the successor of lead-acid technology when it comes to batteries. However, it is not as inherently robust as other battery technologies and requires continuous monitoring by the battery management system. Overall, it is a very sophisticated technology.

Lead-acid batteries, on the other hand, are known to be both reliable and affordable. Their wide operational temperature window intrinsically enhances the operational robustness of the entire system. The safety record of lead-acid batteries makes them invaluable for Europe’s future low-emission mobility sector. Lifecycle analysis of a vehicle’s environmental impact show that lead-acid has has a lower impact compared to other technologies.

“Overall, it is safe to say that the unique benefits of lead-acid technology will be important to meet growing consumer expectations for safety, comfort, and connectivity”, says Dr. Christian Rosenkranz, Vice President Industry and Governmental Relations EMEA at Clarios.

What makes VARTA batteries stand out?

VARTA® AGM batteries have proven their reliability for years, making them the perfect companion in supporting the 12 Volt electrical system of electric or hybrid electric vehicles. Their sturdy construction and behavior as well as their inherent safety make them a reliable and robust power source. The VARTA 12 Volt battery portfolio is engineered to support both today's as well as future electric vehicles. VARTA batteries deliver energy for crucial safety systems, comfort features, and fuel-saving functions. They even have sufficient spare capacity to power vehicle systems that are yet to come.

Learn more about the VARTA products here: 

Every major car manufacturer is entering the electric vehicle market with battery electric or hybrid electric vehicles. As the world’s leading battery manufacturer, Clarios is the number one supplier for all renowned Original Equipment Manufacturers with its VARTA brand. VARTA products are fulfilling all OE requirements. That is why well-known manufacturers such as Mercedes, Volkswagen or BMW are fitting their cars with VARTA batteries.

How will automotive electrification affect the aftermarket?

Big changes are ahead for the automotive aftermarket, which has been a major and stable profit contributor to the automotive industry in general. They include changing customer expectations, accelerated adoption of new technologies, and shifts in competitive power.

It is expected that more than 50% of new registrations in 2030 will be electric vehicles, more and more of those will enter IAM workshops which need to be ready to service those vehicles and thus need to get prepared. This trend also means more competitive pressure from workshops that specialize in electric vehicles.

That is why it is crucial for IAM workshops to invest in recruiting, training, and the right equipment. Those factors will be key differentiators and enablers for workshops in developing their ability to manage the increasing technological complexity of next-generation vehicles.

How does VARTA support workshops during their daily work?

IAM Workshops need to be able to provide service as the maturity level of electric vehicles increases. They need to choose the right battery to ensure safety functions and continue to offer their customers the best possible service. There are different OE maintenance requirements for batteries to keep in mind. These must be identified by the mechanic before replacement.

To support workshops in the challenges that lie ahead, VARTA has developed a one-stop platform that provides all the solutions needed: the VARTA Partner Portal. This powerful online tool provides a full set of capabilities, know-how, and insights for workshops to deal with all battery-related topics.

Whether workshops need to find the right battery for a specific vehicle, locate its exact position, or are looking for detailed installation instructions – the Battery Finder has all the information needed to provide the best possible service.

Mechanics can widen their expertise and increase their technical know-how in Battery World Professional, a database full of handy and informative articles and advanced technical information. The VARTA Partner Portal (VPP) database includes 99.8% of today's modern vehicles including battery-electric or hybrid electric vehicles. With this extensive coverage, VARTA supports workshops in finding and fitting new batteries quickly and reliably.

Additional features such as the VARTA Fleet Program, the Media Centre, the TCO calculator, and all sorts of E-Learnings complete the service.

Dr. Rosenkranz is sure that “the coming years will prove to be quite challenging for IAM workshops. But these challenges, if adequately addressed, can also lead to big opportunities. The 12V battery will continue to play a significant role in all forms of electric vehicles – from the ones already in the market to future models. Workshops and wholesalers will need to adapt to the changes these developments will bring. But we are more than confident that they are up to the task, and we will support them every step of the way.”