Difference Between Car Battery vs Deep Cycle and Lead Acid Batteries

A recreational vehicle which commonly known as RV’s and boat owners are very aware of deep cycle batteries. While discussing the difference between car battery vs deep cycle, we need to understand some basic and in depth factors.

Car batteries and deep cycle batteries both use the same chemistry to operate because both are lead acid batteries. The way of optimization of the batteries design is the difference. Batteries are used for different power sources.

Huge Solar power systems and golf carts also use them as their source of power. If you are not familiar, the solar power system is the system to acquire the power from the sun while it lights and store some of that energy and use it when needed.

One or more deep cycle batteries powered inverter can be the alternative power source to gasoline generators.

Difference Between Car Battery vs Deep Cycle Battery

There are much technological differences between car battery vs Deep cycle batteries. You will also find a difference in deep cycle vs regular battery charging. To understand fully, we need to find out the difference one by one.

Difference no. 1

Car needs a big amount of power when starting the engine. So, a car battery is engineered to deliver a huge amount of energy for a very short period. This stream of energy is needed to turn the motor or engine on when starting. After that, the car needs lesser power for the whole system. After the engine has started the alternator take over the battery and supply all the power the car needs.


The deep cycle battery is engineered to deliver a constant amount of energy for a longer period. A deep cycle battery delivers the stream of energy when it is needed, but it cannot deliver the stream like a car battery.

Difference no. 2

Deep cycle battery is specially designed to frequently deeply discharge applying the most maximum amount of its capacity. A deep cycle battery discharges within 45% to 75% of its capacity. While the manufacturer designed the car battery for providing a huge amount of power for a small amount of time.

So, there must be a technological difference in manufacturing a car battery vs deep cycle battery design. It usually lasts two or more years but if the battery is with right technology it can last over five years. So, the deep cycle battery lifespan depends on the technology by the manufacturer.

best deep cycle car batteryIf a normal lead acid car battery or starting battery, frequently discharges within 20% to 50% of its capacity, it will normally last 30 to 150 cycles. But if it discharges within 2% to 5% of its maximum capacity (what it is designed for), it will deliver you thousands of cycles. A car battery cannot serve you as deep cycle battery.

Difference no. 3

A normal car battery or starting battery is usually engineered to start the internal ignition. You will more likely find thinner lead grids and sometimes lead sponge (looks like a foam sponge) in a normal lead acid car battery. These manufacturing is the reason; the battery is made in cheaper price.


On the other hand, deep cycle batteries are used to run a trolling motor for an entire hour or more. Deep cycle batteries use thicker solid lead grids, not anywhere near sponge. These lead grids make sure it can drain battery up to 70% on a constant basis.

Difference no. 4

There are some differences between deep cycle and car battery CCA. Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is the measure of the amount of energy can deliver by a battery without descending to a certain standard cutoff voltage (which is normally 10.5 V) for 30 seconds at an absolute zero degrees’ Fahrenheit temperature.

A cranking amp produced by a battery varies with the temperature. A battery produces more cranking amps when it is warmer. A deep cycle battery can deliver almost same or a bit less CCA than a car battery. Sometimes there are questions like “can I use deep cycle battery for starting?”


Well, the answer is not straight. You can use engine starting but these starting deep cycle batteries must not be used for deep-cycle applications. Deep-cycle batteries might have less cranking AMP than a Car starting battery but still, can do a fair amount of job.

Difference no. 5

There are some differences between a deep cycle battery and car battery in terms of RC factor. Reserve Capacity (RC) is the number of minutes a battery can supply 25 amps without descending the certain standard cutoff voltage.

A deep cycle battery’s RC will be two or three times more than a car battery’s RC. While the car starting battery doesn’t need and so doesn’t have that amount of RC in its design.

Difference no. 6

One of the few question while discussing deep cycle vs car battery differences is “what amount of total discharges they can endure?” This question arises with some of the factors like internal and external built quality, features and technology.

However, a deep cycle battery can resist few hundreds of total recharge/discharge cycle. But a car battery is not engineered to total discharge at all.

Final Thought

The car batteries and deep cycle batteries are made for totally different types of service. You won’t be comfortable using deep cycle batteries for starting issues as you will be with car batteries. And car batteries won’t even serve you lowest expectation if you want to install it in a trolling motor. So, you have to decide, which battery you need according to your necessity.

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