What is an EFB Battery?

Tips & Support
OPTIMA Batteries
Johnson Valley, California

If there is such a thing as a "battery scene," EFB batteries would be considered a relative newcomer. "EFB" stands for "Enhanced Flooded Battery," but how is it enhanced when compared to a normal flooded lead-acid battery and why does it need to be enhanced? We could glaze your eyes over answering the "how" question with talk about thicker plates and grids and low-resistance separators, but the more useful answer is probably "why" flooded batteries needed to be enhanced in the first place.

Start/Stop technology essentially allows vehicles to operate like gas-powered golf carts. When the vehicle comes to a stop at a stoplight, the engine automatically shuts off, saving fuel. When the driver presses down on the accelerator, the engine automatically starts up again and begins moving. This technology offers an incremental improvement in fuel economy for newer vehicles, but it does require a more robust battery.

Batteries in start-stop applications can end up starting the engine dozens of times more each day, hundreds of times more each week and thousands of times over the lifetime of the battery. In addition to that, batteries in start/stop applications also need to continue powering accessories while the engine is temporarily turned off at a stop. This doesn't just include the radio and lights, but can also include the HVAC system and other accessories that normally operate while the engine is running. 

Automakers found this increased demand on batteries could not be adequately handled by traditional flooded batteries. While AGM batteries offer far more robust performance, they also come with a higher price tag, so the EFB batteries were developed for basic start stop vehicles with few trim levels. So if your EFB needs to be replaced, should you look for another EFB, a traditional flooded battery or maybe even an AGM battery? 

It is unlikely that a traditional flooded battery would work very well or very long in such an application. However, to ensure flexibility in performance, considering driver behavior, increasing environmental demands, and vehicle load variability, AGM would be the best option. If you plan on keeping your vehicle for an extended period of time, an investment in an OPTIMA AGM battery may be worth considering.