A lightweight, durable lead-acid battery is disclosed. Alternative electrode materials and configurations are used to reduce weight, to increase material utilization and to extend service life. The electrode can include a current collector having a buffer layer in contact with the current collector and an electrochemically active material in contact with the buffer layer. In one form, the buffer layer includes a carbide, and the current collector includes carbon fibers having the buffer layer. The buffer layer can include a carbide and/or a noble metal selected from of gold, silver, tantalum, platinum, palladium and rhodium. When the electrode is to be used in a lead-acid battery, the electrochemically active material is selected from metallic lead (for a negative electrode) or lead peroxide (for a positive electrode).
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.