Starting Batteries and Deep-Cycle Batteries
When people think about lead-acid batteries, they usually think about batteries that start their cars. These are starting batteries. They deliver a short burst of high power to start the engine.
There also are deep-cycle batteries. You'd find these on boats or campers, where they're used to power accessories like trolling motors, winches or lights. They deliver a lower, steady level of power for a much longer time than a starting battery.
Lead-acid batteries are used for a vast number of purposes, but all batteries provide either starting or deep cycle power. The only difference is how much power is delivered and how long it needs to be delivered.
What the automotive battery does
Supplies power to the starter and ignition system to start the engine.
Supplies the extra power necessary when the vehicle's electrical load exceeds the supply from the charging system.
Acts as a voltage stabilizer in the electrical system. The battery evens out voltage spikes and prevents them from damaging other components in the electrical system.
What the standby battery does
Supplies electrical power to critical systems in the event of a power outage.
Acts as a voltage stabilizer, to smooth out fluctuations in the electrical generation systems.
Temporarily holds large electrical loads as electric utilities switch from one generation system to another.
What the motive battery does
Powers the motor that drives an electric vehicle, such as forklift truck.
Powers accessories like headlights on an electric vehicle.
Provides power for a specific purpose on an electric vehicle, such as the lift on an electric fork lift truck.