When people think about lead batteries, they usually think about a car battery. These are starting batteries. They deliver a short burst of high power to start the engine.
There are also deep cycle batteries. These are found 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 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.
A car battery supplies power to the starter and ignition system to start the engine. They also supply the extra power necessary when the vehicle's electrical load exceeds the supply from the charging system. A car battery 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.
Standby batteries supply electrical power to critical systems in the event of a power outage. Hospitals, telecommunications systems, emergency lighting systems and many more rely on lead standby batteries to keep us safe without skipping a beat when the lights go out. Standby batteries are voltage stabilizers that smooth out fluctuations in electrical generation systems. These batteries temporarily hold large electrical loads as electric utilities switch from one generator system to another and can be extremely useful in times of need.
A motive battery powers the motor that drives an electric vehicle, such as a forklift truck; they also provide power for a specific purpose on an electric vehicle, such as the lift on a forklift truck. Additionally, motive batteries power accessories like headlights on an electric vehicle.