What does BCI mean on a battery?
- 19 Jan, 2023
Battery Council International - BCI Battery Group SizeThe acronym BCI stands for "Battery Council International," an organization that develops standards for batteries used in automobiles and other applications. The BCI group specifies battery size based on physical dimensions, voltage, cold cranking amps @ 0°F (-18°C), amp-hours (Ah), post terminals, and cell count. BCI classifies batteries into six categories: passenger car/light truck, trucks, power sports, farm equipment, lawn & garden/small engine, and industrial. The BCI group number is determined by the make, year, model, and engine size of your vehicle in each application.
We will be breaking down the BCI Battery selection process for the passenger car/light truck category, more specifically a 2021 Ford F-150.
What is the BCI battery group size for a 2021 Ford F-150?
2021 Ford F-150 BCI Group Size Breakdown
BCI Group Size 48 Battery Specifications
BCI Group Size 49 Battery Specifications
BCI Group Size 94R Battery Specifications
Group Size 48, 49 and 94R Magnacharge AGM Batteries
Key points to consider when comparing your BCI group size data
- The BCI size, battery dimensions, cold cranking amps, and amp-hours of your 2021 Ford F-150 increase depending on the engine size and type. Amp Hours are listed on the BCI breakdown for individual group sizes, but not on the Ford F-150 breakdown because the application is only for starting power, not deep cycling.
- AGM battery chemistry is required due to the manufacturer's electronics and specifications. As cars become more advanced, many car manufacturers recommend AGM batteries. AGM batteries, for example, are required for Hybrid-Electric vehicles due to the engine stopping and starting frequently.
- When our AGM batteries are compared to the BCI group size breakdown, the Magnacharge battery CCA outperforms the BCIs recommendations due to our unique design for harsh Canadian winters. This results in slightly larger dimensions at times, but they will still fit in a 2021 Ford F-150.
- Optional group sizes are also listed because they fit into the manufacturer's design. If you live in a colder climate, it is usually a good idea to get a larger battery capacity with higher cold cranking amps.
- You may have noticed that the post terminals are not listed in the Ford F-150 breakdown, this is because automotive posts in North America are standardized and classified as SAE posts. The group sizes A1 (DIN) and A2 (EN/JIS) as seen above are for European and Japanese standards.
Choose the right battery for your BCI group sizeOnce you have determined the correct BCI group size for your vehicle, it is time to narrow down your search and select the appropriate battery within that group size. The first consideration is size; double-check the battery's length, width, and height to ensure it will fit in your vehicle. It is a good idea to measure the space for your application in addition to referring to the BCI dimensions.
Post terminals are the second factor. Battery post terminals can be found on the top, side, or both. The negative and positive terminals can also be located on the battery's right or left side. Check to see where your positive and negative cables are located and if they reach your battery with no tension. Automobile batteries are typically SAE terminals, also known as stud posts, DIN, and EN, but the BCI will also includes JIS pencil posts, stud terminals, embedded terminals, and many more.
The third major consideration is power output; the BCI lists either CCA, amp-hours or both. In simple terms, cold-cranking amps is used for starting power (turning on a car) and amp-hours are used for deep cycling, for example powering a boat trolling motor over a period of time. Some batteries are dual-purpose and can be used for both starting power and deep cycling (starting a boat and running the rolling motor).
BCI numbers and the CCA are commonly incorporated in a batteries part number. For example our 24C-925 12V Automotive Top Terminal Battery is a group size 24 and has a Cold Cranking Amps of 925 @ 0°F (-18°C).
What are your Group 24 Battery Options?
When comparing the information BCI provides about group 24 batteries:
With a selection of our group size 24 batteries:
You will notice differences between batteries with various chemistries and applications. The CCA is not listed when batteries are used only for deep cycling applications, such as the Magnavolt SLA12-90 battery. The Amp Hours are important in this case because it is supply power for an extended period of time, such as running a floor machine. The same is true when batteries are only used for stating power rather than deep cycling.
However, some batteries, such as the Odyssey ODX-AGM24M are designed for both deep cycling and starting power applications, in this case both CCA and Ah are listed.
Keep in mind that BCI group sizes are only meant to be general guides for choosing the right battery for your application. There are many other aspects to consider when choosing the right battery like chemistry (flooded, AGM, gel or lithium), application (starting, dual purpose or deep cycle), terminal type, terminal orientation, and more.