The lead-acid accumulator was invented in the 1860's by Raymond Gaston Plante, and was the first electric accumulator or rechargeable battery, and is still one of the most used accumulator types since it offers high power at an affordable price. The positive electrode consists of lead dioxide while the negative is made from lead. The electrolyte is a strong acid, usually sulphuric acid. The first lead-acid batteries used an open glass container, but modern batteries uses a sealed and/or vented plastic container. Each cell have a nominal voltage of between 1.9 and 2.1V.

In cyclic charging a voltage of between 2.4v to 2.5v per cell is common, while in stand-by applications, like in UPSes and alarm systems, a voltage of 2.25v/cell is used.

The lead-acid accumulator is simple and cheap to manufacture, but due to the lead it is heavy and a can pose an environmental hazard. The battery might also vent hydrogen if overcharged(thus posing an explosion hazard), so good ventilation is important where a non-sealed battery is used. The most common usages for the lead-acid accumulator is in cars, boats and emergency power supplies.