Electrochemical Energy
FIGURE 36-16
Two dissimilar metals immersed in an electrolyte.

When two dissimilar metals are immersed in an acidic liquid called an electrolyte, the breakdown of chemicals into charged particles, called ions, results in a flow of electricity Figure 36-16. The process is called electrolysis. This principle is applied in the standard lead-acid battery used in most vehicles, covered more thoroughly in the Batteries, Starting, and Charging Systems chapter.