The assumption of most users and critics of electric vehicles is that the solution to a more efficient, higher performance vehicle is an improved battery. That assumption overlooks the benefits to be derived from improvement of related components and from improved management regimes. Between now and the time there is an advanced energy storage system that will be a low-maintenance, high energy-yield system, the conventional lead-acid battery can continue to perform the missions in a more efficient manner through development of improved management regimes. Of the nine major battery maintenance activities which affect the reliability and life of a conventional lead-acid battery, some rely simply on an understanding of the importance of the procedure to battery life, while others rely on more information from the battery manufacturers, and better diagnostic procedures for detecting weak or hot cells. If all the maintenance procedures could be detailed and components improved, performance could be increased by as much as 30% in actual use.