Lead is a soft and malleable metal that withstands both oxygen and acids. It also has a high current-carrying capacity, which makes it enormously important for the automotive industry, where it is used in car batteries. Even today's electric cars require lead batteries for functions beyond the electric motor itself. It therefore continues to be an important metal in this industry. Lead has several properties that make it valuable. The metal protects, for example, against ionized radiation and X-rays, which has made manufacturers of medical equipment another important customer.