In the 1880s another Frenchman, an engineer named Camille Faure, made the lead-acid battery significantly more efficient by redesigning the electrode plates. By increasing the surface area of the electrodes, the battery was able to go longer between recharges. This extra time between charges, and increased recharging capabilities, was great for starting the engines in automobiles. In fact, today, the most common application for lead-acid batteries is in vehicles. Once the battery starts the engine, the alternator takes over and keeps it running.
Automotive, or SLI (starting, lighting, ignition), are also referred to as starting batteries and they are batteries which are intended to release a short burst of energy and then quickly recharge themselves. If one were to repeatedly deep discharge them, it would damage and diminish the capacity of the battery.
Another common type of lead-acid battery is a deep cycle battery. These are found in small electric vehicles such as forklifts, golf carts, and electric bicycles. They are designed for, you guessed it, deep discharge, to supply a low but steady supply of power and then be recharged. They can also be found in boats and RVs powering lights, motors, and appliances.
There is also a type of hybrid battery, a combination of a starting and deep cycle, that is commonly found in boats and RVs. These can deliver a short, strong burst of power and then continually run to power small electronics onboard. Another way that RVs and boats, can be set up is with multiple batteries, one for starting the engine and one or more others to keep appliances and lights running.