Abstract Solid acid polymer electrolytes (SAPE) were synthesised using polyvinyl alcohol, potassium iodide and sulphuric acid in different molar ratios by solution cast technique. The temperature dependent nature of electrical conductivity and the impedance of the polymer electrolytes were determined along with the associated activation energy. The electrical conductivity at room temperature was found to be strongly depended on the amorphous nature of the polymers and H 2SO 4 concentration. The ac (100 Hz to 10 MHz) and dc conductivities of the polymer electrolytes with different H 2SO 4 concentrations were analyzed. A maximum dc conductivity of 1.05 × 10 −3 S cm −1 has been achieved at ambient temperature for electrolytes containing 5 M H 2SO 4. The frequency and temperature dependent dielectric and electrical modulus properties of the SAPE were studied. The charge transport in the present polymer electrolyte was obtained using Wagner's polarization technique, which demonstrated the charge transport to be mainly due to ions. Using these solid acid polymer electrolytes novel Zn/SAPE/MnO 2 solid state batteries were fabricated and their discharge capacity was calculated. An open circuit voltage of 1.758 V was obtained for 5 M H 2SO 4 based Zn/SAPE/MnO 2 battery.