Lithium Ion Vs Lithium Iron

Both contain lithium and both are batteries used in vehicles, but what’s the difference? Quite a lot it seems, when we deep dive into the comparison between the two we will see how much.

Lithium-ion is common in our devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. With Lithium iron phosphate being the part of the latest technology as it offers major benefits over a lithium-ion alternative.

Chemistry Difference

ithium manganese oxide or lithium cobalt dioxide are what makes up the cathode in a lithium-ion cell. With a graphite anode, these have a typical rating of 200Whper kilogram. A charge rate of 0.7-1.0C (1C meaning 1Ah battery at full charge provides 1 Amp for 1 hour.), with a discharge rate of 1C.

Lithium iron phosphate with an iron phosphate cathode and graphite anode has 90-120Whper kilogram and 3.2-3.3V versus 3.6V in lithium-ion. Charge rate is 1C and discharge is 1-25C.

What Are the Benefits of Each?

For high power use electronics, it is beneficial to have lithium-ion due to its high energy density. However, at 25C, the rate of discharging is better for Lithium Iron and is great for high temperature applications. Being able to with stand degradation better than a lithium ion.

Lithium Iron Phosphate is best for life cycles too. At up to 10,000cycles, they are 10 times longer lasting than a lithium-ion equivalent. Lithium-ion is less stable due to its greater energy density and is affected more by external temperatures.

Both have long storage times, such as in winters when vehicles are not used as much, with 300 days for lithium-ion and 350days for lithium iron.

If safety is important then Lithium Iron Phosphate is a clear winner. With minimal temperature changes, noncombustible, and disruptive charge cycles/overheating not an issue usually. Battery chemistry is unhealthier in lithium-ion due to cobalt being reactive to the skin and eyes and needs to be carefully recycled after its intended use.

The advancements of lithium iron phosphate makes it an ideal chemistry choice for electric vehicles and high temperature scenarios. Battery companies may produce lithium iron phosphate easier due to their lower cost and safer materials used in their construction.


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