Learn the key feature of each Li-ion in a summary table.
The term lithium-ion points to a family of batteries that shares similarities, but the chemistries can vary greatly. Li-cobalt, Li-manganese, NMC and Li-aluminum are similar in that they deliver high capacity and are used in portable applications. Li-phosphate and Li-titanate have lower voltages and have less capacity, but are very durable. These batteries are mainly found in wheeled and stationary uses. Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of major Li-ion batteries.
|Chemistry||Lithium Cobalt Oxide||Lithium Manganese Oxide||Lithium Nickel Manganese Oxide||Lithium Iron Phosphate||Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide||Lithium Titanate Oxide|
|LiNiCoAlO2 (NCA)||Li2TiO3 (common)
|Nominal voltage||3.60V||3.70V (3.80V)||3.60V (3.70V)||3.20, 3.30V||3.60V||2.40V|
|Full charge||4.20V||4.20V||4.20V (or higher)||3.65V||4.20V||2.85V|
|Minimal voltage||2.50V||2.50V||2.50V||2.00V||2.50V||1.50V (est.)|
|Charge rate||0.7–1C (3h)||0.7–1C (3h)||0.7–1C (3h)||1C (3h)||1C||1C (5C max)|
|Discharge rate||1C (1h)||1C, 10C possible||1–2C||1C (25C pule)||1C||10C possible|
|Cycle life (ideal)||500–1000||300–700||1000–2000||1000–2000||500||3,000–7,000|
|Thermal runaway||150°C (higher when empty)||250°C (higher when empty)||210°C(higher when empty)||270°C (safe at full charge)||150°C (higher when empty)||One of safest
|Maintenance||Keep cool; store partially charged; prevent full charge cycles, use moderate charge and discharge currents|
|Packaging (typical)||18650, prismatic and pouch cell||prismatic||18650, prismatic and pouch cell||26650, prismatic||18650||prismatic|
|Applications||Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, cameras||Power tools, medical devices, powertrains||E-bikes, medical devices, EVs, industrial||Stationary with high currents and endurance||Medical, industrial,
|UPS, EV, solar street lighting|
|Comments||High energy, limited power. Market share has stabilized.||High power, less capacity; safer than Li-cobalt; often mixed with NMC to improve performance.||High capacity and high power. Market share is increasing. Also NCM, CMN, MNC, MCN||Flat discharge voltage, high power low capacity, very safe; elevated self-discharge.||Highest capacity with moderate power. Similar to Li-cobalt.||Long life, fast charge, wide temperature range and safe. Low capacity, expensive.|
Table 1: Summary of most common lithium-ion based batteries.