Batteries having lithium as their anode are lithium batteries. They have a history dating back to 1980-1990s.

Lithium batteries have completely revolutionized the portable electronics market and are finding increasing application in the electronic, solar, mobile phones, medical equipment, power backups, and EV markets. These batteries have high energy density and the technology is witnessing significant cost reductions.

Prior to lithium batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries were prevalent. However, cadmium is a hazardous material, and the batteries have a high self-discharge rate. Lead- acid batteries were also not successful due to their dependence on hazardous metal lead and their low energy density.

Price Trend of Lithium Battery for Last 10 – 20 years

The price of lithium batteries have declined by more than 80% in the last decade. According to new analysis from Guide house Insights, lithium-ion cell prices will further fall by more than 40%. According to a report published by IHS Market, the average cost of lithium-ion batteries will fall to $100/kWh in 2023. Rapid growth in scale, increased application in EVs and growing manufacturing capacity globally shall lead to this price decline. The price of a lithium battery is measured in kWh. At present the price of 1 kWh battery is 25,000 which come in 80 Ah /12.8 Volt ratings.

 

Battery Technology

  1. 1. Lead Acid

Lead acid batteries are very heavy and bulky. They are not ideal for fast charging as they overheat at the time of charge. Its short typical cycle life ranges from 300 to 500 cycles. However, they are easily available in the market and are known for their reliability.

  1. Lithium Battery

Lithium battery is light-weight and has high energy density and electrochemical potential. Lithium-ion is a low maintenance battery and the self-discharge is also less.

Application

Lithium batteries are gaining rapid momentum as they are finding increased application in electric vehicles and for power backups in renewable energy systems. Lithium batteries can also be used in cars, homes UPS, toys and remote controls.

Difference between Lead Acid & Lithium Batteries

  1. Portable

The main advantage of lithium batteries is its portal they are lightweight weighing about 12 kg and can be easily carried anywhere. They weigh nearly 25% of a typical lead-acid battery.

  1. Fast Charging

Lithium batteries can charge maximum within 2 to 4 hours whereas lead acid batteries generally take 10 hours charge time. Fast charging is the need of the hour in today’s fast-moving world.

  1. Long Life

Lithium batteries have a life of over 10 years on average. They can handle more than 2000 times of charge-discharge cycles. For lead acid batteries, it is low about 1500 times life cycle.

  1. Safe

It is safe from child. All positive and negative terminals are connected under plug-in-play connecting socket. That’s why it doesn’t any spark in time of connecting battery to inverter connection.

 

 

Why Lithium Battery is Future?

Lithium batteries are finding increasing application in emerging technologies. Lithium batteries are more efficient and charge faster when compared to lead-acid batteries. It has a longer lifespan and higher efficiency and provides reliable, stable, long-lasting power.  That is why this technology is gaining popularity in power backup systems using solar energy and in electric vehicles. Though lithium batteries are much more expensive up front, they are maintenance-free and have a longer lifespan when compared to lead-acid batteries. It is expected that the cost of lithium batteries will be at par with lead acid batteries in the next 2-3 years.

Fast charging

Given their high energy density ratio and good high-temperature performance, lithium batteries are ideal to be used in electric vehicles. They are also lightweight which helps in reducing the overall weight of the automobile. Lithium batteries also have a low self-discharge rate, which means that they are better when compared to other batteries at holding a full charge over time. All these features make lithium batteries best suited for electric cycles, cars as well as motor cycles.

Disadvantages of Lithium Batteries

  1. Expensive – Though the cost of lithium-ion batteries is constantly falling, it is still higher than that of Nickel-cadmium cells. However, given its large number of applications, progress is being made towards improving the technology and reducing cost.
  2. Protection against high temperature – Care is to be taken when charging lithium-ion batteries as they are sensitive to high temperatures. They require protection from being overcharged and discharged too far. Excessive heat causes faster degradation of these batteries.
  3. Natural Degradation – Lithium batteries suffer from aging. An average battery can withstand 500 – 1000 charge-discharge cycles. These batteries hence need to be replaced from time to time and can become a headache if embedded in the equipment. Storage in a cool place at 40% charge reduces the aging effect.
  4. Hazardous when transported – We have already discussed that a lithium-ion battery is sensitive to high temperatures. Some say that these can even explode when overcharged/ overheated. Hence many airlines put a limit on the number of batteries a passenger can carry. When shipped in larger quantities, transportation by water is advisable.
  5. Low on maintenance – Lithium-ion batteries do not require any maintenance to ensure their performance. Few other types of batteries like nickel-cadmium cells require discharge to prevent memory effect.

Top Manufactures of Lithium Battery

  1. Tesla

Tesla is a leading clean energy company in the U.S. The company’s product portfolio includes electric cars, battery energy storage, solar products and related products and services. It ranks amongst the five largest battery companies in the world. Tesla- Panasonic’s US gig factory is the world’s largest lithium-ion manufacturing factory.

  1. LG

The Korean giant is the No. 1 lithium ion battery manufacturer by capacity globally. The company is making strong inroads in lithium battery manufacturing and is setting up large manufacturing capacities worldwide.

  1. CATL

China’s CATL is the second largest battery manufacturer in the world and ranks number 1 battery manufacturer in China. The company plans to open mega factories in the future to support increasing global demand. BYD Co. is another leading battery company in China.

  1. Panasonic

Panasonic is the fourth largest lithium battery company globally. The company ranks No.1 in Japan. Panasonic stands a good chance to gain in the battery market given its strong ties with Tesla.