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Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries vs Ternary Lithium batteries

Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries vs Ternary Lithium batteries
Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries vs Ternary Lithium batteries: LiFePO4 batteries are known for their high safety, long cycle life, and low cost. On the other hand, Ternary Lithium batteries have higher energy density, faster charging speed, and good cold resistance. Factors such as energy density, safety, cost, and temperature resistance differentiate these battery types.
  1. LiFePO4 Batteries:
    LiFePO4 batteries are known for their high safety, long cycle life, and cost-effectiveness. They have a stable chemical composition and can withstand high temperatures, making them a reliable choice for various applications. However, LiFePO4 batteries have lower energy density and may exhibit poorer performance in extremely cold conditions.
  2. Ternary Lithium Batteries:
    Ternary Lithium batteries offer higher energy density, faster charging speed, and good cold resistance. They provide lightweight design options and can deliver higher voltage and longer cruising range. However, Ternary Lithium batteries tend to have a higher cost and relatively poorer safety compared to LiFePO4 batteries.
When comparing Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries and Ternary Lithium batteries, it’s important to consider factors such as energy density, safety, cost, and temperature resistance. LiFePO4 batteries excel in terms of safety, long cycle life, and cost-effectiveness, while Ternary Lithium batteries offer higher energy density, faster charging speed, and good cold resistance. Understanding the unique characteristics of these battery types can help users choose the most suitable option for their specific requirements.

Energy Density

Currently, ternary lithium batteries have an energy density of around 200Wh/kg, with the potential to reach 300Wh/kg in the future. On the other hand, lithium ion phosphate batteries have an energy density ranging from 130Wh/kg to 150Wh/kg, making it challenging to surpass the 200Wh/kg mark.

Definition and Importance

Energy density, measured in watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg), is a key factor affecting the range of EVs. Higher energy density means more energy stored in a given weight, which translates to longer driving distances.

LiFePO4 Battery

The energy density of LiFePO4 batteries is approximately 150 Wh/kg. This lower energy density limits the driving range of EVs compared to other battery types. However, the stability and safety benefits often compensate for this limitation in certain applications.

Ternary Lithium Battery

Ternary lithium batteries exhibit a significantly higher energy density, generally exceeding 220 Wh/kg. This allows EVs equipped with these batteries to travel greater distances on a single charge. The higher energy density is a primary reason for their popularity in performance-focused EVs.

Safety: Stability Under Stress

Regarding the material system, the positive electrode material of ternary lithium batteries decomposes at approximately 200°C, while the positive electrode material of lithium ion phosphate batteries decomposes at around 700°C. In laboratory tests, short-circuited lithium ion phosphate battery cells generally do not ignite, whereas ternary lithium materials exhibit a particularly strong chemical reaction. Nevertheless, ternary lithium batteries demonstrate better resistance to low temperatures, making them ideal for manufacturing low-temperature lithium batteries. At -20°C, a ternary lithium battery can retain 70.14% of its capacity, whereas a lithium ion phosphate battery can only maintain 54.94% of its capacity.

Safety: Stability Under Stress. LFP VS NCM Safety. 48v 100ah golf cart battery lfp

LiFePO4 Battery

LiFePO4 batteries are renowned for their exceptional thermal stability. They maintain structural integrity up to 350°C and require temperatures between 500-600°C to decompose chemically. This high thermal threshold makes them exceptionally safe, reducing the risk of overheating and fire.

Ternary Lithium Battery

In contrast, ternary lithium batteries begin to decompose around 300°C, making them less thermally stable. Despite improvements in safety measures, the inherent chemical composition of NMC batteries makes them more susceptible to thermal runaway, posing a higher risk under extreme conditions.

Charging Efficiency: Speed Matters

Ternary lithium batteries exhibit even higher charging efficiency. The charging process for lithium batteries involves current limiting and voltage limiting, wherein the initial stage involves constant current charging with high current and high efficiency. Once the constant current charging reaches a specific voltage, it transitions to the second stage of constant voltage charging, characterized by lower current and reduced efficiency. To measure the charging efficiency of these two batteries, the constant current ratio is calculated by dividing the constant current charging power by the total battery capacity. Experimental data indicates that there is minimal difference between the two when charging under 10C, but the gap increases as the charging rate surpasses 10C. For instance, when charging at 20C, the constant current ratio for a ternary lithium battery is 52.75%, whereas for a lithium ion phosphate battery, it is only 10.08%, making the former five times more efficient than the latter.

Charging Efficiency: Speed Matters

Low Temperature Performance

At temperatures below 10°C, both battery types exhibit similar charging efficiencies. However, as temperatures rise above 10°C, significant differences emerge.

LiFePO4 Battery

At 20°C, LiFePO4 batteries demonstrate a constant current charging ratio of 10.08%, which is considerably lower compared to ternary lithium batteries. This slower charging rate can be a disadvantage in applications where rapid charging is essential.

Ternary Lithium Battery

Ternary lithium batteries excel in charging efficiency, achieving a constant current ratio of 52.75% at 20°C. This rapid charging capability makes them ideal for scenarios where minimizing downtime is crucial, such as long-distance travel or commercial fleet operations.

Cycle Life: Longevity in Use

LiFePO4 Battery

LiFePO4 batteries are celebrated for their long cycle life. They can maintain up to 80% of their original capacity even after 3000 cycles, making them highly durable and cost-effective over the long term.

Ternary Lithium Battery

The cycle life of ternary lithium batteries, while still impressive, is shorter. Typically, they can sustain about 70% capacity after 3000 cycles. This reduction in capacity is more pronounced after 1000 cycles, where the capacity drops to around 60%.

Application Suitability

LiFePO4 Battery

Due to their high safety, long cycle life, and excellent high-temperature performance, LiFePO4 batteries are ideal for applications where durability and safety are paramount. This includes energy storage systems, commercial vehicles, and environments with high thermal stress.

Ternary Lithium Battery

Ternary lithium batteries, with their high energy density and rapid charging capabilities, are better suited for performance-oriented EVs and applications requiring frequent fast charging. Their lower weight also contributes to the overall efficiency and performance of the vehicle.

Application Suitability: LiFePO4 Battery and Ternary Lithium Battery


Choosing between LiFePO4 and ternary lithium batteries involves considering the specific requirements of the application. While LiFePO4 batteries offer unparalleled safety and longevity, ternary lithium batteries provide superior energy density and charging efficiency. Understanding these differences enables better decision-making in the deployment of battery technology in electric vehicles.

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