Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries vs Ternary Lithium batteries

In the present power battery market, the dominant types are lithium iron phosphate batteries and ternary lithium batteries. These two batteries differ primarily in terms of energy density and safety, which are key factors in power battery performance. Let’s explore the distinctions between these two battery types.

Lithium iron phosphate batteries vs Ternary Lithium batteries

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 iron phosphate batteries have an energy density ranging from 130Wh/kg to 150Wh/kg, making it challenging to surpass the 200Wh/kg mark.


Regarding the material system, the positive electrode material of ternary lithium batteries decomposes at approximately 200°C, while the positive electrode material of lithium iron phosphate batteries decomposes at around 700°C. In laboratory tests, short-circuited lithium iron 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 iron phosphate battery can only maintain 54.94% of its capacity.

Charging efficiency

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 iron phosphate battery, it is only 10.08%, making the former five times more efficient than the latter.

Lithium iron phosphate batteries vs Ternary Lithium batteries

Cycle life

In terms of cycle life, lithium iron phosphate batteries outperform ternary lithium batteries. The theoretical life expectancy of a ternary lithium battery is 2000 cycles, but typically, its capacity decreases to 60% after 1000 cycles. Conversely, a lithium iron phosphate battery subjected to the same number of cycles retains 80% of its capacity.

Energy specification

Comparing lithium iron phosphate battery with ternary lithium battery, we find that lithium iron phosphate battery has a lower specific energy. The voltage of ternary lithium battery is slightly higher than that of LiFePo4 battery when we compare their voltages. There is usually a 3.2V cell voltage in lithium iron phosphate batteries, while 3.7/3.6/3.65V is the nominal voltage in ternary lithium batteries.

Intensity of energy

There is no comparison between ternary lithium batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries in terms of energy density, so ternary lithium batteries can store more energy per unit volume. Compared to lead-acid batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries have a far greater energy density.


In terms of safety, lithium iron phosphate batteries are superior to ternary lithium batteries. As we examine LiFePO4’s structure, we find that the phosphorous and oxygen bonds are strong.

In spite of the elevated temperature, this bond is strong enough to resist decomposition. As a result, it will not explode or degrade at high temperatures. There are no safety concerns with this battery. However, ternary batteries do not perform as well as lifepo4 batteries in terms of safety. As a result of the risk of explosion and degradation at elevated temperatures, these batteries are not recommended.


Unlike nickel and cobalt, which are precious metals necessary for the production of ternary lithium batteries, lithium iron phosphate batteries don’t contain precious metals. Because of this, lithium iron phosphate batteries have much lower production costs than ternary lithium batteries.


Batteries made of lithium iron phosphate are used in UPS power supplies. Furthermore, they are widely used in monitoring devices, electrical vehicles, solar power plants, flashlights, etc. Electric vehicles, motorcycles, flashlights, and other applications with high energy demands use ternary lithium batteries.


In summary, the lithium iron phosphate battery excels in safety, long life, and high-temperature resistance. On the other hand, the ternary lithium battery offers the advantages of lightweight design, high charging efficiency, and low-temperature resistance.



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