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Are lithium and lithium ion batteries the same?


For many people, different types of battery can be confusing especially when it comes to similar names of lithium battery, lithium-ion battery, Li-ion battery, lithium iron phosphate battery and so on. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences of these batteries.

Are lithium and lithium ion batteries the same

To start with, lithium iron phosphate battery which is also called LiFePO4 battery or LFP battery is a type of lithium-ion battery. As for lithium-ion battery and Li-ion battery, they are the same thing with different names. The quick answer to the question is a simple no. Lithium and lithium ion batteries are not the same.


What is the difference exactly?


The time being commercially available

The lithium battery was commercially available in the early 1970s, when the lithium metal was not stable in the charging process. Debuted in 1991, the lithium-ion battery replaces the existing heavier and less efficient rechargeable batteries.


Battery cells

The types of cells used by the lithium and lithium-ion batteries are different, and the former is the primary cell while the latter is secondary cell. That is to say, lithium is used in the metallic form for the lithium battery. This is why the lithium-ion battery is rechargeable and the degrading process can be later after being recharged many times. Lithium battery can not be easily or safely recharged, which result in the invention of the lithium-ion battery.


Shelf life

Shelf life refers to the time the battery can be stored on the shelf safe and sound before being charged, and this is usually connected with the battery quality since it is one of the factors influencing its shelf time. The shelf life of the lithium battery can be four times longer than the lithium-ion battery, which can be up to twelve years versus three years.


Single-use V.S. cycling

Too long and don’t want to read? Then to be short, the main difference is that the lithium battery is for single-use and non-rechargeable, while lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable.

Single-use V.S. cycling


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