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What are lithium-ion batteries?

What is lithium-ion (Li-Ion)?

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Lithium-Ion battery Lithium-Ion batteries are the latest generation in battery technology. They are made from lithium, the lightest of all metals and manufacturers claim that they have significant advantages over NiCd and NiMH batteries.


Lightweight feather Compared to NiCd and NiMH batteries of the same voltage, Li-Ion is the lightest in weight.
Memory effect battery Li-Ion batteries do not suffer from ‘memory effect’.
Cold battery They perform well in lower temperatures, so can be used outdoors in cold weather.
Environmentally friendly They are relatively environmentally friendly.
Cordless impact driver Li-Ion batteries have a low self discharge rate.


Pile of gold coins They are the most expensive, compared to NiCd and NiMH.
Thermometer They can ignite or explode if exposed to high temperatures.
Old battery They have a shorter battery life compared to NiCd and NiMH batteries of the same voltage. The exact length of life will vary from battery to battery and will depend on a couple of factors:

  • How well you look after your battery
  • If it suffers from memory effect, how frequently your battery is ‘overcharged’

However, some manufacturers will offer an estimate as to how long the battery will last before it needs replaced – for example, 800 charge cycles or 3-5 years.

Wonkee Donkee scientist As Li-Ion is a relatively new technology, all the disadvantages are not known yet.

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