Lithium-manganese batteries may only have about two-thirds the capacity of their lithium-cobalt counterparts, but this type of battery is considered much safer in terms of thermal stability. Lithium-manganese batteries are used in hybrid and electric cars such as the Chevy Volt, as well as in e-bikes, power tools, portable electronics and in medical applications. Lithium-manganese batteries boast about 50 percent more energy capacity than lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries. This particular chemistry can also be designed for either optimal longevity, high specific power or high capacity.
Like lithium-manganese-based batteries, lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries are considered much safer in terms of thermal stability than lithium-cobalt batteries and can be designed for either high specific power or high specific energy. Combining one-third nickel, one-third manganese and one-third cobalt at the cathode lowers raw material costs, cobalt being the most expensive of the three. However, the process for blending the materials is difficult, and if done improperly can affect battery performance. Batteries with this type of chemistry are used in hybrid and electric cars, e-bikes, power tools, portable electronics and in medical applications.Lithium iron phosphate Lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are considered much safer in terms of thermal stability than lithium-cobalt batteries, and like lithium-manganese batteries, boast a long cycle life — although they do have a lower specific energy. Using nano-scale phosphate cathode material is a cheaper alternative to lithium-cobalt batteries and allows for good electrochemical performance with low resistance. Other drawbacks include reduced performance in cold temperatures and the fact that an elevated storage temperature shortens the life of the battery. Batteries with this type of chemistry are also used in hybrid and electric cars, e-bikes, power tools, portable electronics and in medical applications. Lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide Lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum batteries are less common in the consumer electronics market, but have recently come to the attention of the electric vehicle (EV) and grid-storage industries. This type of battery chemistry offers high specific energy and power densities and a long life span; however, marginal safety and high cost are complications to further development.