When you hear the word lithium, there are so many things you think of. Light weight, long life, safety, size and price are first that come to mind. But are all lithium batteries the same? The answer is obviously no. It is important that buyers in our industry today are aware of what they are buying and who they are buying from. Hopefully the information provided below will help clarify some of those differences.
You will typically see two types of batteries on the market when shopping for lithium. What is labeled as Lithium Ion and LiFePo4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate or LFP). Here are some of the differences when comparing 12V lithium battery technologies.
LiFePO4 Pros VS Lithium Ion: LiFePO4 offer 4-5x the number of charge cycles than Lithium Ion, wider operating temperatures range, safer, 12.8 actual voltage vs 11.1 and constant voltage during discharge cycle (graphed below).
Lithium Ion Pros vs LiFePO4: Lower cost to produce and typically smaller in size.
The image below shows a discharge chart of an Energized Outdoors LiFePO4 10Ah battery being discharged at a 3amp current vs reputable 10Ah Lithium Ion discharged at a 3amp current. Results are explained below.
1) You can see how the LiFePO4 maintains a steady voltage through the battery life cycle vs the gradual decrease of voltage on Lithium Ion.
2) We used the cutoff voltage of 10v as this is typically the cutoff voltage to most 12v electronics and components. To be fair, the Lithium Ion battery will yield a full 10Ah capacity but that is if you continue to drain the battery down to 9v. For most buying for fishing electronics and other electronics that stop working between 10-10.5v, you can see there can be a significant capacity never used with Lithium Ion.
Finally, the purpose of this comparison is not to knock anyone who sells Lithium Ion technologies. The intent is to explain the differences in a easy to understand fashion of how the two technologies perform in our industry. At Energized Outdoors, we solely offer LiFePO4 battery technologies for the outdoors industry because we feel it is best 12v SLA replacement while keeping safety and our customers best interest in mind.