LiFePO4 vs. Lithium-ion: How Do They Compare?

Lithium-iron-phosphate and lithium-ion batteries have come a long way in the market for some years. Finding a fresh set of batteries to run your electrical appliances is not an easy task. Companies have to look at several factors before deciding the best one for the application.

Although both the batteries contain the required properties, you still need to make sure whether your selected one can provide the benefits to your project or not.

Moreover, both lithium-ion vs LiFePO4 have somewhat similar properties, you should find your suitable option by comparison. In this article, you will see the differential points between these two batteries.

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion: Overview

Before we jump into the main differential points, you should have a basic idea of how these batteries work. The LiFePO4 is a type of rechargeable battery (LFP battery) that contain electrodes. The positive electrode is the anode which is graphite while the negative electrode is the cathode which has iron phosphate in its composition.

Along with the electrode solution, the LiFePO4 battery has a nominal voltage of 3.30V and a discharge rate of 1 to 25 cycles. On the other hand, the lithium-ion battery has a different composition from LiFePO4. It contains a cathode of lithium manganese oxide and an anode of graphite. With specific energy of 200-watt hours, the lithium-ion battery can carry a charge of up to 1 C.

Based on the composition of these two batteries, it is difficult to conclude which one has better performance and which does not. So, without further delay, let’s move to the basic differences section.

Li-ion Vs LiFePO4

Lithium Iron Phosphate vs Lithium-ion: What are the Differences?

There are significant points that can help in differentiating LiFePO4 and lithium-ion batteries. However, both have their unique points as well. For instance, if lithium-iron has a long battery time, then Lithium-ion has unlimited safety benefits.

Hence, you have to look at several factors before choosing the one for your daily need. Some major differences are as follows:

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion: Energy Density

The first and most vital difference comes in the energy value of both batteries. The lithium-ion battery has an energy density ranging from 150 to 200 Wh per kg. Whereas the energy density of lithium-iron phosphate is around 90 to 120 Wh per kg.

This energy difference clearly shows that lithium-ion drains batteries at a higher rate than LiFePO4. Moreover, the voltage discharge capacity of lithium-ion batteries is also higher than the LiFePO4.

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion: Battery Life

When it comes to the life cycle capacity, the LiFePO4 battery leaves behind lithium-ion batteries. With a higher battery timing, the LiFePO4 batteries can run two to three times higher than lithium-ion. This is because lithium-ion batteries are more stable at high temperatures than lithium-ion.

Moreover, the lithium-iron battery has an average lifecycle of 1,000 to 10,000 cycles, which is more than enough to handle high temperatures. Whereas, the life cycle of lithium-ion batteries is 500 to 1,000 cycles. In comparison to other batteries, the life cycle of lithium-ion is enough to run your daily electronic components.

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion Battery Life

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion: Storage Capacity

For a better storage capacity, it is necessary to choose the one that can run for a long time. For this, both lithium-ion and LiFePO4 have the same storage capacity. If we compare both the batteries in terms of their storage capacity, the lithium-ion is slightly lower than the LiFePO4 batteries.

On an accurate value, the storage capacity of LiFePO4 is 350 days, approximately. While the same storage capacity for lithium-ion is 300 days. Therefore, lithium phosphate can better run your electric equipment than lithium-ion.

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion: Safety Advantages

The most crucial feature while buying a battery is its safety features. Different manufacturers and companies prefer batteries that are safe and easy to use. Therefore, lithium-iron phosphate is widely used by different battery buyers.

Due to its safe power and excellent thermal stability, LiFePO4 is known as the coolest battery on the market. It prevents fire, short-circuiting, and other emergency dangers. Not only this, but the phosphate cathode prevents the battery from exploding or burning at overcharging.

On the contrary, lithium-ion does not provide these safety benefits. Although it operates best for small devices, fast charging may cause instability in them. This thermal and chemical instability can lead to short-circuiting or burning of the battery. Therefore, it’s vital for understanding how to store lithium-ion batteries, and we recommend they be stored in a dry, tool locations when not in use.

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion Safety

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion: Cost

Before buying a battery, the most noteworthy feature is the price tag. Batteries with fewer prices tend to be more effective than those with high prices. In the same way, lithium-iron phosphate batteries are cheaper in price than lithium-ion batteries.

Due to the economical and budget-friendly nature of the LiFePO4 battery, it is the number one choice for most consumers. The reason behind its low cost lies in the material used and the composition of the battery. As the raw materials used in lithium-iron phosphate are highly economical and less expensive, therefore it is available at a cheap price.

On the other hand, the raw material used in lithium-ion batteries is cobalt which is of high price, so lithium-ion batteries are more expensive than other batteries on the market.

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion: Discharge Rate

Another point of difference comes in the discharge rate of these two batteries. The discharge rate determines when a certain battery needs to charge or not. With that said, the LiFePO4 batteries have a higher discharge rate than lithium-ion. Moreover, lithium-iron phosphate batteries have a grid-tied solar setup. This setup allows them to carry heavy loads and discharge easily.

Whereas, lithium-ion batteries do not run on solar power systems and thus have a lower discharge rate than LiFePO4. In addition, the solar power capacity of lithium-ion batteries is also lower than LiFePO4 which lowers its use case in the market.

LiFePO4 vs Lithium-ion: Environmental Impact

The surrounding atmosphere has a huge impact on the functionality of a battery. Unlike the standard lithium-ion batteries, the LiFePO4 is made with non-toxic materials that can be rebuilt easily. That means materials such as copper, graphite, and iron are recyclable and do not cause damage to the environment.

Yet, in the case of lithium-ion, the raw materials are non-biodegradable and cannot be recycled easily. Due to this reason, the environment can disturb and cause health and mental issues. To avoid this, it is necessary to properly dispose of the raw materials of lithium-ion batteries under the soil. Otherwise, it can lead to lethal environmental problems.

LiFePO4 vs. Lithium-ion: Advantages and Disadvantages

Till now, you have a basic idea of how lithium-ion and LiFePO4 batteries work for your electronic equipment. However, if you are still confused about choosing the one, then read the following advantages and disadvantages of both batteries for a better understanding.

Advantages of Lithium-ion

● Lithium-ion has a high charge density than other popular batteries.
● The voltage per cell of lithium-ion is considerably higher.
● It is light-weight and thus carries less space.
● They are eco-friendly.
● They have a low self-discharge rate.

Disadvantages of Lithium-ion

● In comparison to LiFePO4, lithium-ion is an expensive battery.
● It can cause short-circuit and fire.
● These batteries are highly toxic to the environment.
● They are sensitive and have limited voltage capacity.
● It cannot withstand high-temperature.

Advantages of LiFePO4

● LiFePO4 has a high power capacity.
● It has excellent thermal and chemical stability.
● These batteries provide unlimited safety benefits than Li-ion.
● It can tolerate high temperatures as well.
● They are environment-friendly and have no memory effect.
● They have high charge efficiency and do not need high maintenance.

Disadvantages of LiFePO4

● It has a low voltage of 3.2 V per cell.
● These batteries have a higher discharge ratio which can cause an imbalance during use.

Features LiFePO4 battery Li-Ion battery
Energy density in Wh/Kg 90 to 120 150 to 180
V(nom)/cell 3.2 V • Safer compare to L+J9:J11i-Ion battery
V(charging) 3.5 to 3.65 V 3.9 to 4.2 V
Area Medium Lower
Price Medium Higher
Advantages • High Current rating
• Good thermal stability
• Safer compare to Li-Ion battery
• Tolerant to full charge conditions
• High energy density
• Long lifetime
• Offers high voltage per cell of about 3.6 V and the hence single cell can be used for space savings requirements.
Disadvantages • Offers Lower voltage per cell of about 3.2 V
• High self-discharge which can cause balancing issues with aging
• It is fragile and hence requires a protection circuit for safe operation
• Peak voltage is limited during charging
• It requires monitoring of temperature
• It is expensive


Now, you have both the strong and weak points of lithium-ion and LiFePO4 batteries. It solely depends on your need and the type of equipment in which you have to use the battery. Both the batteries are perfect in their place. However, there are some basic power, safety, and energy points that overlap each other.

Therefore, by looking at the perks and demerits of both batteries, you can decide which one will work perfectly for you.

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