What are the main components of lithium-ion batteries? 

The four basic components of a lithium-ion battery: the anode, cathode, separator, and electrolyte.

Each individual component of a lithium-ion battery is important. It cannot work if one component is missing.

How does a Li-ion battery work?

The battery consists of an anode, cathode, separator, electrolyte, and two current collectors (positive and negative). The anode and cathode hold lithium. The electrolyte carries positively charged lithium ions from the anode to the cathode and vice versa through the separator. The movement of the lithium ions creates free electrons at the anode, which creates a charge at the positive current collector. An electric current then flows from the current collector through the powered device to the negative collector. The separator blocks the flow of electrons inside the battery.

Pros and cons of lithium batteries

Lithium batteries have a much higher energy density than other batteries. They can have up to 150 watt-hours (Wh) of energy per kilogram (kg). For comparison, nickel-metal hydride batteries have 60–70 watt-hours/kg. Lead-acid batteries have 25 watt-hours/kg.

They also have a lower discharge rate than others. They lose about 5% of their charge in a month compared to nickel-cadmium (NiMH) batteries, which lose 20% in a month. If your electric car is not used for a long time, learn how to store its battery.

Lithium-ion batteries are also more expensive to produce. They can cost almost 40% more to produce than nickel-cadmium batteries. Lithium-ion batteries for cars are also quite safe.

Is there a better battery than lithium-ion?

Nothing currently compares to the lithium-ion battery. Compared to other technologies, it has a higher energy density, more charge-discharge cycles of the battery pack, a higher charging rate, and it is safer to use. Experts believe that there are still many opportunities to improve such batteries. However, in the future there may be much better batteries than lithium-ion batteries.

How much does a lithium-ion battery cost?

The average cost of a lithium-ion battery drops to $130 per kWh in 2020. For a smartphone, a battery costs $2 to $4, but for an electric car, a lithium-ion battery can range from $7,000 to $20,000. However, the price of these batteries has dropped by about 85 percent over the past decade and continues to fall. According to experts, the battery market is dominated by China. The U.S. does not yet have the ability to compete with China, so most batteries are imported from there.

How is the battery charged and discharged?

While the battery is discharging and delivering electrical current, the anode releases lithium ions onto the cathode, creating a flow of electrons from one side to the other. When the device is connected, the opposite happens: lithium ions are released by the cathode and received by the anode.

What are energy density and power density?

The two most common concepts associated with batteries are energy density and power density. Energy density is measured in watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) and represents the amount of energy a battery can store in relation to its mass. Power density is measured in watts per kilogram (W/kg) and represents the amount of energy a battery can produce in relation to its mass. To paint a clearer picture, imagine draining a swimming pool. The energy density is similar to the size of the pool, and the energy density is comparable to emptying the pool as fast as possible.

The Office of Automotive Technology is working to increase the specific energy of batteries while lowering the cost and maintaining an acceptable power density.

Why is it important to improve battery efficiency?

Improved vehicle efficiency is important to reduce consumer fuel costs, support domestic industry, minimize pollution, and increase energy security.

Americans spend nearly half a billion dollars a day importing oil. In addition, transportation accounts for more than a quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

There is an opinion that charging an electric car with direct current is detrimental to the life of the battery. About this we wrote earlier. To prolong the life of your electric car and its battery think about using a home charging station. Even if you live in an apartment you can use EV charger extension cords. Ideally you should contact the management of the building.