How Long Do Lithium Batteries Last?

How long do lithium batteries last? It’s an interesting question considering the rising popularity of LiFePO4 in South Africa. Yes, lithium batteries are still a lot more expensive than Gel, AGM and lead acid batteries, but they make more sense when setting up a home or office backup system. A lot of people have been going down this route, spurred on the incessant power cuts that the country has been facing. For your peace of mind, you need to have a backup energy storage system. Lithium batteries are an important component in this regard, but what is their expected lifespan?

Lifespan of a lithium ion battery

Lithium ion (LiFePO4) batteries have an expected average lifespan of 10 years. At this point, the battery will have degraded to about 80% of it’s capacity. It can still be used for many more years beyond this. There are some estimates that state that lithium batteries can have lifespans reaching up to 20 years.

Advantages of lithium batteries

That’s the answer to the question, how long do lithium batteries last. The average lifespan is up to 10 years. That’s one of the reasons why these batteries have become so popular. The following are some of the other advantages of lithium batteries;

  1. The major advantage of lithium ion batteries is that they have a higher energy density when compared to Gel, lead acid and AGM batteries. It means you can store a lot more power in a battery of the same shape and size as the others.
  2. Lithium batteries also have a bigger allowable depth of discharge (DOD). In fact, you can discharge a lithium battery to up to 80% of it’s capacity without damaging it. By comparison, Gel and AGM batteries have DODs of 50% or even less. On these batteries, the deeper you discharge them, the more likely it is that they are going to be damaged.
  3. Lithium batteries are low maintenance. They do not have an electrolyte that needs to be topped up.
  4. Another advantage of lithium batteries is that they have a lot more discharge cycles. Some lithium batteries can have discharge cycles of up to 5000 times. It means the battery is going to last you a lot of years.
  5. Lithium batteries also have a low self discharge rate. It means if you leave a fully charged battery for a while, it will only discharge a little bit of its power. In fact, a lithium battery discharges about 1% per month. Meanwhile, other batteries lose up to 15% of their energy per month.

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That’s the answer to the question, how long do lithium batteries last. We noted in this post that lithium batteries are designed to have some of the longest lifespans of deep cycle batteries. They can last up to 10 years. Even after this, you will still be able to use yours for years at a reduced capacity.

We also gave the advantages of lithium batteries. They pack a lot more energy when compared to other batteries. They also can be discharged to a bigger depth. You can leave a lithium battery charged only to 20% without harming it. By comparison, you should only use about 50% of gel batteries to give them a bigger lifespan.

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