Blog Car Care Advice What Is a Lithium-Ion Car Battery? (+ Capacity and Cost)
Car Care Advice

What Is a Lithium-Ion Car Battery? (+ Capacity and Cost)

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Your electric vehicle (EV) is probably powered by a lithium-ion car battery

This battery has several advantages over conventional lead acid batteries and other types of electric car batteries

What should you know about lithium batteries?
How far can a lithium electric car battery take you?
What can you do with a retired lithium battery?

We’ll explore the answers to these questions and more.

This Article Contains:

Let’s go! 

What Is a Lithium-Ion Car Battery?

The lithium-ion battery (Li-ion battery) is today’s leading battery in electric and hybrid electric vehicle models — typically comprising an anode, cathode, electrolyte, and separator.

These batteries have lithium ions as the active material of the battery chemistry — where the ions in the battery cell move from the anode to the cathode to produce electricity. While anodes are typically made of graphite, cathodes may contain critical minerals like lithium, nickel, or cobalt. Lithium carbonate, for example, is commonly used as a cathode.

However, cars only use lithium batteries with high energy density. 

Varieties include the:

These Li-ion batteries have a high power-to-weight ratio, high energy efficiency, low self-discharge, and good high-temperature performance. 

These qualities make lithium-ion battery technology a revolutionary alternative to traditional car batteries (like flooded lead acid batteries). And some lithium batteries can directly replace lead acid batteries in any vehicle.

So, where is this technology headed?

Researchers are still looking into reducing their costs, extending their lifespan, and preventing overheating. Plus, companies are looking into creating a lithium-sulfur battery for electric car use since it’s energy-dense and made from economical materials. 

Let’s look at how far a lithium battery cell can take you.

What Is the Capacity of a Lithium-Ion Car Battery?

The energy storage capacity of a lithium-ion battery pack will depend on the battery material and functions of the vehicle. This capacity is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) or Ampere-hours (Ah), influencing how far a car can travel on a single recharge.

Typically, an EV battery capacity can range between 40 kWh to 200kWh.
Here are some battery performance examples:

Next, let’s see what could deteriorate your electric car battery.

What Causes a Lithium Car Battery to Go Bad?

Various factors can lead to EV battery deterioration, including:

If your lithium rechargeable battery has degraded beyond acceptable limits, it’s best to buy a replacement before you have a completely dead battery on hand.

How much would that cost you?

How Much Does a Lithium Car Battery Cost?

The cost of a new lithium-ion battery can vary depending on the brand and the capacity of the automotive battery.
Here are some electric vehicle battery brands and their price ranges:

Yes, these prices are high compared to non-lithium batteries. According to the International Energy Agency, this high fee may be due to inflation and a substantial increase in the cost of the raw material.

On a separate note, many brands like Tesla and General Motors promote electric vehicle production. With the growing popularity of lithium-ion battery technology, it could be worth keeping an eye on battery technology companies listed on stock markets like Nasdaq or the Dow Jones.

But what can you do with a retired electric vehicle battery?

What Are Your Options for Lithium Battery Recycling?

You can’t discard your automotive battery with the rest of your household waste. Lithium batteries are considered hazardous material. 

Instead, you could:

Next, let’s resolve common queries about lithium EV batteries.

4 Lithium-Ion Car Battery FAQs

Here are quick answers to queries you may have about lithium-ion batteries:

1. How Long Does a Lithium Car Battery Last?

Lithium batteries last longer than other hybrid electric vehicle or standard car batteries.

Generally, these electric car batteries last for about 200,000 miles or around 8 to 17 years. In comparison, a lead acid battery lasts 3 to 5 years, and a Gel or AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery lasts around 7 years.

Why does a lithium battery last so much longer?
The Li-ion battery has a slower rate of capacity loss due to age, temperature, and other factors. Plus, in today’s electric cars, automakers use advanced battery management systems to help them operate optimally.

Find out more about the lifespan of electric batteries and how you can prolong them.

2. How Do I Know When I Need a New Lithium Car Battery?

Here are warning signs of a deteriorating battery:

But to be sure, you could have a mechanic check your battery pack every few years.

3. Where Are Lithium-Ion Batteries Made?

Most lithium-ion battery production happens in Japan, China, and South Korea. These countries also have good recycling capabilities.

Popular companies in battery manufacturing include: 

4. Which Other Types of Batteries Are Used in Electric Vehicles?

An electric vehicle could also use a:

Final Thoughts

A lithium-ion battery is a reliable power source for your electric vehicle. And the right care and maintenance can prolong its life. But it’s important to note that the lithium battery isn’t perfect. Lithium-ion batteries are prone to thermal runaway, which can cause overheating or a battery fire. Plus, lithium mining is harmful to the environment. 

However, these downsides can hopefully be circumvented with future advances in battery technology and innovations in direct lithium extraction (DLE). Fossil fuels are predicted to run out one day, so it doesn’t look like electric vehicles will be going away any time soon. 

Meanwhile, if you have one that still runs on those fossil fuels and it gives you trouble — AutoNation Mobile Service can help you out.
Contact us, and our expert mechanics will get it all fixed, right from your driveway!