Top 10 Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturers
In today’s vastly globalized and technologically fast advancing society, it has become crucial to reduce our carbon footprint. The most fast and cheap method of reduction of our carbon footprint is through clean electrification i.e., the grids need to be shifted to carbon-free sources such as Lithium-Ion batteries (LIBs). There is no doubt that decarbonization through Lithium-Ion Batteries can change lives.
With increasing growth of the manufacturing scale and the raising demand and popularization of the Lithium-ion batteries, it has been observed that LIBs have taken over the consumer market in both the energy and transportation sector across the globe. Li-ion batteries are an evolving technology that are gaining interest worldwide. Small lithium-ion batteries are commonly utilized in portable electronic devices, and a small number of large lithium-ion batteries have been produced to power electronic vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries boast incredibly high energy density and thus can carry a lot of power and energy into a small lightweight package thus they are considered to have elevated level of ease of access for the people and thus have a high demand in the market. In addition to this Lithium-ion batteries are capable of cycling and recycling repeatedly thus indicating that they have long durability.
What are the types of batteries?
There are numerous several types of batteries designed for a different purpose with a varying level of capacity currently present in the market. In this article we will emphasize on the following:
An alkaline battery is the most common kind of battery that is still in wide use today. It is a primary battery that extracts its energy from zinc metal and its reaction with manganese dioxide (MnO2) and it also has a basic potassium hydroxide electrolyte. The negative electrode is represented by Zinc metal following the half-reaction during discharge whereas MnO2 acts as the positive electrode. These batteries were discovered and then later patented by Dr. Ernst Waldemar in Sweden and are considered suitable for strobe cameras, handy audiovisual equipment, still digital cameras, portable liquid crystal TVs, office-use appliances including electronic dictionaries, and game equipment etc.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NIMH)
Nickel–metal hydride (Ni–MH) batteries are a rechargeable kind of battery that possess a high metal content that primarily has has a negative–hydrogen storage electrode and it also has nickel linked with the positive electrode. Not only this, most NIMH batteries that are commercialized have several rare earth elements (REE) as part of the negative electrode e.g., Lanthanum, in addition to which they also contain a significant amount of cobalt.
Nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries comparatively have a 1.5 to 2 times higher energy density that allows them to exhibit high power capabilities. tolerance to overcharge/discharge is also very high, and they possess strong environmental compatibility and safety. All these factors make them appropriate for portable power tools and hybrid electric vehicles
The most advanced kind of rechargeable battery is the lithium-ion battery. During discharge, this battery functions only when the lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode. Further details on Lithium-ion batteries are as follows.
What is a Lithium Ion Battery?
A lithium-ion battery. as mentioned earlier as well, is a family of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging. These batteries are an exceedingly popular choice of rechargeable battery that are used in numerous applications like portable electronics, automobiles as well as stationary applications for providing an uninterruptable power supply.
Components of Lithium -ion Battery
A lithium-ion battery has the following components:
Cathode plays an essential role as it used its active material type in the cathode (Lithium oxide in this case) to determine the battery’s capacity and voltage.
Anode plays the role of enabling electric current to flow through the external circuit while allowing reversible emission of lithium ions that is released from the cathode.
For electricity to be generated in a battery it is important for there to be a medium in which the ions can flow from the anode to cathode and vice versa. This role is played by the electrolyte. Electrolyte ensures safety of electricity transformation.
The separator just like the electrolyte also functions as a physical barrier keeping cathode and anode apart. It prevents the direct flow of electrons and carefully lets only the ions pass through the internal microscopic hole.
Energy Density of a Lithium-ion Battery
Lithium-ion batteries have one of the highest energy densities of any battery technology today i.e., 100-265 Wh/kg or 250-670 Wh/L.
How does a lithium-ion battery work?
As explained earlier as well, a Lithium-ion battery just like any other battery is made up of an anode, cathode, separator, electrolyte, and two current collectors (positive and negative). The anode and cathode store the active material which in this case is lithium oxide. The electrolyte carries positively charged lithium oxide ions from the anode to the cathode and contrariwise from the cathode to the anode through the separator.
The movement of the lithium ions creates free electrons in the anode which creates a charge at the positive current collector. The electrical current then flows from the current collector through a device being powered (cell phone, computer, etc.) to the negative current collector. As the battery is discharging and providing an electric current, the anode releases lithium ions to the cathode, generating a flow of electrons from one side to the other. When plugging in the device, the opposite happens: Lithium ions are released by the cathode and received by the anode, thus showing that the battery is operational.
Lithium vs Lithium-ion battery work
In order to differentiate between Lithium and Lithium-ion batteries, enlisted below are the pros and cons of each type of battery, respectively.
Lithium batteries feature primary cell construction which means that they are designed for single-use only and thus are not rechargeable. Despite their sole use feature, Lithium batteries hold extremely high capacity and thus are durable for an extended period of time.
Unlike Lithium batteries, Lithium-ion batteries are made up of secondary cell construction which indicates that they are rechargeable.
Why lithium-ion battery is best?
Lithium-ion batteries are the most demanded rechargeable batteries in the world as of today. In comparison to the traditional battery technology, lithium-ion batteries charge faster, last longer, and have a higher power density for more battery life in a lighter package. Their charging is safe, and they require extraordinarily little maintenance thus are considered highly user friendly. They are used by almost every multinational technological company in the world thus proving that they are the emerging source of energy in the market.
What is a lithium-ion battery used for?
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used in many products such as electronics, toys, wireless headphones, handheld power tools, small and large appliances, electric vehicles, and electrical energy storage systems. They are also used in wheelchairs, bikes, scooters, and other mobility aids for individuals with disability or mobility restrictions
How many times can you charge a lithium-ion battery?
In terms of charging, lithium-ion batteries have no limit on the number of times they can be recharged. In the open market, regular manufacturers can charge and discharge batteries at least five hundred times with the capacity maintained at more than 80% level of the initial capacity.
How long does a lithium-ion battery last?
If charged and discharged once a day, these batteries can be used for two years.
How to achieve maximum lithium-ion battery life
There are several ways to ensure and achieve maximum lithium-ion battery life. Some of these ways include using partial-discharge cycles. Partial discharge cycles basically are used to assess and sustain electrical insulation health. These discharge cycles allow the battery to reduce the stress upon itself and prolong its life. In addition to this, if during the charge -discharge cycles, the battery is not charged up to its 100% capacity, that also assists in prolonging the life of a lithium-ion battery. These batteries are prone to being heated up and can rise up to very high temperatures which can result in dangerous consequences for the battery’s life and its usage thus the temperature of the battery should be maintained and regulated in order to achieve maximum lithium-ion battery life. Further adding to the initial idea of discharge cycles, one must also avoid utilizing high charge and discharge currents as that would exhaust the battery and thus reduce its life and health. With this regard, one must avoid very deep discharges that range below 2 V or 2.5 V.
Lithium-Ion batteries require basic routine maintenance and care in their use. The charge and discharge of the battery needs to be approximately 50% of its capacity before storage. This charging of the battery to approximately 50% of its capacity needs to be done at least once every six months.
In storage, one must remove the battery and store it separately from the product at temperatures between five °C and twenty °C (41 °F and sixty-eight °F).
With regards to transportation of Lithium-ion batteries, many airlines limit the number of lithium-ion batteries they take, which means their transportation is primarily limited to ships. On the other hand, in the case of air travelers, carryon luggage needs to be used for the lithium-ion batteries. However, the number of batteries may be limited.
Furthermore, in air travel, any lithium-ion battery carried separately must be protected against short circuits by protective covers, etc.
Advantages and Disadvantages of lithium-ion batteries
There are numerous advantages and disadvantages of Lithium-ion batteries. Some of these are enlisted below:
Lithium-ion batteries have a distinct characteristic of self-discharge. A lithium-ion battery pack loses just about 5 percent of its charge on a monthly basis which means their rate of self-discharge is comparatively lower than that of other rechargeable cells such as Ni-Cad and NiMH forms
Lithium-ion batteries can handle large numbers of charge/discharge cycles.
Lithium-ion batteries are generally much lighter than other types of rechargeable batteries of the same size
To ensure their performance, they do not require high maintenance.
These batteries have a high energy density which allows electronic equipment such as mobile phones to operate longer between charges and its discharges.
These batteries are extremely sensitive to elevated temperatures. Heat causes lithium-ion battery packs to degrade much faster than they normally would.
Lithium-ion cells and batteries are not as robust as some other rechargeable technologies. They require protection from being over charged and discharged too far.
lithium-ion battery packs are quite expensive as they must have an on-board computer to manage the battery. Typically, they are around 40% more costly to manufacture than Nickel cadmium cells.
Best lithium-ion battery manufacturers
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), founded in 2011 in China, is a global leader in lithium-ion battery development and manufacturing. They are known for their battery maintenance and management system along with the production of high-quality lithium-ion batteries that are demanded by multinational companies all over the world.
CATL is one of the first internationally competitive power battery manufacturers that is focused on new energy vehicle power battery system. By 2023. CATL is predicted to produce next generation EV batteries that have a One-Charge Range of 1000 Kms. CATL is further committed to global new energy applications to provide and assist with Energy Storage system research and development, core technologies in both power and energy storage, materials, and battery recycling. CATL batteries have an energy capacity of 160WH/kg.
Although there are innumerable benefits to the products of CATL batteries, some of these include the longevity of their lithium-ion batteries. The batteries that are produced by CATL are longer lasting and have higher security. These batteries require less maintenance and are incredibly powerful. The lithium-ion phosphate batteries produced by CATL are even more secure and user friendly than the lithium-ion batteries.
In short, the pros of the products of CATL are as under:
Longer lasting lithium-ion batteries
Higher security with respect to Lithium-iron Phosphate battery
Although there are not many disadvantages to the products of CATL as their research and development team is fast and efficient in dealing with problems and issues that arise in the lithium-ion batteries. Given that, there are some small disadvantages such as if compared the lithium-ion batteries are less secure than the lithium-ion phosphate batteries. Due to this reason, in electric vehicles lithium-ion phosphate batteries are rather preferable in the international market. However, CATL has recently announced that they are producing an even higher power ranging lithium-ion battery that is solely designed for electronic vehicles.
In short, the cons of these batteries are enlisted as under:
Lithium-ion batteries are less secure in comparison to Lithium-ion phosphate batteries
The Lithium-ion batteries are less preferable in EVs in the international market due to low security.
A123 Systems is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) which is a subsidiary of the Chinese Wanxiang Group Holdings. Yet-Ming Chiang, Bart Riley and Ric founded the company in Michigan United states back in 2011. This company is known for being a fast and growing developer and manufacturer of lithium iron phosphate batteries and energy storage systems.
Why A123 Systems?
A123 Systems stands out amongst all other lithium-ion battery producers due to their advance technology and the use of high-quality materials in their batteries. Wanxiang A123 uses flexible polymer lithium iron phosphate and NCM materials technology line which makes it a competitive power battery technology holding corporation that produces high quality lithium-ion batteries.
There are innumerable benefits to the products of A123 systems. These benefits include the high performance and operation of the lithium-ion batteries. Due to the high-quality material that is used within these batteries, in comparison to others, these batteries are highly dependable and easily commercialized. In terms of market usage, these batteries can help power high infrastructures that have a large demand of electricity production. Furthermore, these batteries are cost effective as well which makes them highly demanded in the international market and particularly within the United States. In short, the pros are enlisted as under:
- High Performance
- Cost Saving
- Easily Commercialized
Since A123 systems uses advanced technology and fast paced research and development for the manufacturing of their batteries thus there are not many disadvantages to their products. Naturally, the batteries are at a high risk of disintegration as they have their own charge-discharge cycles, and they are prone to being affected by high temperatures thus their environment needs regulation. In short, the cons are listed as under:
- Elevated risk of disintegration
- Sensitive to elevated temperature.
Piedmont Lithium is an age-old company founded in 1983 which a vision to establish a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States. Their headquarters are situated in Australia, but they are operational in renowned Belt of North Carolina. Piedmont Lithium is dedicated to enable the creation of a clean energy economy in America and to allow the transition of the energy production to a net zero world.
Why Piedmont Lithium?
Piedmont Lithium is developing a world-class integrated lithium business in the United States. IT is one of the world’s lowest cost producing lithium-ion batteries. Its location gives it a strategic advantage to be a large contributor towards the fast-growing US Electric Vehicle Supply Chain. Piedmont Lithium is a company with a vision and a purpose. They are dedicated towards creating clean energy that is extremely beneficial and advantageous to the environment.
The lithium-ion batteries that are produced by Piedmont Lithium stand out in terms of their efficiency and clean energy production. These batteries have a high charging speed and are extremely powerful. Due to their powerful nature and fast charge-discharge cycles, these batteries are the most suitable for electric vehicles. Piedmont Lithium is the only fully integrated, hard rock, spodumene-to-lithium hydroxide operation in the United States and in the entire world. The batteries by Piedmont Lithium are highly demanded and short supplied with a greater revenue generation per ton and less waste production per ton on an annual basis. In short, the pros are enlisted as under:
Fast charging speed
These batteries are highly efficient and user friendly. The only disadvantage is that since these batteries are short supplied yet highly demanded, that makes them costly in nature. Besides that, they are extremely sensitive batteries that are prone to damage. In short there are only two cons to these batteries as enlisted below.
LG Chem Ltd., previously known as the Lucky Chemical Industrial Corporation, is now often referred to as LG Chemical was founded in 1947 in Seoul, South Korea. It is the largest Korean chemical company nationally and was the 10th largest chemical company in the world by sales in 2017. They were initially known for selling cosmetics but gradually they entered into the lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry and slowly but surely became one of the most successful and leading manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries in the world.
Why LG Chem?
It is the largest Korean Chemical Company and is considered to be one of the top three market share holders in the world. It is the first batch of enterprises that entered the lithium battery industry manufacturing. The lithium-ion batteries produced by LG Chem have an average of 250 cycles per year which means that their LG Chem RESU 10H PRIME lithium battery has a life expectancy of more than 20 years. Further reasons as to which people should prefer LG Chem are enlisted in the pros section below:
LG Chem batteries are produced under highly technologically advanced industrial plants. The material used in their production secures the battery in a safe packaging which helps them endure elevated temperatures thus making them highly safe to use. The batteries have a high energy density as well thus allowing them to last a longer period of time and it also makes them capable of charging up large infrastructures with clean green energy. In short, the pros are enlisted as under:
High Energy Density
The only disadvantage of these batteries is that they are highly costly in nature. Since these batteries do not even require much maintenance and are highly secure, thus, to meet the costs of their manufacturing, as an end product they are rather expensive in the market.
Samsung SDI Co., Ltd., founded in 1938 with its headquarters in Yongin, Geonggi-do, South Korea, is an age-old battery and electronic materials manufacturer. Samsung SDI primarily executes its business with Energy Solutions and Electronic Materials segment.
Why Samsung SDI?
Samsung is one of the very few companies that are leading the global market for small-scale lithium-ion batteries. It is a full-service supplier for lithium-ion cells, battery modules and battery packs for all electric vehicles as well as all types of hybrid vehicles. Further, Samsung is one of BMW’s electric Megacity powered battery suppliers. In comparison to other battery manufacturers, Samsung is different as it follows a prismatic packaging form which makes it unique and stand out amongst others thus becomes a choice to reckon in the market.
There are many advantages to the batteries produced by Samsung Digital Interface Co. Ltd. Some of these advantages include the high quality and unique nature of the lithium-ion and prismatic lithium-ion batteries. These batteries offer better protection and are considered the most safe and secure batteries that can be used in high energy demanding devices such as electric vehicles. These pros are enlisted as under:
Safe and secure
The only disadvantage of the batteries produced by Samsung Digital Interface is the inability of unification of the prismatic cells in the batteries. Prismatic cells are made up of many positive and negative electrodes sandwiched together. Since they are not systematically unified thus it leaves a higher possibility for short circuit and inconsistency. In addition to this, due to the higher capacity of these batteries, the possibility for short circuits makes it difficult for the batteries to protect each cell from over charging and dissipating heat.
There are too many models of prismatic cells, so it is difficult to unify them
Possibility of short-circuiting
Prone to dissipating heat
Panasonic Holdings Corporation, founded in 1918 in Kadoma, Osaka, Japan was formerly known as the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. It is a major Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation that has expanded its business from ordinary battery production to manufacturing of incredibly powerful electric appliances and lithium-ion batteries that are used by corporations, individuals and are demanded by every international EV manufacturing industry in the world.
Panasonic is known for its highly efficient products that have long lasting durability. It produces one of the world’s largest lithium batteries and is one of the suppliers of a world-renowned EV producing company Tesla. Panasonic, in comparison to all other battery producing companies, is highly advanced, mature and has a higher market share. Further reasons as to why Panasonic is preferred in the market are enlisted as under:
The batteries produced by Panasonic are highly efficiency and safe. They are reliable and have a long-lasting life. In addition to this, they do not require much maintenance thus they are very user friendly. These batteries have a high energy density thus the need for them to be safe is highly requested. In order to meet this need, they are carefully layered up from cell to pack, module, and system. This allows Panasonic’s batteries to maintain extremely high reliability. The pros of these batteries are enlisted as under:
A complex Battery Management System
Just like all other Lithium-ion manufacturers, these batteries are also costly. One prime reason behind the inflated cost of these batteries is their complex battery management system which allows these batteries to be highly secure and reliable. A lot of work and effort goes into making these batteries safe for use. Another reason these batteries are expensive is due to the high demand and market share of Panasonic Co.Ltd. The products by Panasonic are highly demanded by large companies such as Tesla which puts them in a highly competitive position in the market thus making their products overly expensive.
Lithium-ion batteries are the up-and-coming latest technology in the rechargeable battery market. These batteries are fast and efficient in use and require minimal maintenance which makes them highly user friendly and preferable by the people. In addition to this, Lithium-ion batteries are greatly beneficial and can assist in charging devices from a small portable mobile phone to a large electronic vehicle thus indicating that these battery packs are highly versatile and a resourceful piece of technology.
As climate change and global warming change the dynamics of the world, the need and demand for clean green energy is increasing on a fast pace. To meet this need, many large corporations have shifted to the use of rechargeable batteries that are produced from materials that are safe for the environment. One of the major contributors in clean energy production are the companies that manufacture electric vehicles. These vehicles work on lithium-ion batteries that are rechargeable over time unlike the currently most common vehicles that work on fuels like petrol and natural gas. Lithium-ion batteries are the up and coming highly demanded item in the electricity generating and manufacturing industry. There are numerous companies that are striving towards production of these batteries, each of which is highly competitive and dedicated towards attaining maximum level of efficiency and success in clean green energy production. Some of these companies include Panasonic, CATL, and Samsung SDI etc. Alongside all the advantages of lithium-ion batteries namely their efficiency, high energy density, rechargeable nature, and clean energy production, there are certain disadvantages as well such as these batteries are highly costly and require attention with respect to them being prone to being damaged by elevated temperatures. Regardless, the benefits of these batteries outweigh the costs and thus makes them highly requested and demanded in the international market.
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