What Are LiFePO4 Batteries?

There are many ways to store electricity, but choosing the right battery can be overwhelming, especially if you're looking for a battery for your caravan, motorhome, home solar system, or boat. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which battery is the best fit for your needs.

In this post, we'll explore one of the latest advancements in lithium iron phosphate battery technology: the LiFePO4. Although it is a type of Lithium battery, it offers much more than that.


LiFePO4 stands for lithium iron phosphate battery. This type of battery is also known as an LFP battery. While you may be under the belief that all lithium batteries are the same, that is not strictly true. LiFePO4 batteries offer much more than other lithium batteries and lead acid batteries.

Compared to other lithium batteries and lead acid batteries, LiFePO4 batteries have a longer lifespan, are extremely safe, require no maintenance, have better charge efficiency, and improved discharge. Although they might not be the cheapest lithium ion battery solution, they are a smart investment.

For the average person, it may seem that there is only a limited range of lithium solutions available. The most common of these are built using:

  • Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2)
  • Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminium Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2)
  • Lithium Manganese Oxide (LiMn2O4)
  • Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2 or NMC)
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)

Technical Specifications of LiFePO4 Batteries

The technical specifications of LiFePO4 batteries include a minimum discharge voltage of 2.5 V, a working voltage of 3.0 ~ 3.2 V, and a maximum charge voltage of 3.65 V. The volumetric energy density is 220 Wh/L, while the gravimetric energy density is greater than 90 Wh/kg and can go up to 160 Wh/kg. The cycle life ranges from 2,700 to more than 10,000 cycles depending on conditions.

Cell voltage:

  • Minimum discharge voltage = 2.5 V
  • Working voltage = 3.0 ~ 3.2 V
  • Maximum charge voltage = 3.65 V
  • Volumetric energy density = 220 Wh/L
  • Gravimetric energy density > 90 Wh/kg. Up to 160 Wh/kg.
  • Cycle life: from 2,700 to more than 10,000 cycles depending on conditions.

Benefits of LiFePO4 Batteries

  • Stable, safe lithium chemistries
  • Environmentally safe
  • Excellent performance and efficiency
  • Lightweight and small

LiFePO4 vs. Lead Acid Batteries

LiFePO4 batteries have many advantages over lead acid batteries. They are lighter, smaller, and have a higher energy density. They also have a longer lifespan, require no maintenance, and are safer to use.

LiFePO4 vs. AGM Batteries

AGM batteries are commonly used in RVs and boats. However, they have several disadvantages compared to LiFePO4 batteries. AGM batteries have a shorter lifespan, require more maintenance, and are less efficient.

LiFePO4 vs. NMC Batteries

NMC batteries are another type of lithium-ion battery. However, they have a lower energy density, a shorter lifespan, and are less safe than LiFePO4 batteries.

Applications and Uses of LiFePO4 Batteries

LiFePO4 batteries are commonly used in electric vehicles, solar power systems, wind power systems, RVs, boats, and other applications that require a high-capacity battery with a long lifespan.

Can I use a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery in a car?

Yes, LiFePO4 batteries can be used in cars. However, it is important to note that they have different voltage requirements than traditional lead-acid batteries, so a DC-to-DC converter may be needed to ensure proper charging. Additionally, LiFePO4 batteries have a lower cranking capacity than lead-acid batteries, so they may not be the best choice for use as starter batteries in very cold weather.

Are LiFePO4 batteries safe?

LiFePO4 batteries are the safest type of lithium batteries because they are not prone to overheating. Even if they are punctured, they won't catch on fire. Additionally, the cathode material is non-hazardous and poses no environmental or negative health hazards.


LiFePO4 batteries are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, high-capacity battery with a long lifespan. Although they might not be the cheapest option, they are a smart investment that will pay off in the long run.


1. Do LiFePO4 batteries need a special charger?

No, there is no need for a special charger for lithium-iron phosphate batteries. However, using a lithium iron phosphate battery charger is recommended, as it is programmed with the appropriate voltage limits, reducing the risk of damaging the LiFePO4 battery.

2. How much can you discharge LiFePO4 batteries?

LiFePO4 batteries can be continuously discharged to 100% depth of discharge (DOD) without any long-term effect. However, it is recommended that you only discharge down to 80% DOD in order to properly maintain a lithium iron phosphate battery.

3. How long does a LiFePO4 battery last?

LiFePO4 batteries have a lifespan of up to 10 years or 2,000 charge-discharge cycles.


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