In the rechargeable lithium battery industry lithium ion batteries are mainly classified according to the different cathode materials used, including LiCoO2 (LCO), LiMnO4 (LMO), LiNiCoMnO2/LiNiCoAiO2 (NCM/NMC/NCA) and LiFePO4 (LFP).
LCO battery: LCO battery using LiCoO2 as the cathode material has the highest content of cobalt. Because cobalt is a rare metal with concentrated origin and expensive, the cost of LCO battery is the highest. It is only suitable for small batteries to meet the demand of portable devices, not suitable for large batteries to be used in high power applications and energy storage applications.
LMO battery: LMO battery using LiMnO4 as the cathode material has high thermal stability, good overcharge resistance, good safety and low cost. It is especially fit for high power applications requiring high safety such as electric vehicles. However, its main disadvantages are poor high temperature performance and short cycle life.
NCM/NMC/NCA battery: This battery combines the advantages of cycle performance of LCO, high capacity of LNO, low cost and safety performance of LMO. The outstanding advantage of the battery is the highest energy density up to 300Wh/kg, which is almost twice of that of LMO and LFP. Its high temperature performance and cycle life are better than LMO. But its cost is higher and safety is poorer than LFP. Therefore, NCM battery is particularly suitable for small and light applications.
LFP battery: Lithium iron phosphate battery uses LiFePO4 as the cathode material. Its primary advantages are high safety, long cycle life and low cost. Due to the excellent thermal and structural stability, its safety is significantly better than that of other types. These make it particularly suitable for high power applications. LiFePO4 cells have a long cycle of more than 2000 cycles. Because of sufficient supplement of iron its cost is the lowest among various cathode materials.