How Does Cold Weather Affect Lithium-Ion Batteries?

January 1, 2022

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To get the most from your lithium-ion battery, understand the technology that make it so powerful and preferred.

All batteries do the same two things; they 1) store energy and 2) release energy. However, lithium-ion batteries do these two things extremely well. That’s why lithium-ion batteries have become so popular and in demand. While lithium-ion batteries handle cold weather better than most batteries, temperatures too high or too low still compromise their ability to store and release energy. To fully appreciate the technology, it helps to understand it.

Below freezing temperatures, temporarily reduce the lithium-ion battery capacity. When your battery’s internal temperature drops below 32°F, the lithium cells are unable to accept the same amount of charging current (warmth) as they did when the temperature was warm. And it’s important to remember: never charge your lithium battery when the battery temperature is below freezing.

Simply put, cold weather will decrease the lifespan of your lithium-ion battery because it will require charging more often. Lithium-ion batteries have a certain number of charging cycles before they are no longer usable; so, how you store your batteries when you aren’t using them is important. To ensure your battery survives the winter, follow these steps.

How to Properly Store Lithium-Ion Batteries During Winter

Clean your battery: While you should regularly clean your battery, it becomes much more important before long periods of inactivity. Dirt and corrosion cause batteries to discharge faster, which greatly decreases the lifespan. Gently clean your battery with a mixture of baking soda and water.

Warm your battery before using it: If you’re planning to use your lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles during the winter, follow this easy tip. Turn on the vehicle for a few minutes before driving. Batteries generate internal heat when they are used. Simply turning on your vehicle will cause the battery to heat up. After a few minutes, your battery should be warm enough to safely use it without problems.

Store your battery in the proper temperature: Avoid exposure to temperatures less than 32°F and more than 80°F.

Remember to regularly charge your battery: Lithium-ion batteries should never be fully discharged, if possible. During the winter months, it’s easy to forget to charge your batteries. The good news is lithium-ion batteries hold a charge much longer than other batteries.

Use high-quality lithium-ion batteries: Modern lithium-ion batteries, like the premium brands of Continental Battery can handle cold temperatures better than cheaper versions. This longevity makes them far better suited to survive not just one winter but many winters to follow.

Lithium-ion battery technology has made impressive advances over the last few decades which has proven them to be extremely safe and durable even in the harshest conditions. Knowing how to store lithium-ion batteries during the winter will only further these benefits.

Continental Battery Co maintains the highest possible standards within its battery brands, guaranteeing customers and partners the utmost quality in lithium-ion batteries or any type of battery needed. From automotive to commercial fleet, marine to performance sports, solar to utility, and more -- if you need any type of battery, Continental is the name to trust.

Contact us today to find a Continental Distributor near you.