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best batteries for cold weather

13 Dec, 2021

By hoppt


Lithium-ion batteries are the latest in rechargeable battery technology. These batteries offer high energy density at low weight. They're not without problems, though; if exposed to cold temperatures for too long, certain types of lithium-ion batteries can be permanently damaged or even catch on fire.

When to Use Lithium Batteries for Cold Weather While Lithium batteries cannot tolerate cold temperatures, they are frequently used in cold weather conditions. Cold temperature conditions can include what we would traditionally think of as winter situations such as ice fishing and cross-country skiing, but it also includes any situation where there is a significant temperature difference between the supplies being used on-site and the air temperature, including on delivery trucks. For example, batteries used for delivery trucks are kept in heated or cooled compartments to protect them from the cold.

Difference Between Lithium Ion and Lead Acid Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable, but lead-acid batteries are not. Lithium battery technology has improved so much that it can be cycled between 500-2500 times more than a lead-acid battery before they fail. Conversely, there are fewer choices in the deep cycle lead-acid batteries available on the market.

Battery Construction Materials

The construction material of the anode and cathode plates affects how well a battery performs under cold weather conditions. While most batteries use a form of carbon for their electrodes, lithium batteries typically use a mixture of carbon and cobalt oxide.

Lead-acid batteries suffer from sulfation, which is the crystallization of lead sulfate on the plates of the battery. Lithium-ion batteries do not have this problem because they don't rely on oxidation for their chemical reactions; instead, they use lithium ions.

Operation in Cold Temperatures

Lead-acid batteries should not be used in cold weather conditions because the sulfation process increases as the temperature decreases. The battery's cranking amps also go down as the temperature decreases, meaning that the car will take longer to start in the cold.

Lithium-ion batteries don't have this problem, but they can be damaged if exposed to cold weather for too long. The battery's voltage also decreases as the temperature decreases, so keeping a lithium-ion battery fully charged in cold weather is important.

Battery Life and Performance

Lithium-ion batteries last longer than lead-acid batteries in cold weather conditions. A lithium-ion battery has up to 100 times the cycle life of a lead-acid battery. Lithium batteries are also usually lighter than other types of rechargeable batteries.

Cold Weather Tips for Lead Acid Batteries

If you must use lead-acid batteries in cold weather conditions, keep them close to your body so they can stay warm. Place blankets over the battery and try to keep it in a warm area.


While lithium-ion batteries cannot tolerate cold weather and lead-acid batteries, they are still the better option for most situations. Their high energy density and long cycle life make them good for use in cold weather. Lead-acid batteries should only be used in emergencies, and even then, it is important to keep them warm.

Lithium-ion batteries are the best choice for use in cold weather conditions. They have a longer life than lead-acid batteries, performing better in the cold. While they can be damaged if exposed to cold weather for too long, they are still the best option for most applications.


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