The Difference Between Lithium-ion And NiMH Batteries


Today, a wide range of electronic devices have become essential to play an important role in people’s lives. We are surrounded by mobile phones, computers, digital cameras, and other electronic devices daily. They all have one thing in common, and that is batteries. There are many different types of batteries on the market. Each type of battery has an area of expertise, and, at the same time, it must be lacking in one area compared to others. It’s a question of strengths and weaknesses. Today, we will discuss two main types of batteries, namely NiMH VS lithium ion batteries. Arguably, they are the two most popular rechargeable batteries on the market. Read on if you want to choose the one that suits you best!

Before we get into NiMH VS lithium ion batteries, let’s understand what they are.

What is a NiMH battery?

NiMH batteries are an example of a rechargeable batteries. NiMH batteries, which were initially created in 1989, are incredibly affordable and function similarly to an uncharged alkaline battery. They are less likely to leak or explode and have a slightly lower but generally compatible cell voltage. Similar to the chemical process of NiCd batteries, the positive electrode utilizes nickel hydroxide. Instead of cadmium, the negative electrode is made from a hydrogen-absorbing alloy. Compared to NiCd batteries, NiMH batteries can have two to three times greater capacity and higher energy density.

What is a lithium-ion battery?

An advanced battery technology known as a lithium-ion battery makes use of lithium ions as a crucial part of its electrochemistry. Lithium atoms in the anode are ionized and separated from their electrons during a discharge cycle. From the anode, the lithium ions travel through the electrolyte to the cathode, rejoining their electrons and becoming electrically neutral. A Li-ion battery is also a rechargeable battery. It has a cathode made of lithium metal oxide and an anode usually made of graphite. Compared to NiMH batteries, Li-ion batteries have a higher energy density. In addition, Li-ion batteries have a very long lifespan of between 300 and 500 charge cycles. Lithium-ion batteries are used in a wide range of products, including cars, laptops, cell phones, and so on.

NiMH VS Lithium ion batteries

Two of the most widely used batteries in the world are NiMH and lithium-ion batteries. Some applications may require one of these two batteries for various reasons. The following will explain the differences between NiMH VS lithium ion batteries. NiMH or Li-ion batteries, which is better?

NiMH battery advantages and disadvantages


  • High Energy Density

NiMH batteries have a high energy density. They have an average capacity of 2200mAh. This is more than the 1500mAh found in Li-ion batteries. When you get into NiMH VS li-ion batteries, this is the first difference you need to know.

  • Good compatibility

You can power ten devices using a NiMH battery with one pack. NiMH batteries are standard-sized, so they can be used with any device using size AAA or AA. The sizes of NiMH are different from Li-ions. They depend on the model or manufacturer of the device.

  • Good security

They are safer than lithium-ion batteries because they contain less active material. Li-ion batteries can explode if they are overcharged or short-circuited. This is the difference in safety between NiMH battery VS lithium ion battery.

  • Fully Dischargeable

They can still be charged when the NiMH batteries reach 0 charges. However, they must not experience reverse polarity; otherwise, they may be damaged.


  • High Self Discharge Rate

NiMH batteries pay a significant portion of their monthly charge. This number is approximately 5% the first week following the charge and around 50% the first month. There are several low self-discharge rate types. These are less reliable than standard NiMH but have higher capacities.

  • Not reliable for low-load devices

It is not recommended to use NiMH batteries in devices like clocks. They will lose charge quicker due to self-discharge than they do from the load. Instead, use alkaline, lithium, or Li-ion batteries.

  • Low Voltage Output

Each AA Cell can only provide 1.2v, while Li-ion cells can deliver 3.7v.

  • Long Charging time

A standard charge time for NiMH batteries is between 10-12 hours. These cells may be damaged if they are charged too fast. The charging time for Li-ion batteries is approximately 1-3 hours, depending on their capacity.

  • Sensitive To Extreme Temperatures

The output of the NiMH batteries will drop at extreme temperatures. These temperatures can be tolerated by Li-ion batteries to a certain extent.

Li-ion battery advantages and disadvantages


  • Reliable

These batteries have a much lower self-discharge than NiMH batteries. They can also be used in low-current devices such as watches or clocks.

  • Small

These batteries are lighter and smaller than NiMH. This is the difference in shape between lithium ion VS NiMH batteries.

  • Higher Voltage Output

One cell can produce 3.7V, while two NiMH cells can only deliver 2.4V.

  • Faster Charge

Li-ion batteries can be charged in 1-3 hours, depending on the capacity. This is faster than the 10–12 hours required for NiMH batteries. Regarding charging time, there is a vast difference between li-ion VS NiMH batteries.

  • Temperature Tolerant

These cells can withstand lower temperatures and higher environments than NiMH cells.

  • Higher Energy Density

This is a battery that has a higher charge per gram than a NiMH battery.


  • Lower Capacity

These cells have an average capacity of 1500mAh, compared to the average 2200 mAH of NiMH cells.

  • Incompatible

Different manufacturers make different sizes for Li-ion battery packs, so they are only compatible with a certain set of devices. NiMHs come in standard sizes.

  • Less safe

Ions can be very active. They are very reactive and can generate lots of heat. These cells have circuits. They can be used to monitor temperature and voltage. The circuits stop the cells from exploding.

  • Not Fully Chargeable

A Li-ion battery that is fully discharged will cause it to be damaged. You can shock-charge it, but it will lose its efficiency. This type of battery should be charged at least 50%.

Ni-MH VS Li-ion battery, which is better?


Do you already know these two main types of batteries, NiMH VS lithium ion batteries? Although one is technically better than the other, there are significant differences between these chemistries. In most categories, Li-ion batteries are better than NiMH on the performance scale. Li-ion batteries have a five-year overall life expectancy, five times longer than the NiMH’s two to five-year life span. The Li-ion battery also charges faster, can withstand extreme temperatures, and lasts longer than NiMH. NiMH batteries are more expensive than Li-ion. They require very little maintenance and do not have to follow the shipping regulations required for Li-ion batteries.
The above is all about NiMH VS lithium ion batteries. I hope it will help you.

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