Ternary battery

What is a ternary lithium battery?

A ternary lithium battery integrates a positive electrode made of polymers composed of 3 metallic elements. The chemical elements present can be nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co), manganese (M) or aluminium (Al).

Ternary lithium batteries are Li-Ion batteries generally designated by an acronym indicating the chemical elements that make up its cathode, for example:

  • batteries for Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium;
  • batteries for Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt...


The specificities of a ternary lithium battery

Ternary lithium batteries are among the future solutions for electricity in electrically powered vehicles.

They offer:

  • high energy density ;
  • high charge/discharge efficiency ;
  • good resistance to low temperatures.

However, their lifespan is shorter than that of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries.


Examples and practical application

Compared to Lithium Iron Phosphate () batteries, ternary lithium batteries are more suitable for domestic electric vehicles.

Indeed, or batteries offer a higher mass than batteries, which makes it possible to reduce the weight of on-board batteries in vehicles.


Lithium ternary batteries in figures

The mass of ternary batteries varies according to the technology. In 2017, it was:

  • between 200 and 260 for (Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium) batteries ;
  • between 150 and 200 for (Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt) batteries.

However, batteries are more stable than NCAs and offer a better energy/power/lifetime/stability trade-off.


Regulatory framework

The transport of lithium batteries is highly regulated. Under certain conditions, these batteries can indeed pose safety problems. The road transport of lithium is subject to the ADR (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road).

For air transport, international regulations are updated annually. Shippers must comply with International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) technical instructions.