NMC vs LiFePO4: Which Should You Choose? Skip to content
NMC vs LiFePO4: Which Should You Choose?

NMC vs LiFePO4: Which Should You Choose?

NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) and LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphorus) are two of the most popular battery types today. If you own electrical gadgets or battery systems, there's a good chance they are NMC or LFP-powered. 

In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between these two battery types. This will help you decide which is the best for your project or electrical gadget. 

Understanding NMC vs LiFePO4 Batteries

NMC and LFP are both lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion is a technical term for batteries in which lithium-ions move between the positive and negative terminal when they charge or discharge. So, their rechargeability is one reason lithium-ion batteries are popular today.

However, NMC and LFP batteries have a different makeup or chemistry. This affects how you can use both batteries. We will compare these two batteries in the rest of the article. 

NMC vs LiFePO4: Which Should You Choose?

NMC Battery Chemistry

NMC batteries like the name suggests, are made from nickel, manganese, and cobalt. We will now discuss its composition in depth. NMC uses Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (LiNiMnCoO2) as the cathode material.

Composition and Structure of NMC Batteries

Battery manufacturers use a mixture of nickel (Ni), manganese (Mn), and cobalt (Co) to make the positive terminal of NMC batteries. The combinations of these elements are not always the same. Hence, there are several variants of NMC batteries. 

The presence of cobalt in the cathode helps to produce energy-dense cells. However, many people object to cobalt mining for ethical and environmental reasons. 

Advantages of NMC Batteries

There are several reasons for choosing NMC batteries. Below are some of the most relevant reasons:

High Energy Density

NMC batteries are more energy-dense than LFP batteries. This means that an NMC battery of a particular size will store more charge than an equivalent LFP battery. It's no wonder they are reserved for power-sapping gadgets and applications. For example, electric vehicle makers rely on NMC batteries to power their vehicles. 

Enhanced Thermal Safety

There is a smaller risk that the battery will overheat and become unstable. Lithium batteries tend to have these risks. You may have observed some phones or laptops overheating due to this effect. The problem can lead to fires or explosions in some cases. But the presence of cobalt reduces this risk in NMC batteries. So, they can endure high temperatures without losing stability. 

Wide Range of Applications

You can find these batteries in everyday consumer gadgets like laptops and phones. They're also common in electric vehicles and solar power systems. So, they're a great choice if you want batteries for multiple purposes. 

Limitations of NMC Batteries

Still, you should note that NMC batteries have these drawbacks:

Reduced Lifespan Compared To LiFePO4

The batteries have a high cycle life when you compare them to other rechargeable cells. But NMC batteries have a lower cycle life than LFP batteries. They have around 2000 cycles. In contrast, LFP batteries enjoy around 5000 cycles. 

Safety Concerns in Certain Conditions

NMC batteries can release oxygen due to their chemistry. So in rare cases where the connection is wrong, the battery can catch fire or explode. This can endanger lives and properties when it happens. 

LiFePO4 Battery Chemistry

LFP or LiFePO4 is another type of lithium-ion battery. Below, we will talk about how it's made. 

NMC vs LiFePO4: Which Should You Choose?

Composition and Structure of LiFePO4 Batteries

LFP batteries have a cathode made with lithium, iron, and phosphate. Manufacturers use graphite for the anode. The electrolyte in the cell helps conduct lithium ions as it charges or discharges. 

This makeup is why the batteries are very stable to heat and chemical reactions. So, if you use an LFP battery, there is little risk of overheating or fire. 

Advantages of LiFePO4 Batteries

We will now discuss why LFP is another leading battery choice today. 

They Are Quite Safe and Stable

LFP batteries do not contain cobalt or other elements where mining them is an environmental risk. So, you can say they're more eco-friendly. In addition, the cells are less toxic compared to NiCad batteries, for example. 

Finally, LFP batteries are pretty stable. So, there is less risk of thermal runaway or explosion when you use them. Hence, they're commonly used in applications where safety is crucial. For example, electric buses are often powered by LFP batteries. 

LFP Has a Higher Cycle Life

LFP batteries can enjoy a cycle life of over 2500 cycles. This is more than what NMC batteries can dream of. Consumers who prefer enduring batteries are better off with this choice. Our GoldenMate Energy batteries can handle 8-10 years usage. 

They Can Support High-Current Applications

LFP batteries charge and discharge better than NMC alternatives. So, gadgets that need high current to operate are better off with LFP batteries. 

Limitations of LiFePO4 Batteries

These are some of the drawbacks of LFP batteries:

Lower Energy Density When Compared to NMC Batteries 

LFP batteries are not as energy dense as NMC batteries. This means that NMC batteries can store more energy. So, LFP may not be ideal for powering gadgets or devices that require a lot of energy. 

Limited Applications Due To Lower Voltage Levels

Secondly, LFP cells have a lower voltage level than NMC cells. This means that NMC cells are more powerful and can support larger applications. LFP batteries that overcome these limitations tend to be very bulky and large. 

Slower Discharging Rate

LFP is a little slower to discharge energy. You can see this as a storage benefit. After all, the battery won't self-discharge easily. However, this can affect the performance when you need it to discharge better. 

Comparison between NMC and LiFePO4

We will now compare both batteries side-by-side on the dimensions:

  • Energy Density
  • Cycle Life
  • Safety Considerations
  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Environmental Impact

Energy Density

NMC batteries can store more energy and are more energy-dense. This is why they are preferred for making electronics that don't weigh much or take up space. While LFP is less energy-dense, the battery is generally more safer and durable. So manufacturers face a tough choice when deciding which to use. 

Cycle Life

LFP batteries can withstand more charge and discharge cycles or circle life. Applications that you must charge every day like solar systems are better off with LFP batteries. Still, NMC batteries enjoy a decent cycle life. But it's just short of LFP batteries. 

Safety Considerations

As far as batteries go, LFP is the safety standard. It has less risk of overheating or explosion. In contrast, NMC is safe but not as stable as LFP batteries. 


NMC batteries cost more due to their higher energy capacity and compact size. LFP batteries can be pricey too. However, you will end up paying less for the same utility. This is because they generally last longer. 

Environmental Impact

Cobalt mining is a big environment and ethical concern. But LFP batteries don't need cobalt unlike NMC. Users who prefer to make conscious choices may favor a LFP battery. In the future, we may see cobalt-free, but until then. 

NMC vs LiFePO4: Which Should You Choose?

Applications and Use Cases

The nature and chemistry of these batteries will dictate how manufacturers prefer to use them. Below are some ways that NMC and LFP are used and why. 

Automotive Industry

Electric vehicles with high energy demand are better with NMC batteries. This is because of their higher energy capacity. However,  LFP batteries are still very popular in electric vehicles like golf, fishing, and shuttle carts. 

Renewable Energy Storage

These storage systems will need batteries with a longer cycle life since you may recharge them daily. Hence, LFP batteries are the better candidate for storing and using green energy. 

Consumer Electronics

One should consider space and weight requirements when designing consumer electronics. In these areas, NMC batteries are an excellent choice. They are compact and lightweight, making them ideal for powering laptops, phones, and other gadgets.

Industrial and Medical Applications

Industries with high energy-demanding equipment may favor NMC battery models due to their increased energy density. But when thermal safety and long cycle life are of high concern, LiFePO4 batteries are preferred. 

NMC vs LiFePO4: Which Should You Choose?

Factors Influencing Choice of Battery Model

When deciding what battery model to buy, you should consider these points:

  • Specific Application Requirements
  • Budget Considerations
  • Environmental Concerns
  • Long-Term Performance Expectations

Specific Application Requirements

Remember that NMC batteries are best for light and compact gadgets that use up a lot of energy. Meanwhile, LFP is a more safe and stable choice with decent energy output. 

Budget Considerations

An NMC battery will tend to cost more than an LFP alternative. The latter battery is not cheap either. But with a longer cycle life, you will get more utility from it down the road. 

Environmental Concerns

People question the ethics of cobalt mining due to its impact on the earth. Cobalt remains a key ingredient in NMC batteries. In this area, LFP batteries are more eco-friendly. 

Long-Term Performance Expectations

LFP batteries enjoy a longer cycle life without dropping in performance. This means that you can continue to get maximum value even after using the battery for a few years. So, they're the best choice for long-term performance considerations. 

NMC vs LiFePO4: Which Should You Choose?


Overall, LiFePO4 batteries have more use cases and enjoy more everyday usage. After all, most energy consumers want durable batteries that don't pose minimal risk. Still, there may be specific instances where you need an NMC battery. 

At GoldenMate Energy, we boast of high-quality and extremely durable LiFePO4 batteries. It's why many of our customers are happy to refer to the business. You can be our next happy user. 

Whether you're going off the grid or you simply want backup power, we have the battery solution for you. 

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