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Definition: lithium ion


A rechargeable battery technology introduced in 1991 that provides greater charge per pound than nickel metal hydride. In 1993, Toshiba introduced the first notebook in the U.S. with a Li-ion battery. Since then, it has become the most popular battery technology for notebooks, cellphones and other handheld devices.

Lithium-ion batteries also power electric vehicles. As of 2022, China has 80% of the lithium ion market with six of the 10 top producers of EV car batteries in the country. See electric vehicle.

Shallow Discharges Are Best
Nickel-based batteries require full discharges before recharging to keep the battery healthy. In contrast, lithium-ion batteries thrive on frequent, shallow discharges. See lithium polymer, lithium iron phosphate and batteries.




High-Performance Lithium Ion
Using a patented technology, this lithium-ion battery from the early 2000s delivered 183 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) compared to about 115 for standard lithium ion. It added up to 16 hours of extra running time.