NMC and LFP Lithium-ion Batteries

NMC and LFP Lithium-ion Batteries

LFP and NMC are two different sub-chemistries under Li-Ion batteries. LFP uses Lithium-phosphate as the cathode material. NMC uses Lithium, Manganese and Cobalt as cathode material. In short, these are not new technologies different from Li-ion batteries.

When comparing NMC to LFP, they are usually referring to the cathode material of the battery itself. The materials used in cathode materials can significantly affect cost, performance, and lifespan.

With the use of different chemistries according to price, driving, range and performance needs, we see that battery chemistries in electric car models are increasingly diversified.

NMC Batteries

NMC batteries offer a combination of 33% nickel, manganese and cobalt at the cathode end of the battery. These are also sometimes called lithium manganese cobalt oxide batteries.


• Higher energy density (more driving range)

• Faster charging performance in cold climates


• More expensive due to lithium and cobalt

• Shorter cycle life than LFP, higher risk of thermal runaway

• Uses environmentally unsustainable raw materials

Electric car manufacturers generally advise users to only charge NMC batteries up to 80% to avoid long-term degradation effects. Some electric vehicle manufacturers, such as Polestar, recommend a 90 percent limit. A full charge should only be done occasionally when needed, for example during long journeys.

LFP Batteries

LFP batteries use phosphate as the cathode material. An important factor that makes LFP stand out is its long cycle. Many manufacturers use LFP batteries with a lifespan of 10 years.


• Longer lifetime, less risk of thermal runaway

• Less cost

• More environmentally sustainable


• Lower energy density (less driving range)

• More sensitive to cold temperatures

• Uses expensive and unsustainable lithium

LFP vs. NMC- What are the differences?

1) LFP and NMC: Energy Density

NMC batteries have higher energy densities than LFP batteries, which means that the performance of deep cycle batteries is better than LFP batteries as power batteries. High energy density means better acceleration performance. However, the LFP battery is superior to the NMC battery in energy storage. NMC batteries perform well but have poor battery life and LFP batteries perform poorly but have good battery life.

2) LFP and NMC: Security

LFP battery is generally superior to NMC battery. The chemical properties and structural framework of the LFP cell itself are very stable. Even if it is punctured, compressed hard, or thrown from a height, it does not catch fire, does not explode, at best it produces smoke. On the contrary, the safety of NMC batteries is much worse. Especially at abnormally high temperatures, the probability of fire and explosion is relatively high, which is one of the reasons NMC batteries have been criticized.

3) LFP and NMC: Cycle Life

Since it is frequently used in some large power-demanding places, the cycle life of an NMC battery is usually around 800 times, while the cycle life of an LFP battery can reach 3000 times and more than 6000 times if used correctly.

4) LFP and NMC: Service Life

LFP batteries can last more than 10 years when used properly. Most NMC batteries only last two to three years because they are often used for power needs.