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The electric vehicle industry is booming, and with it comes a growing demand for high-quality batteries. Lithium and Ultium batteries are two of the most popular types of batteries on the market today, but which one is better? In this blog post, we will compare Lithium and Ultium batteries and explore the pros and cons of each type. We will also take a look at the future of Ultium batteries and whether or not they will eventually replace lithium batteries as the industry standard.

Lithium Battery Drawbacks

Lithium batteries have been around for a long time, and they are used in a variety of applications including laptops, cell phones, and electric vehicles. Lithium batteries are popular because they are lightweight and offer a high energy density. However, Lithium batteries also have some drawbacks.

  • For example, Lithium batteries can be expensive to produce, and they can be dangerous if not properly handled.
  • Lithium ion cells and batteries are not as robust as some other rechargeable technologies.
  • They require protection from being over charged and discharged too far.
  • Lithium ion batteries suffer from ageing–Lithium ion batteries age whether they are in use or not.
  • Often batteries will only be able to withstand 500 – 1000 charge discharge cycles before their capacity falls.
  • Typically they are around 40% more costly to manufacture than Nickel cadmium cells. This is a major factor when considering their use in mass produced consumer items where any additional costs are a major issue.


So what’s the big hype about Ultium Batteries? 

Ultium batteries are a newer technology that was developed by GM in partnership with LG Chem. Ultium batteries are designed to provide a longer range and faster charging times than Lithium batteries. Ultium batteries are also less expensive to produce than Lithium batteries. However, Ultium batteries are not without their drawbacks. For example, Ultium batteries are not as lightweight as Lithium batteries, and they have a lower energy density.

Key benefits:

  • Ultium’s long pouch cells waste less space and can stack on top of each other like pancakes or vertically like slices of toast. This simple modular design makes it easy for engineers to optimize energy density and vehicle layout, which translates to more miles on a single charge for less cost.
  • It would take 20 small cylindrical can cells (the ones our competitors use) to produce the power of one Ultium large-format 100 amp-hour cell. Our Ultium cells are so robust, they can electrically and physically support EVs of every shape and size.
  • Ultium battery options scale from 50 kilowatt hours to over 200 kWh, which will enable a GM-estimated range of 300 miles or more on a full charge.
  • To save even more space, the battery’s electronic components will be embedded within the modules, eliminating 80 percent of the battery pack wiring compared to today’s batteries.
  • Reduced height of the battery module underneath the second row, will not only give second-row passengers a more comfortable ride, but also adds 22 kWh of energy storage in this space.





The Battery Wars Will Rage On

Looking to the future, it is unclear if Ultium batteries will eventually replace Lithium batteries as the industry standard. Lithium batteries have been around for a long time and they have a proven track record. Ultium batteries are newer and they still need to be proven in the marketplace. Only time will tell if Ultium batteries will eventually replace Lithium batteries as the industry standard. Ultimately, the decision of which type of battery to use depends on the specific needs of the application.

There is a really good video from Cleanerwatt which explains GM’s stance on Ultium batteries and how they intend on leveraging the technology to power their next-generation electric vehicles such as the Lyriq and Hummer EV. See video above.