Apr 15, 2013

Why can't I get lithium ion batteries in standard battery sizes?

Why are Lithium Ion batteries not available in standard sizes (AAA, AA , C, etc.)? If they are the best choice for things like cell phones and laptops, wouldn't they also be suitable for use in other "normal" devices? I would love to have good output, long service life, rechargeability and no battery "memory" in things other than laptops and phones. Plus, when I can make a greener choice for purchase orders, I try to do so.  Are they available, and I just haven't been able to find them?

I found what looks like the batteries you want on Amazon.


They seem to come in the sizes you mentioned. Check out that link.

If you recall all the problems that Boeing has had with lithium ion batteries catching fire on the new Dreamliners, that may provide a clue to part of the reason. One of the places I order batteries from has an explanation on their website that pretty well sums it up:

"No, they are not available in standard sizes. We believe this is because it would be too easy for users to inadvertently put them in a charger not designed for Lithium-ion batteries creating a potentially dangerous situation. (If an alkaline battery is put into the wrong charger it might leak or even burst, but a lithium-ion battery put into a NiCd or NiMH charger not designed for lithium-ion, might ignite. Also, because Li-ion batteries operate at much higher voltage (typically 3.7V per cell) than the 1.2 to 1.5V of most cell batteries, designing a 1.5V lithium-ion cell would be expensive."

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