How long do batteries last- tips to prolong battery life and FAQs

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Before buying any kind of battery it is very much necessary to get to know its discharging time after one charge. Discharging time of a battery can vary as per equipment or devices. So before going to buy any kind of battery or its devices, it is common to ask this question: how long do batteries last? In this article, we will mainly discuss the problem of how long do batteries last and the related FAQs about it.

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How does a battery work and how does a lithium ion battery work

How dose a battery work is related to how long do batteries last. A battery is one of the equipment in which we can store energy. So for this reason it becomes significant to know how the battery works?

A cell converts chemical energy into electrical energy. The main parts of a cell are anode , cathode, separator and its electrolyte. The electrons flow from one end to another end. Electrons always flow from negative electrodes to positive electrodes.

At anode, an electrode reacts with electrolytes to produce electrons that then travel to the cathode where another chemical reaction is occurring at the same time which enables the cathode to accept electrons.

When the chemical reaction occurs, it causes the anode to build up electrons which disbalance the overall of electrons in the system so electrons want to balance themselves to get rid of this difference. So when the circuit closes extra electrons travel to the cathode which completes the circuit.

Lithium ion batteries are rechargeable batteries. The working of these batteries are also same except for the fact that here we use lithium ions for the storage of electricity.

How long does a normal battery last-does lithium ion battery have the longest life span

To learn how long do batteries last, we need to know how long does a normal battery last. This can be answered only by taking certain context like if we talk about cars then the answer will be different when compared to mobile batteries. So let’s take few applications and learn how long do batteries last.


If we talk about car batteries then in general they usually last for 3 years without any failure in the middle. Many car batteries last longer than this.

If we talk about mobile phone batteries then they usually last on an average of 3-5 years after that we need to replace it or most of the time people choose to replace the handset.

If we discuss whether different battery types differ in their lives, by the below chart, we can conclude that the lithium ion batteries usually last longer than any other batteries.

   NiCdNiMHLi-ion(Lithium iron phosphate)Lead Acid
Energy Density (wh/kg)  40-60  30-80 160-180  30-40
Cycle Life 1000-2000 500-1500 4000 300-800
Self-Discharge Rate 20% 30% 3.5% 3%-5%

How long do batteries last on a single charge

How long do batteries last is related to how long do batteries last. Basically discharging of a battery depends on load current and load capacity of the battery. If the battery is operating on full load then it probably doesn’t last long.

Discharge time = in Ah or mAh rating divided by the current

Discharge time = Battery Ah/mAh * Battery volt / Applied load

Let’s take an example of 2200mAh battery with load 300mA:

2.2/0.3 = 7.3 hours

How do you know if you have a bad battery and how do you test if a battery is good

There are a few signs which could tell us how long do batteries last.

● A bad smell

If the devices are getting toxic fumes then It need to pay attention.

● Swelling battery case

Building up of sulfation causes a battery to swell but this can also occur due to overcharging of the battery.

● Low battery fluid level

This will cause the battery to drain faster than usual.

● Battery leaking

It can be caused when the batteries are severely overcharged.

● Corroded connectors

This will be caused by exposing the battery to moisture.


Another question related to how long do batteries last is how to test if a battery is good. To test whether the lithium battery is good or not, use a multimeter to test the voltage of the lithium battery. If the voltage value is between the discharge cut-off voltage and the charging cut-off voltage, and the current is within the appropriate range, the battery is in a normal state.

Things that shorten battery life

● Plugged in 

Plugging the battery for over night can cause damage to the battery.

●Using cheaper charger

Using cheaper battery charger for the battery will cause damage to it.

●Charging all the time

Always charging the battery can damage the chemistry of the battery.

●Excess heat 

Leaving batteries in the excessive heat such as sun rays, near fire can cause damage to them.

Signs your battery is dying

● The device is slow to start is a clear sign that the battery is about to die.
● Experiencing electrical issues with the battery.
● Battery connectors are corroded.
● Old battery.
● Foul smell from the battery.

How to prolong the battery life

Can you prolong the lithium ion battery’s life

Yes, we can prolong it by taking care of a few points.

● Minimise exposure to both the high and the low temperatures.
● Avoid overcharge and overdischarge.
● Avoid using fast charging.
● Avoid keeping the battery in a high moisture area.

How to charge battery for longer battery life

● Avoid full cycle (100%) charging and overnight charging.
● Avoid using batteries while charging.
● Always try to go for partial charging. Partial charging habits are good.
● Use a special lithium ion battery charger for the lithium battery. Avoid using cheap chargers.


Can store battery for long time shorten the life

Yes it can damage the battery. If we store a battery and not use it for a long time then it will leak some of the charge and in the long run because the battery will be over discharged. Therefore, if you want to store the battery for a long time, you should charge and discharge it regularly.

Things to consider when you want to choose a long lasting battery

● Energy density

Having a higher energy density means the battery has higher potential energy for lower weights. For example, lithium ion battery has high energy density of 160-180wh/kg so it is very portable.

● Power density

High PD can handle high current withdrawal for a longer period of time.

● Durability

See if the battery is durable to other environmental factors or not.

● Life span

Check the charge life of the battery and also the total life.


Can a dead battery be charged

Yes, it can be recharged depending upon the condition it will be in.

How often does your battery need to be replaced

Usually after 3 years, batteries should be replaced. The battery life is determined by many factors, including battery chemical materials, discharge depth, battery temperature, etc.

Which applications required a long life batteries

Wireless devices required batteries with long life such as mobile phones, laptops, drones, etc.Besides, marine application, powertools, Golf carts, powerwall, portable power station also required batteries with long life like lithium ion battery.

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