Long live lithium! Why lithium batteries are unbeatable for camping and 4×4 

Lithium-ion batteries have changed the way we live forever. 

When we garden, we no longer put up with heavy, smokey motors or lengthy extension cords. Instead, we move around with freedom thanks to Li-ion batteries. 

An item as vital as a pacemaker is best powered by rechargeable lithium batteries. They are the safest and lightest power supply and only need to be replaced every seven to eight years. 

When we need to store solar energy, lithium batteries are trusted for their speedy and low-resistance charging – exactly what solar panels need as lithium batteries optimise the potential storage of solar power. 

And when we’re enjoying leisure activities, lithium-ion batteries reliably power our caravans, camper vans, boats, and other recreational vehicles. Adventurers prefer them because they are long-lasting, stable, efficient, compact, and light. They are ideal for long trips in remote locations or a quick weekend away, maximising our good times! 

In this blog, we review lithium-ion batteries in-depth and look at the numerous reasons why they’re preferred by so many people. 

Long life lithium #

When considering the lifespan of lithium batteries, they leave lead-acid options behind. 

Lithium batteries are rated for 3,000 – 5,000 complete charge and discharge cycles and much more if used carefully, and still provide over 80% of usable capacity. They commonly last for 10+ years which is several times the life expectancy of standard lead acid batteries, which last 3-5 years and need regular maintenance. 

Less frequent replacing means you save money and it’s one less thing you need to worry about! 

Unbeatable fast charging  #

If you like to keep moving and lengthy charging delays aren’t your thing, lithium is your go-to battery, hands down. 

Firstly, lithium-ion batteries charge quickly and efficiently. Unlike lead-acid batteries that charge in stages over a longer period of time, lithium batteries charge at a high rate, giving you more time to enjoy using your devices. Therefore, they charge faster, and hold more of the energy from solar panels and other charging devices. 

Secondly, a lithium battery will use power efficiently and give you a burst of power when you need it. Lead-acid batteries can be sluggish in their delivery of power, while lithium will keep you going during use that would exhaust other batteries. 

A featherlight heavyweight  #

In our 37 years of specialising in portable power solutions, we have not found a battery that beats lithium-ion in a weight to performance ratio. 

Lithium batteries, on average, are 55% lighter than lead acid batteries.  

This is particularly important if you want to use your batteries in mobile applications such as EVs and recreational vehicles where extra weight can impact fuel efficiency as well as adhering to your caravan and vehicle maximum weight loads. Weight safety is such an important issue to address.  

When you consider how much power and versatility you gain from an item as light as a lithium-ion battery, it is an unrivalled choice for outdoor adventuring. 

Lithium-ion always punches above its weight! 

So small, you’ll hardly know they’re there  #

When you’re packing your vehicle to go off road, you may have an excess of enthusiasm, but something you’ll undoubtedly be short on is space.  

This is another reason why lithium is such an excellent power source. 

Lithium-ion batteries have higher energy densities than lead-acid batteries or nickel-metal hydride batteries, so it is possible to make the battery size smaller than others while retaining the same storage capacity. 

To get a little more technical, lithium-ion has excellent embodied energy. Embodied energy refers to the energy required to manufacture a battery. This is closely related to energy density, which refers to the amount of energy stored relative to the battery’s size. Because of this, lithium-ion batteries are smaller than lead acid batteries for any particular application. 

Save precious space in your vehicle by choosing lithium and fill it with fun things such as fishing gear, snacks, inflatable flamingoes, and anything else you want!  

Charge faster  #

Lithium-ion batteries need to be fully charged for your next adventure. Often, for safety reasons, they are only at new 60% of capacity. 

Following this recommendation, your batteries will be charged and ready to go when you are! 

Lithium-ion batteries are renown for their efficiency, as having fewer electrical losses and shorter charge cycles means they can better use of the current used to charge it. As a result, they have shorter charging times. 

Lithium-ion batteries charge faster than AGM batteries and over four times faster than general lead-acid batteries, on top of all their other advantages. 

Because of all these great features, we have developed our Baintech batteries using the superior lithium-ion technology. It performs beautifully for our clients no matter the application, and that’s what we look for – reliable, robust power so you can live the good times! 

Low maintenance  #

You have enough on your plate keeping your kids, pets, and plants alive – you don’t need to be trying to keep your batteries alive too! 

Lead-acid batteries have high maintenance requirements. They need regular electrolyte top-ups and you need to monitor the charging process so they don’t overcharge and develop permanent damage. This maintenance also eats into your time and money. 

Lithium-ion batteries are set and forget. They can be left partially charged for years without damage. Models such as Baintech Lithium batteries all contain a battery management system (BMS) which automatically stops charging once the battery is fully charged, preventing overcharging and saving you having to monitor the process yourself. With our new bluetooth lithium battery app, you will be able to monitor your usage with ease and see other relevant information. 

For a battery that you don’t have to worry about, go with lithium. 

Good for adventures, good for the planet  #

Lithium-ion batteries are a source of many valuable materials. If recycled, potentially 95% of battery components can be recovered for alternative use or may even be turned into new batteries. A CSIRO report indicated that Australia could become a world leader in the re-use and recycling of lithium-ion batteries. 

The first step to increasing our recycling rates for lithium-ion batteries is education. The public is not being informed of how or where they can recycle their batteries, but we can start changing that right now. 

Here are some great resources to find your nearest lithium-ion recycling option: 

Planet Ark – https://recyclingnearyou.com.au/batteries/ 
Here you’ll find information about the recycling programs at places such as Battery World, Bunnings, and Officeworks 

Your local waste transfer station 
If you Google your local resource recovery centre, you can find whether they recycle lithium-ion batteries. We found centres in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne that recycle lithium-ion batteries. 
Brisbane: https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/clean-and-green/rubbish-tips-and-bins/waste-and-recycling-facilities/resource-recovery-centres/what-you-can-take-to-resource-recovery-centres 
Sydney: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/waste-recycling-services/recycle-batteries-mobile-phones-light-bulbs 
Melbourne (under ‘chemical waste collections): https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/residents/waste-recycling/Pages/e-waste-chemicals.aspx  

To find out more about the future of lithium-ion battery recycling, take a look at this article from the CSIRO

The safest form of portable power  #

Modern technology is a game changer. It allows us to do things we never could before, longer than ever, in more ways than ever. All technology needs to be used properly for optimal safety and function, and lithium-ion batteries are no exception.  

When issues have arisen related to lithium-ion batteries, it is usually caused by overheating created by: 

  • Using a faulty charger 
  • Overcharging the battery 
  • A short circuit 

By adhering to the following simple guidelines, you can enjoy the full benefits of lithium-ion batteries: 

  • Batteries should not be exposed to high external temperatures, such as being left in direct sunlight for an extended period of time 
  • Only use a reputable-brand charger or one designed specifically for the battery you are using to avoid overcharging 
  • Do not use lithium-ion batteries that have any physical damage, such as being pierced by a foreign object 
  • Ideally, avoid purchasing second-hand lithium-ion batteries or from unknown and potentially unregulated vendors 

These are all common-sense precautions that are easy to follow. Lithium-ion batteries are superior and understandably more popular than other battery types as they combine fast charging, long charge holding, high-power density, and more battery life in a smaller package. They tick all the boxes! 

Good quality lithium-ion batteries also have additional BMS technology for extra safety. 

The importance of a BMS  #

Lithium-ion battery manufacturers understand the fantastic power provided by their batteries, and so construct them with intelligent built-in safety precautions. 

Li-ion batteries come with Battery Management Systems, or BMS. The primary function of a BMS is to ensure functional safety of a Li-ion battery. Their two primary features are battery pack protection management and capacity management. This ensures electrical protection and thermal protection, keeping your Li-ion battery functioning reliably and safely for years. 

Thanks to BMSs, and lithium-ion improvements, this is one of the most successful and safe battery chemistries available today.  

Needless to say, all our high-quality Baintech Li-ion batteries come with excellent BMS technology, ready to take on remote, harsh conditions and robust use throughout all of your adventures. 

It is important to distinguish between high-quality lithium batteries and pouch-style batteries used in scooters or similar appliances as their technology avoids having a BMS to control their performance. This is why we currently see certain lithium batteries under scrutiny.  

Why Baintech backs lithium  #

As people passionate for making the most of outdoor and off-grid explorations for over 37 years, lithium batteries have all the advantages we look for. Here is a review of the numerous reasons why lithium-ion batteries are the go-to power source for our adventures: 

  • They can be up to a third lighter of equivalent lead acid AGM batteries, which is of great benefit if you own a 4WD, boat, or caravan 
  • Lithium batteries hold their voltage over the cycle, unlike lead acid where the voltage drops off almost immediately 
  • They provide more usable capacity (amp hours) than lead acid batteries before needing to be recharged 
  • They have a longer lifespan, lasting 10+ years, compared to the 2-3 year life of a lead acid AGM 
  • Lithium batteries charge faster due to less internal resistance, which also means more energy can be recovered from solar panels 
  • They save you money over their life cycle – you might go through three or four lead acid batteries in the same time as a single lithium battery 

The Baintech team accentuates the best features of lithium-ion batteries by using the highest-quality materials, componentry, and construction so when you use one of our batteries, you truly have an unbeatable adventure partner.  

In fact, we are so confident in our Baintech batteries that they each come with a five-year warranty. They are also: 

– IP67 rated, making them waterproof  

– IEC accredited 

– Have Bluetooth App capabilities so you can monitor your usage 

– Include a reset button for your convenience 

To find out more, browse our range of lithium-ion batteries here or contact us here to ask any questions you have about powering your next adventure! 

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