March 22, 2023

Nickel-Metal Hydride or Lithium Ion: Which Type of Hybrid Battery Is Better?

Hybrid cars are all the craze these days. They’re becoming more popular as the number of electric car models increases every year. These cars combine the advantages of electric and gas-powered cars. 

Both nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and lithium-ion batteries have been gaining popularity because of their good energy density and long cycle life. However, there is a slight difference between the two, which will help you in understanding which kind of battery is better.

There are several aspects that determine which type of hybrid battery is better. These aspects vary from the size of your car and the length of its driving range to the cost of maintenance and the ease of swapping a battery.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the difference between nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion hybrid batteries, and the pros and cons of each of them.

What is Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery?

A nickel-metal hydride battery is a hybrid battery that contains a combination of both nickel and hydrogen. A NiMH battery has a high energy density, which means it can store more energy than the traditional lead-acid battery.

Most old hybrid cars such as Toyota Prius and Honda Insight are powered by NiMH batteries.

Why Use NiMH Batteries? Advantages

-Can withstand harsh weather:

NiMH batteries have a very high capacity and can withstand high temperatures, which makes them the perfect choice for hybrid cars.

-High energy density

A NiMH battery has a very high energy density, which means it can store more energy than the traditional lead-acid battery. This allows hybrid cars to have a longer driving range. For example, the Toyota Prius has a driving range of approximately 50 miles on a single charge and nearly 150 miles with its optional nickel metal hydride battery pack.

Longer cycle life

Most hybrid cars such as Toyota Prius and Honda Insight use NiMH batteries because they have good cycle life. The nickel metal hydride battery has a high self-discharge rate, which means it can retain its capacity for longer than other types of hybrid batteries such as lithium-ion and lead acid batteries.

What is Lithium-Ion Battery?

Lithium-ion batteries are a type of rechargeable battery that contains lithium ions in an electrolyte solution. These batteries have good energy density and cycle life and are the most popular type of battery in the world, powering everything from laptops to electric cars.

Lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density and can be charged very quickly.

The battery cell chemistry is less complex, which means that they are easier to manufacture and recycle.

 The technology has been around for quite some time, but it was only recently that lithium-ion batteries became more popular due to their high energy density, lower self-discharge rate, and low cost.

Advantages of Lithium-ion battery

There is no doubt that lithium batteries are becoming popular in the scene of hybrid cars. Here are some of the top reasons.

-High energy-to-weight ratio: This is the main area in which lithium batteries beat NiMH batteries. The lithium battery has a high energy density as compared to other batteries. The power density of lithium batteries is about 1.5 times higher than that of NiMH batteries and the weight of lithium batteries is about half that of NiMH batteries. So, the lithium battery can provide a much higher energy output per weight even at the same cycle life.

-Quicker charging time: The charging time of lithium batteries is greatly improved as compared to other batteries. The time required to charge a lithium battery is about one-third of the time required for charging a NiMH battery.

-Longer life cycle: Lithium batteries have a longer cycle life than NiMH and lead acid batteries.

-Less self-discharge: The self-discharge rate of lithium battery is much less than that of NiMH, which means that it will retain its capacity for a long period without any maintenance.

Disadvantages of Lithium-ion batteries

The main drawback of lithium-ion batteries is their high cost. In fact, the cost of the battery has surpassed that of other types such as nickel metal hydride, nickel cadmium, and lead acid in some countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and Japan. This has led to an increase in the cost of people buying these types of batteries.

The table below summarizes the difference between NiMH vs Lithium batteries for hybrid cars.

Nickel Metal HydrideLithium Ion
Highly resistant to heatSensitive to heat
Can be reconditionedCant be reconditioned
It May require occasional maintenanceDoesn’t need maintenance
Low energy densityHigh density


Cleophas is a tech enthusiast and also an automotive engineer. Is specialize in electric vehicles and bikes.

View all posts by Cleophas →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *