Texas product defect attorney responds: Lithium is the lightest-weight of the metals. Lithium is also extremely reactive and has the greatest potential energy. This means that more energy can be stored in a smaller, lighter-weight battery. This feature makes lithium-ion batteries extremely popular for home electronic products and also for the smart cars that you see with increasing frequency in Texas’ urban areas.
Lithium-ion batteries use lithium as the anode. The positive electrode contains a lithium compound while the negative electrode contains carbon. When the battery charges, the lithium ions move through the electrolyte solution from the positive to the negative electrode and bond with the carbon. This ion exchange happens at the relatively high battery voltage of 3.7 volts. As the battery discharges, the lithium ions move back to their original place on the positive electrode. This makes lithium-ion batteries rechargeable. Lithium “metal” batteries, another type of lithium batteries that contain more initial energy, can’t be recharged.
Your Texas product defect attorney cautions that lithium batteries, while a great source of energy, aren’t without problems. They’ve been known to suddenly burst into flames. Defective, damaged, incorrectly packaged, and overheated batteries are particularly prone to explode or burst into flame. Lithium battery fires can lead to severe personal injuries or even fatalities.
Lithium reacts violently with water and nitrogen, so it must be sealed inside a metal case. The case must have small vent holes to release pressure and heat. Lithium batteries are extremely sensitive to heat. Much of the size of a lithium-ion battery is due to an internal computer that manages the battery’s heat and pressure to reduce the chance that the battery will catch fire or explode.
The design of the lithium-ion battery cell’s metal casing includes weak points designed to rupture if the battery builds up too much pressure. This controlled rupture intends to prevent the battery from exploding. But the lithium battery will be ruined afterwards. A lithium-ion battery is also ruined and useless if it ever completely discharges.
Texas product defect attorneys note that the on-board computer in the lithium battery quietly drains its energy over time. Even if you never use the battery, in a few years it will be used up because of the computer’s activity. But even with the internal computer, a lithium-ion battery only loses about 5% of its charge per month, compared to about 20% for a standard nickel-based battery.
Heat causes lithium-ion batteries to degrade at a faster rate, so it’s important to keep your lithium battery-powered devices away from excessive heat. If you drive a lithium-ion battery-powered smart car through the hot Texas summers, you have a challenge keeping your battery away from excessive heat. Our Texas product defect attorneys admire you for your concerned efforts to protect our environment by driving a smart car.