In an Air Quality News article, Faraday Institution Ph.D. researcher Beatrice Browning shares that battery lifetime can be reduced when its electrode structure is damaged, which occurs when lithium-ion cycles in and out of the electrodes. In a study by the Royal Society of Chemistry, three main external stress factors influenced degradation: temperature, state of charge (SoC), and load profile. With a limited number of lifecycles, lithium-ion batteries naturally lose capacity with time. Although Battery University claims that counting cycles are inconclusive because a discharge may vary in depth, and there is no specific standard for what constitutes a cycle.
In addition, some uses for lithium-ion batteries, such as EVs, have external factors, such as charging rates, weather conditions, and charging practices, that affect their overall lifespan. Newark Electronics confirms that it’s even possible for lithium-ion batteries to age, even without any use, due to continuous discharge. Lithium batteries can also degrade to issues beyond your control, such as due to manufacturing defects, which could lead to deadly consequences.