Rechargeable batteries are more common than regular batteries because of their recharge cycle, cost-effectiveness, and eco-friendliness. Manufacturers are focusing more on durable rechargeable batteries, but you should buy a new one when the battery performance deteriorates. Do you want to know why your rechargeable batteries will not last forever? Please read this post.

Why Do Rechargeable Batteries Not Last Forever

Understand How Rechargeable Batteries Work

Before delving into the factors or reasons for the limited lifespan, let’s first understand how rechargeable batteries work. It is true that rechargeable batteries are designed to be recharged and used repeatedly, but the performance deteriorates due to structural damage to the electrodes.

Now, what are electrodes?

When you recharge a battery, the chemical reaction converts electrical energy into chemical energy, which is stored in the battery’s electrodes. When the battery is discharged, the chemical reaction is reversed, converting the chemical energy back into electrical energy that can be used to power a device.

As a result, the electrode deteriorates over time.

Factors Affecting Rechargeable Battery Lifespan

Several factors affect the lifespan of rechargeable batteries, including:

Chemical Reactions

As I have already said, rechargeable batteries operate through a series of chemical reactions that occur inside the battery. Over time, these reactions can cause changes to the battery’s chemistry and physical structure, leading to degradation and reduced performance. The rate of degradation varies depending on the specific type of battery and its usage. That is why branded batteries last longer than non-branded batteries.

Recharge Cycles

Every time you charge and discharge a battery, it undergoes stress that can cause degradation. The recharge cycle also depends on the components of the battery. For instance, a lithium-ion battery used in a smartphone may have a lifespan of 500 to 1000 charge cycles, while a lead-acid battery used in an electric car may have a lifespan of 300 to 500 charge cycles.


Do you know outside temperatures also affect rechargeable battery lifespan? Exposure to high temperatures accelerates chemical reactions, leading to faster degradation and reduced performance. On the other hand, exposure to low temperatures also degrades the battery performance. Sometimes your battery may take longer to recharge.


The way you store the rechargeable battery also impacts the performance. Have you read the manufacturers’ guideline- ‘always store in a cold and dry place’? Exposure to moisture or high temperature affects performance. Besides that, the heat generated due to overcharging also causes battery performance issues.

Do you want to learn the estimated lifespan of different rechargeable batteries? Please continue reading:

Types of Rechargeable Batteries and Their Lifespan

There are several types of rechargeable batteries in the market. Each has different chemistry and lifespan. Let’s explore some of the most common types of batteries:

Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) Batteries

Ni-Cd batteries were one of the earliest rechargeable battery types and were widely used in consumer electronics, such as cordless phones and power tools. However, manufacturers replace the Ni-Cd mostly with Li-ion batteries because of customer demand and cost-cutting. Ni-Cd has a short lifespan of around 500 charge cycles.

Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries

NiMH batteries are a popular choice for consumer electronics, such as digital cameras and portable music players. They have a longer lifespan than Ni-Cd batteries, with around 500 to 1000 charge cycles.

Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) Batteries

Li-ion batteries are widely used in smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles due to their high energy density and long lifespan. They typically have a lifespan of 500 to 1000 charge cycles, but it is more popular than NiMH due to their usage and other factors.

Lead-Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries are commonly used in applications such as backup power systems and electric vehicles. They have a lifespan of around 300 to 500 charge cycles.

Now here is a glimpse of what you have just learned:

  • Ni-Cd offers around 500 recharge cycles.
  • NiMH batteries come with 500-1000 recharge cycles.
  • Li-ion also offers 500-1000 recharge cycles.
  • Lead Acid batteries have a lifespan of 300-500 charge cycles.

Now the question that comes to your mind is how you can extend the battery performance and lifespan. Does a rechargeable battery last forever? No, such batteries cannot last forever, but you can extend their lifespan!

Ways to Extend Rechargeable Battery Lifespan

While rechargeable batteries have a limited lifespan, you can take the following steps and use them carefully to enhance the overall performance, making the battery long-lasting.

Charge and Discharge Properly

Avoid overcharging or fully discharging your batteries because it leads to degradation. Instead, try to keep batteries charged between 40% to 80% whenever possible. It is also applicable to smartphone batteries.

Store the Battery Properly

You should store the batteries in cold and dry places. You can find manufacturer instructions on the battery. Besides that, you should not leave them unused for long periods.

Use the Right Charger

Using the right charger for your rechargeable battery helps to extend its lifespan. You should not use a third-party charger or fast charger in your device if not recommended by the manufacturers.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Do you know exposure to extreme temperatures also causes damage to rechargeable batteries? Avoid exposing them to high or low temperatures whenever possible.

In this post, you have learned why you cannot use rechargeable batteries forever, how you can extend the lifespan of your batteries, and related information. Do you have questions? Please comment below. Read my other posts to learn more about rechargeable batteries.

How Many Hours Do Rechargeable Batteries Last Per Charge?

How Long Does It Take to Charge a 1500 mAh Battery?

Leave a Reply

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