Can I Discharge my Lithium Battery to 0%?

For lithium batteries, it is generally recommended to avoid regularly depleting the battery to 0% or fully charging it to 100%. Instead, it is advisable to operate within a certain state of charge range, typically between 20% and 80% (known as the “depth of dischargeā€ or DoD).

Here is why:

  • Battery Lifespan
    Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time, and repeatedly cycling them from 0% to 100% or vice versa can accelerate this degradation. By keeping the battery within the 20-80% range, you can extend the overall lifespan of the battery Depleting the battery to 0% or charging it to 100% increases the stress on the battery and can lead to capacity loss over time
  • Safety
    Fully charging or fully depleting a lithium battery can put extra stress on the battery cells and increase the risk of overheating swelling, or even causing a safety hazard like thermal runaway.
  • Consistency
    Staying within the 20-80% range helps maintain more consistent battery performance over the long term. Batteries that are frequently cycled between extreme states of charge can exhibit more variability in capacity and performance.
  • Warranty
    Many lithium battery manufacturers offer warranties that may not cover damage caused by consistently deep discharges or adhering to recommended charging habits can help you maintain warranty coverage.

That said, occasionally allowing the battery to reach 100% or drop to 0% is unlikely to cause immediate harm but it is best to avoid doing so on a regular basis. Many modern battery management systems (BMS) built into lithium batteries help mitigate some of the risks associated with full charges or discharges but it is still wise to follow best practices for battery care to maximize its lifespan and performance.