Lithium-ion batteries – the basics

Developed in-house, STIHL Lithium-ion Batteries are unique powerhouses. Learn more about the world of Lithium-ion Batteries here.


Lithium-ion batteries: structure and operation

Everything you need to know about the structure and functionality of STIHL Lithium-ion Batteries. 

The process of a STIHL lithium-ion battery is shown pictorially in an illustration. Electrons flow from the anode through application of the device to the cathode

Electrons flow from the anode to the cathode by using the device.

Structure of Lithium-ion Batteries

A lithium-ion battery consists of many cells, each of which have two electrodes: a negative anode and a positive cathode. During discharge and charging processes, an electrolyte liquid conveys lithium ions between these two electrodes.

The electrodes are also electronically isolated by a separator to prevent a short circuit.

The process of a STIHL lithium-ion battery is shown pictorially in an illustration. Electrons flow from the cathode to the anode by charging the battery.

Electrons flow from the cathode to the anode by charging the battery.

How Lithium-ion Batteries work

When lithium-ion batteries are used, lithium ions and electrons are emitted on the anode side – a discharge process takes place. The lithium-ions migrate through the electrolyte liquid and separator to the cathode, while the electrons flow through the outer circuit and perform electrical work. This process generates electromotive power, which drives the cordless power tool.

The procedure works in exactly the opposite way when charging the battery: the lithium ions now migrate from the cathode through the electrolyte liquid to the anode.

Lithium-ion batteries: Service life and durability

STIHL lithium-ion batteries are not disposable, but are in fact characterised by a particularly long service life and durability – a major advantage in terms of sustainability. When it comes to charging, lithium-ion batteries are suitable for up to 1,200 charging cycles. Thanks to the latest cell technology, the STIHL AP 500 S battery can even withstand up to 2,400 charging cycles.

The above-average service life of STIHL lithium-ion batteries reflects their special product quality.  STIHL battery packs can also be used with many different STIHL cordless power tools – both older and newer power tool generations. Developed specifically for STIHL power tools, our battery packs not only offer enormous reliability, but are also a real long-term investment. 


You may have heard that deep discharge, or the almost total discharge of a battery, can damage the battery. At STIHL, however, we rely on cutting-edge battery technology. The self-discharge of our lithium-ion cells is negligibly low – 1% to 3% per year, meaning that your STIHL battery is generally reliably protected against deep discharge.

Nonetheless, we recommend that you store your lithium-ion batteries correctly. If the battery will not be used for more than a month, it should be kept at a charge level between 40% and 60% to prolong the life of the cells. 

STIHL battery box with STIHL batteries on a workshop shelf

It is best to store batteries at a charge level of between 40% and 60%.

Even when fully discharged, modern STIHL batteries are generally fine being stored for a few months over the winter without resulting in deep discharge. The BMS, or intelligent Battery Management System, plays an important role here.

The BMS monitors both the continuous operation of the lithium-ion battery within a predetermined range and the voltage of the cells. If the voltage in the battery cells drop too low, the battery automatically switches to an idle state and interrupts the discharging process, which prevents deep discharge.

Lithium-ion Batteries: Temperature range

To help prolong the service life of your STIHL batteries, we recommend storing them at an ambient temperature of approx. 20°C. This means that full performance is available even immediately after storage. In principle, it is possible to store battery packs within a temperature range of -20°C to +50°C, although functional and service life losses can be expected at the extreme ends of this range.

If you are unsure, you can check the operating instructions for your battery; alternatively, our expert STIHL Dealer will be happy to help.

Lithium-ion batteries: Disposal and recycling

Though they have a long service life, eventually your lithium-ion batteries will need to be disposed of or recycled. You can find all the relevant information about dispoing your STIHL lithium-ion batteries below.

Disposing of Lithium-ion Batteries

Return used batteries to a STIHL Dealer for disposal free of charge.

Lithium-ion Batteries: Recycling 

Recycling is indispensable for ensuring the responsible use of resources – and ensures that valuable components of lithium-ion batteries can be reused. There are wet chemical processes for recycling lithium-ion batteries: the batteries are collected, shredded, converted to black mass and electrochemically recovered. STIHL plans to use more and more recycled and ethically sourced materials to produce its lithium-ion batteries in the future.

the memory effect

Concerns persist about the memory effect in batteries – but what’s the truth? The memory effect is a loss of capacity in nickel-cadmium batteries caused by early charging. If batteries of this kind are not completely discharged before they are recharged, they “remember” the energy requirements from the last charging processes and only use this amount of energy when charging, causing them to quickly lose capacity and become unusable.

STIHL BGA 57 cordless blower without memory effect damage

However, this effect does not occur in STIHL lithium-ion batteries, which represent the cutting edge of battery technology.

Important questions and answers

More about battery technology