August 2011 

Frank Konigseder

Vice President
Liberty Coach

Battery Technology
Sorting out the Lithium Ion Battery Rumors


It has come to my attention that there is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the Lithium Ion battery systems currently used in the Liberty Coach.  I would like to refer to an article which was circulated when Liberty Coach first installed the Lithium Ion Iron Phosphate batteries:


"The Lithium-Ion system we are now using is a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery which makes it inherently safer and very stable compared to the Lithium Cobalt Oxide which is very volatile. You may hear from some people that these are very unsafe, have been recalled, explode, etc... it is also not efficient in our application and has a much shorter cycle life, so we are not using that type of Lithium-Ion battery. The batteries that explode and experience thermal run-away when damaged or overcharged are Lithium Cobalt Oxide. We are using Lithium Iron Phosphate technology.


The safety characteristics inherent to lithium iron phosphate technology result from:

  • The incorporation of phosphates as the cathode material. Phosphates are extremely stable in overcharge or short circuit conditions and have the ability to withstand high temperatures without decomposing.
  • When abuse does occur, phosphates are not prone to thermal runaway and will not burn. As a result, lithium iron phosphate technology possesses safety characteristics that are fundamentally superior to those of Lithium-ion batteries made with other cathode materials.
  • Lithium iron phosphate technology does not contain any heavy metals and does not exhibit the "memory effect" of Nickel-Cadmium and Nickel-metal Hydride solutions. Lithium iron phosphate technology demonstrates excellent shelf life, long cycle life and is maintenance free.

The advantages of traditional Lithium-ion coupled with the safety features of phosphates, make lithium iron phosphate technology the Lithium-ion technology for the future. Our lithium iron phosphate Lithium-ion technology utilizes natural, phosphate-based material and offers the greatest combination of performance, safety, cost, reliability and environmental characteristics.

We have been assured by the manufacturer and have watched safety presentations and videos of them shooting the batteries and overcharging them, that these are safe."


After reading this article and a little effortless research, one will find that the leading Motor Yacht, Sailing Yacht, and Motor Home manufacturers globally are installing the Lithium Ion Iron Phosphate battery technology, and this type of battery technology is regularly flown on commercial aircraft.  It is also noteworthy that Lithium Ion battery technology is so important and ground breaking that many companies are spending 100's of millions of dollars in Michigan and other states to build plants specifically for the manufacture of Lithium Ion batteries as part of alternative energy plans; please refer to the following links:


Building additional battery factories

New Michigan Battery Factory Plant


Since Liberty Coach has continually set the benchmark for technological advancements, it should come as no surprise that we have continually installed this technology since January 2010 and can report that the batteries should easily keep the systems alive for the documented 2000 cycles, which could easily be 10 years or more. This translates to a significant reduction of battery replacement.


The installation of the Lithium Ion Iron Phosphate technology has enabled Liberty Coach to reduce the weight of the coach as well as reducing the generator fuel consumption.  This battery technology enables a full state of charge to be reached much faster than the traditional battery technology thus reducing the run time of the generator systems.  As we all board the coach heading to a greener world, clearly Liberty Coach has already left the station with plenty of forward momentum and reserve capacity.


In conclusion, the most important element in the coach building process is customer safety. All of the technological advancements available mean nothing if safety is compromised.  I can assure you that Liberty Coach continually ranks consumer safety as our number one priority.