Electronics

Toshiba's new fast-charging battery could triple the range of electric vehicles

Toshiba's new fast-charging ba...
Toshiba has tested out a 50-Ah version of its new SCiB battery
Toshiba has tested out a 50-Ah version of its new SCiB battery
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Toshiba has tested out a 50-Ah version of its new SCiB battery
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Toshiba has tested out a 50-Ah version of its new SCiB battery
Toshiba says that if incorporated into a compact EV, its new SCiB battery would allow for a range of 320 km (186 mi) on just a six-minute charge
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Toshiba says that if incorporated into a compact EV, its new SCiB battery would allow for a range of 320 km (186 mi) on just a six-minute charge

A key focus of electric vehicle (EV) makers is maximizing the range users can get from each charge, and for that reason new battery technologies are poised to play a huge part in driving their adoption. Toshiba has developed a new fast-charging battery it claims could allow EVs to travel three times as far as they do now, and then be fully recharged again in a matter of minutes.

Toshiba's SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery) has been around in various forms since 2007, with its chief claim to fame an ability to charge to 90 percent of capacity in just five minutes. It also boasts a life-span of 10 years and high levels of safety, and has found its way into a number of notable EVs, including Mitsubishi's i MiEV and Honda's Fit EV.

The current SCiB uses lithium titanium oxide as its anode, but Toshiba says it has now come up with a better way of doing things. The next-generation SCiB uses a new material for the anode called titanium niobium oxide, which Toshiba was able to arrange into a crystal structure that can store lithium ions more efficiently. So much so, that the energy density has been doubled.

Toshiba has tested out a 50-Ah version of the new battery and reckon that it too boasts excellent safety and a long life cycle, retaining more than 90 percent of its capacity after 5,000 charge cycles. It says that if incorporated into a compact EV, it would allow for a range of 320 km (186 mi) after just a six minutes of ultra-rapid charging, which is around three times the range offered by a standard, similarly charged lithium-ion battery.

Toshiba says that if incorporated into a compact EV, its new SCiB battery would allow for a range of 320 km (186 mi) on just a six-minute charge
Toshiba says that if incorporated into a compact EV, its new SCiB battery would allow for a range of 320 km (186 mi) on just a six-minute charge

"We are very excited by the potential of the new titanium niobium oxide anode and the next-generation SCiBTM," says Dr. Osamu Hori, Director of Corporate Research & Development Center at Toshiba Corporation. "Rather than an incremental improvement, this is a game changing advance that will make a significant difference to the range and performance of EV. We will continue to improve the battery's performance and aim to put the next-generation SCiBTM into practical application in fiscal year 2019."

Source: Toshiba

25 comments
Eric the Red
Does that mean it takes 500 amps to charge a 50AH battery in 6 minutes?
teddilu
@eric yes
Ron Brown
My calculations on another 32kWh, 5 minute charge battery gave me the number of over 2700 Amp at 440V. I don't think the average human can handle a 3m section of a charge cable of the cross sectional area needed to handle that size of cable if of copper. The infrastructure to handle that sort of charging will be impressive also. These ideas, like the Hydrogen fuel cell come about half baked with a good dose of ignorance/fantasy heaped on top. Ron
Bob
I will believe it when I see it. What voltages are they using? Charging that many amps so quickly means they have a new definition of safety. The power service to my home wouldn't even begin to handle that.
michael_dowling
Recharging points will need some way of storing power that can be dumped into batteries quickly. Perhaps flywheel power storage.
watersworm
Not sure to have understood : is it really three times the range, or three times fast charging ?
BrianK56
It sounds like everyone is a step ahead of Dr. Osamu Hori.
Vernon Miles Kerr
Why doesn't an oil company, like Shell, collaborate with an auto manufacturer to produce a car with slide-out batteries, then store fully charged batteries in each of their service stations. You would drive in, a robotic arm on one side of the vehicle would slide in the new batteries, pushing the spent ones out the other side of the car where another robotic arm would catch them and take them to a charging station and into the queue to be used for future customers. At the end of the month, Shell or whoever would bill you for the number of times you exchanged your batteries. The whole process of "refueling" should take no longer that filling up with petroleum.
Kpar
I was intrigued by the "ultra-rapid charging" in six minutes. I would be impressed by the plug that would not melt during that. Liquid cooled, perhaps? And what about the charger itself? Laws of physics, stand aside!
vince
if three times the range of current 300+ mile EVs like the Tesla model S and model 3 (upgrade) then you would have 900+ mile ranges and no need to charge on the Interstates EVER again. You simply would have a days full charge from your home charger, then charge full at your destination, then again when home. The world is changing and if ICE lovers don't get on board their going to get stuck with a lot of pricey inventory they can't get rid of! No thanks I'll stick to EVs for the rest of my life (2 now; 3rd when a pickup is offered). 3 times the range would give pickup trucks the towing capacity needed to make them practical--we already know they can outtow a diesel an EV pickup truck can easily be made to tow 50,000 lbs--far more than the most ever by a diesel (around 35,000). That's why trains use electric motors to power their huge hauling loads with diesel providing the electricity to the motors. Electric will propel 100% of all transportation within 25 years. Jets too.