Toshiba's SCiB rechargeable battery selected for new electric vehicles

Jun 16, 2011
Rechargeable battery selected for new electric vehicles
20Ah SCiB cell

Toshiba Corporation today announced that its SCiB battery has been selected by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation to power two new models of electric vehicles (EV), the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV. The SCiB is Toshiba's breakthrough rechargeable lithium-ion battery that combines high levels of safety with a long life, rapid charging and excellent charging and output at very low temperatures, characteristics that make it highly suited to application in EV.

Toshiba developed the SCiB to meet a series of demanding performance and safety criteria. By successfully employing oxide in the anode, Toshiba has assured that the SCiB offers high level operating safety, a long life and rapid charging. The use of lithium titanate oxide also significantly reduces the possibility of a puncture in the separator between the anode and cathode, so minimizing the risk of them coming contact into and short circuiting, and maintains levels even in severe operating conditions, including very low temperatures.

The SCiB pushes the life of the lithium-ion battery to a new level by supporting 2.5 times more charge/ than a typical lithium-ion battery. Recharging is also notably better. Charged with the highest current available with CHAdeMO, widely seen as the emerging standard for fast charging EV, an SCiB reaches about 80 percent of full capacity in some 15 minutes, about 50% in 10 minutes and about 25% in 5 minutes – half the times of a typical lithium-ion battery charged under the same conditions. The SCiB also generates little heat while recharging, eliminating the need for power to cool the battery module.

Most important of all for real-world application, the SCiB delivers high level performance. The SCiB offers a higher effective capacity than a typical lithium-ion battery, in that more of the stored charge can be used safely before recharging the battery. This, combined with highly efficient regenerative charging during braking or coasting downhill, allows the SCiB to deliver 1.7 times the driving distance per level of charge of a typical . This will allow for installation of smaller battery modules in vehicles and contribute to lower EV prices. The SCiB also offers high level performance in a wide range of temperatures, and continues to support rapid charging and excellent power output at temperatures as low as -30ºC.

The SCiB for Mitsubishi's new EV will be manufactured at Toshiba's Kashiwazaki Operations in Niigata prefecture, northwest Japan, a new facility dedicated to production of SCiB that came on line in February this year. Toshiba will seek to establish a plant operating structure able to respond quickly to market growth as the basis for expanding the SCiB business for EV, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid EVs.

As the automotive industry responds to concerns about global warming by developing a new generation of environmentally friendly EV, Toshiba is promoting advances in essential automotive technologies, from dedicated on-board control systems to batteries and Intelligent Traffic Systems. In automotive-related power electronics technologies, Toshiba is targeting net sales of 800 billion yen by fiscal year 2015 from its concentration on motors, inverters and SCiB.

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not rated yet Jun 16, 2011
yay for lower operating temps, but where i live it not only gets really cold in the winter, but also very hot in the summer. What about performance in 100F temps? If it doesn't do both, it might as well not do either.
not rated yet Jun 16, 2011
The often neglected fact about fast charging is that the reason why you cannot quickly charge a battery is because it's fundamentally limited by the amount of heat you can add to the battery before it needs cooling. (Or you can actively cool the battery while recharging and disregard this problem, but we don't want to.)

Say you have 400 kilograms of batteries with the specific heat capacity 1/2 that of water. Then let's say the temperature can rise by 30 degrees. That means you can add 7 kWh of heat before the charger has to stop.

As the heating power of the charging is roughly P = RI^2 you can see that the faster you try to charge, the more energy goes into heating the battery instead of recharging it. Thus, the internal R of the battery must be low.

And the real point it conveniently illustrates is that the amount of heat added is significant in relation to the charge stored in the battery, because the battery holds maybe 20-30 kWh of energy.

You lose up to a quarter of it.

1 / 5 (1) Jun 16, 2011
And the real real point is, that because you do lose large amounts of energy in fast charging, it becomes more sensible from the emissions point of view to drive something else than electric.

Natural gas for example, which is already superior in every other way anyhow.

The current mixture of electricity generation is going to stay here for at least the next 15-20 years anyways, so you only lose your money in buying an electric car in the near future. It won't actually help in any real way.
5 / 5 (1) Jun 20, 2011
Here are the specifications for the Toshiba SCiB, which are similar for all versions including the 20 amp one used in cars:

As can be seen, it is fine down to -30C and up to 50C

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