## Toshiba’s Fast-Charging, Long Life Li-Ion Battery

##### 05 April 2005

Toshiba has developed a new fast-charging lithium-ion battery with an extended lifecycle that has significant potential for application in hybrid and full-electric vehicles.

According to the company, the prototype of the battery can recharge 80% of its energy capacity in only one minute, approximately 60 times faster than the typical lithium-ion batteries in wide use today, and will lose only 1% of its capacity after 1,000 cycles of discharging and recharging.

On those two criteria, the Toshiba battery meets the long-term specifications for advanced battery technology for vehicles set by the US Advanced Battery Consortium.

Toshiba Li-Ion vs. Select USABC Criteria
Parameter USABC Mid-term USABC Long-term Toshiba Li-Ion
Energy Density (Wh/l) 135 300 150–250
Fast Recharge (40%–80%) <15 min <15 min 80% in 1 min
Normal Recharge <6 hours 3–6 hours 10 minutes
Cycle life 600 1,000 1,000

Pragmatically, the speed and capacity of the recharge isn’t as major a factor for grid-connected plug-in recharging of the battery (which presumably would happen at night), as it is for the capture of energy from regenerative braking. (Although I suppose you could hypothesize a widespread infrastructure of electric recharging stations where drivers could queue for a quick jolt.)

The current crop of more slowly charging batteries let much of the converted kinetic braking energy go to waste—they just can’t capture the charge fast enough. To counter that, some hybrid and full EV applications use ultracapacitors as a means of burst capture and release. The US Advanced Battery Consortium in funding the development of ultracapacitors for use in hybrids for that purpose. (Earlier post.)

Although Toshiba did not release full performance specs for its new battery, the company is positioning it as nearly equivalent in terms of speed of recharge to capacitors. (Nothing said about the speed of discharge, which is the other critical aspect to ultracapacitors in electric vehicles.)

The energy density of the new battery is between is 150 to 250 Wh (Watt-hour)/liter, equal to the lower range of energy densities existing lithium ion batteries have, according to a report by EE Times. Ni-MH batteries have lower energy densities.

The battery’s voltage, which Toshiba did not specifically disclose, is lower than the 3.6 volts of present lithium ion batteries. The prototype has a capacity of 600mAh and measures 8mm thick, 62mm high and 35mm deep.

A description of the technology comes from the EE Times report:

The battery employs a cobalt-based anode and a non-carbon material cathode in place of carbon material that is used for conventional lithium ion batteries, but Toshiba calls it a lithium ion battery because the electric charge movement depends on lithium ion.

Toshiba achieved the breakthrough by using nanoparticles of several hundred nanometers coated uniformly on the negative electrode and newly developed electrolytic solution. This stable formulation does not react with lithium ions at the cathode in a manner that would lower the battery’s cycle time. The electrolytic solution and nanoparticles enable large number of lithium ions move quickly to the cathode and store in the particles in recharging mode.

Now Toshiba just has to figure out how to scale it and manufacture it. That latter may be complicated by Toshiba’s closing its Li-Ion battery subsidiary last year and selling the plants to Sanyo. Toshiba plans to produce the battery in its fiscal 2006 (ending March 2007).

What caught my eye about the news from Toshiba regarding its new Li-Ion technology was the way consumer electronics websites announced it, explaining that, although they were ooking forward to seeing these batteries in laptops and camcorders, they would have to get in line behind hybrids. Looks like the Li-Ion market is shifting!

It will also be interesting to see how well these batteries can improve energy capture during regen braking.

The whole justification for hydrogen is re-fueling as fast as filling a gas tank.

I would think that batteries that charge in 1 minute would eliminate the need for hydrogen!

I think the potential for a fast recharge has been overlooked in most of the reports on this battery. Sure its great for regenerative braking, but it also eliminates a lot of the range arguments against pure electric cars. At a sweep it creates the potential for doubling the range, since one could assume recharging at the destination (an unreasonable assumption if a recharge takes a few hours). Similarly, for long journeys a one or two minute break every hour is not an unreasonable expectation.

The gains compound, i.e. if a car (or scooter or bike) only has to travel one hour between recharges, then the mass of batteries to be carried can be reduced, which means less energy needed to carry the batteries around, and so on.

I'd love to get a set of these for my electrified pushbike, it would make it practical for a LOT more uses than currently.

- Mitra

I've long argued the advantages hybrid tech has over hydrogen. This latest improvement in batteries (applicable to hybrids) is significant, but not nearly as important as the others.

Hybrid drive is applicable to all weight class of vehicle. The engines can run on a variety of fuels, including hydrogen, maximizing combustion efficiency and emissions reductions.

There are many advantages from the batteries, no matter how fast they may be recharged. Their weight lowers center-of-gravity improving vehicle stability and handling. They create a real home-power supply, unlike hydrogen, impractical to generate and store at household level.

Rooftop photovoltiac systems could, let's say should, become an important future power source. What better way to get educated about energy consumption than by metering the household supply?

The biggest advantage I save for last. Hint: We drive too much, too far, for too many purposes, at too high cost with too high impact. The economic incentive of owning a car that can be recharged off the utility grid or solar panel is powerful, (pardon the pun). No car, no matter how fueled, can ameliorate the impacts of auto-related infrastructure, nor continue to dominate urban/suburban transportation system modality.

The car is a Constitutional Inequity. Their very presence is a severe hindrance upon walking, bicycling and mass transit. And, cars enable a development pattern that also undermines the functionality of other means of travel. Hybrids can redirect urban/suburban development that supports a multi-modal mix of travel options to destinations built with walking, bicycling and mass transit in mind; instead of today's driving as the only option. :PPTTY:

In the future I think we will have to move away from from personal cars to mass transit, biking, etc. simply because when fossil fuels are gone hydrogen and alt fuels will be too expensive to use on the same scale that we use today. The hydrogen economy is not gonna happen. America does not have the political will to do anything but follow the path of least resistance. By the time there is any action on transitioning, the economy will already be tanked from high gas prices and nobody will be able to afford a new car or pay for the infrastructure.

These new batteries may be the thing that makes the phev (plug in optional hybrid electric vehicles) practical. This new generation of hybrids will allow drivers to do most of their local in town driving almost entirely on electric power. Maybe Toyota will give the go ahead to mass produce its Prius which CalCars has been experimenting with. Even grid recharging at an aproximate cost of 3 cents a mile is far more environmentally friendly and affordable than using gas to drive the same distance. If you charge on solar or wind that's really eco friendly.

Battery of car .price ,qualty.

Imagine what these batteries could do for the Tesla Roadster EV. Go to http://www.teslamotors.com to see what I mean. That car can go 250 miles on a single charge, but it still needs 3 hours to charge fully. If this battery were to replace that, just imagine the possibilities.

These batteries are very interesting. I did some math, and to practically charge your vehicle in your garage would still take 2-3 hours. Power delivery being the limiting factor (208 V at about 30 A). But a properly designed battery system and Service Stations with some high electric power capability could theoretically charge the bank of batteries in a few minutes using some large wires akin to the large hose on the gas pump. Basically the system needs to charge in parallel and discharge in series. This should be a doable problem. I am looking forward to this product for my future concept for recreational vehicles. We can keep philosophy on driving and fitness out of this discussion. The down side is nothing is cheap or free for long. Once a few folks too many have such vehicles, the utility companies will be charging a higher rate on a separate meter to essentially equate to the same cost per mile as the gas companies are charging. Then we will find ourselves again at the mercy of big industry and corporate greed and politics.

These batteries are very interesting. I did some math, and to practically charge your vehicle in your garage would still take 2-3 hours. Power delivery being the limiting factor (208 V at about 30 A). But a properly designed battery system and Service Stations with some high electric power capability could theoretically charge the bank of batteries in a few minutes using some large wires akin to the large hose on the gas pump. Basically the system needs to charge in parallel and discharge in series. This should be a doable problem. I am looking forward to this product for my future concept for recreational vehicles. We can keep philosophy on driving and fitness out of this discussion. The down side is nothing is cheap or free for long. Once a few folks too many have such vehicles, the utility companies will be charging a higher rate on a separate meter to essentially equate to the same cost per mile as the gas companies are charging. Then we will find ourselves again at the mercy of big industry and corporate greed and politics.

Marc: I doubt the utility companies can hike the electricity prices in the way you describe; nothing stops one from plugging into a normal rate plug.

Few minute recharge at a station I can see. Long enough to grab a coffee and some food. Electricity cost for recharge is around $2. Station charges$5 for a nice 250% profit margin. Or buy a meal and get the recharge for free.

Electricity's a big win for gas stations over gasoline: smaller transport costs (gas truck vs. wire), no need to have explosive gasoline on premises, bigger margins, more motorists thanks to electricity being cheap, motorists stop more often thanks to the lower range of electric cars.

First of all...to David, if that were ever to happen, places like Los Angeles would cease to exist because it is not very practical to be able to use mass transit everywhere to get around in LA. Personal vehicles are almost a necessity here to get anything done. I also agree with Marc. Utility and power companies already charge higher rates for companies that use more power. Electricity isn't necessarily a big win for gas stations because of the cost of transition from gas to electricity and the oil and gas companies won't like that much either and will resist the change. I think these batteries however show much potential in generating a lot of energy in especially something like hybrid technology which needs to generate lots of energy quickly.

Utility Co may "try" to get higher rates, but it will be very difficult for them. Nothing can prevent you from plugging into your household electrical system. If they raise rates overall, they will face huge public outcries (witness CA energy "crisis")...not to mention, YOU can get get electricity elsewhere (i.e Solar, and your own genrators -- a Prius for example), so when rates goes highter than Solar panel cost, guess who loses. Electricity needs/genration is far too diverse for the utilities to fully control (unlike Oil needs).

About the only thing they can do is raise rates for gas station selling recharging power (because that's one place they can -- and likely -- control)...but that's ok, since most of us dont go on long trip that often, and will recharge at home.

And if these batteries gets into hybrids and EVs, it's not gonna be gas station, it's gonna be Electric Company's Charge stations, with full concession offerings. The oil companies dont have to convert their gas stations, utilities will do that for them.

Believe it or not, I see Oil company only long term survivor plans is to PROMOTE Hybrids, where gasoline is till used in case ultility tries to hyjack transportation revenue. Or they can buy out battery tech companies (happens before)...and put us all into the on-comming man-made ice age.

Kudos for Toshiba! Just dont sell out to big Oil.

Toshiba could make a fortune selling notebook replacement batteries and chargers. Freedom at last!

Is the next Great Block Buster going to be "Who Killed Toshiba's New Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery, Recharges in Only One Minute? It will rank right up there with "Who Killed the Electric Car?

Yeah, so what happened to this any way, there was the press release on March 29th, 2005, and then total silence. Was it just Toshiba running it's mouth, or does any one know where there has been something more recent?

I have not heard any more of the Toshiba technology either, but a company called A123 Systems now sells a cell with nanoscale coatings called M1 that has been employed in Dewalt's 36v tool line.

Fast recharging with any battery is a doubled-edged sword, but the specs on this battery technology is proving to be promising.

My interest in it is in development of an ultra-light, enclosed e-bike:

• 200 Kg including rider weight.
• 100 Km/hr max. speed (although 70 Km/hr is comfortable surface street speed).
• 50 Km range, with huge acceleration use.
• Portable battery bank (read: "roller carry-on") for recharge within workplace.

The battery component for this vehicle lends itself very well to the new A123 batteries: total battery weight would be between 15 and 20 Kg!

I believe that Jahn is on the right track here. A123 Systems are also in partnership with General Motors. Look forward to big things there. I am also looking at the De Walt 36V battery range.

Here in South Australia an electric bicycle is regulated like an ordinary bicycle (no drivers licence required) but only up to a useless 200W output.

Petrol-powered mopeds (around 3kW output) are regulated differently and you need a car licence to operate one. However that is not really a problem.

The law may be similar elsewhere, so you really should start talking about building electric mopeds, not electric bicycles. This way you are not power-limited when you put it on the market.

Best of luck.

Alex Fiedler
www.solarhome.com.au

If you need a new laptop battery, I suggest you could purchase one from batteryfast.com , which would shipping to you fast and the quality is satisfy satisfied.:)

need more information. where to purchase and size. ihave a concept on how to charge on the move.

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This is a huge break though for electric vehicle manufacturers all over the world. The comment made on the gas stations putting up their rates are valid but the reality of this situation is far larger then you think. While we have been pumping their gas into our tanks at the unbelievably high prices they have been charging. They have not so secretly been off reinvesting in all things renewable. So by the time Toshiba gets these batteries/technology to the market they will own or be about to own a majority stake in the company.

The worst part about this is, it's using our money to do it. We have recently seen capitalism fail us on a grand scale in the US. Barack Obama in his first speech to the the nation made comment that we had been filling the pockets of our enemies for to long. If you get that, then you know who the real enemy is..

I just wish the governments of today would wake up and instead of spending millions on failing systems. They would reinvest in retraining our nations on green technologies and green jobs. Its the only way forward from here. Yet our kids are still being taught the same things to go to the same jobs that won't be there in 10 years.

Congratulations on batteries and the technology. Lets fix the problem and fix the source. its better to be a Lion for one day then to be a Sheep for a 1000... www.savetheworldtech.com