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Toshiba Launches New Li-Ion Battery Business; Plans to Enter Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Market

Scib
The SCiB offers high power performance, equivalent to that of an electric double layer capacitor, according to Toshiba. Click to enlarge.

Toshiba Corporation announced the commercial launch of the SCiB—the Super Charge ion Battery—a fast-charging battery that offers excellent safety and a long-life cycle of over 10 years, even under conditions of constant rapid charging. The safety characteristics of SCiB allow recharge with a current as large as 50 amperes (A), allowing the SCiB Cell and SCiB Standard Module to recharge to 90% of full capacity in only five minutes, according to Toshiba.

Toshiba aims to make the SCiB a mainstay of its industrial systems and automotive products businesses, with global sales of ¥100 billion (US$895 million) targeted for fiscal year 2015. For the automotive market, Toshiba plans initial application in hybrid cars, and intends to extend the application to electric cars in the future after advancing development of a high-performance SCiB cell. The first SCiB will be shipped from March 2008.

According to a report in the Nikkei, Toshiba will begin producing 150,000 batteries a month at a Saku, Nagano Prefecture, factory. It will shift to mass production by 2010 with plans to make 600,000 cells for hybrid and electric vehicles and 400,000 batteries for forklifts and other industrial equipment.

With the SCiB Toshiba has progressed beyond the breakthrough in fast recharging lithium-ion technology that it announced in March 2005. (Earlier post.) For the SCiB, Toshiba adopted a new non-carbon anode material offering a high level of thermal stability; a high flash point electrolyte; and a structure resistant to internal short circuiting and thermal runaway.

This is a truly innovative battery. The excellent performance of the SCiB will assure its successful application in industrial systems and in the electronic vehicles markets as a new energy solution. In terms of environmental impacts, the SCiB offers a long life that will reduce waste.

—Toshiharu Watanabe, Corporate Vice President of Toshiba Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of Toshiba's Industrial Systems Company

A SCiB Standard Module comprises ten 4.2 Ah, 2.4V SCiB cells aligned in series connection and a battery management system (BMS) that monitors voltage and temperature in order to protect the cells in case of emergency, and that balances the state of charge in each cell. The SCiB cell weighs approximately 150 grams; the module weight approximately 2 kilos.

Capacity loss after 3,000 cycles of rapid charge and discharge is less than 10%. SCiB is able to repeat the charge-discharge cycle over 5,000 times (more than 10 years with a once-a-day cycle). SCiB operates well in temperature extremes, with sufficient discharge at temperatures as low as -30°C.

Comments

Andras Soltesz

This battery would be ideal for the Prius since it would at least triple the efficiency of power regeneration during braking. Instead of the current <30% regeneration rate (the Nimh battery cannot absorb more), efficiency could go up to ~80%. I assume, this would improve the mileage of the current Prius at least by 20%.

Toyota and Toshiba are in the same keiretsu, so this battery should make it into the Prius (instead of waiting for the Panasonic one for another 2-3 years)

Egmonster

Emphyrio warned:
"Special infrastructure required to recharge [at tens or hundreds of kW] in 5 minutes."

To keep from browning-out the local grid, a fast recharge station (whether serving forklifts or travelling automobiles) would need to store power in these or similar fast discharge units: a significant capital cost for this convenience.

But... once a second-generation or "high-performance SCiB cell" is available, bulky first-generation modules being traded in could be reused in such stationary fast-charge stations for the remainder of the units' working life. Resale value may encourage early adopters. Discounted power banks could then encourage many new stations to invest in fast-recharge capability. More stations then encourage more EV purchases.

Probability of this positive feedback response is inversely proportional to the cost of first-generation SCiBs.

Brian H

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lawal saheed a

I NEED ACONPRENSIVE BATTERY BUSINESS PLAN PROPOSAL

LAWAL SAHEED A

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Brad

What if plug in electric hybrid vehicles came with a battery life saving button that drivers could set to mild, med or high discharge levels depending on the price of fuel at any given time.
Theoretically during an energy price crisis drivers could switch to the higher deep discharge rate which is harder on the battery but could be balanced out by the higher cost for fuels?
Who'd of thought averting future energy crisis could be as easy as pushing a button.

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