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Toshiba To Spend Up to $331M on New Plant to Manufacture SCiB Li-ion Batteries

Nikkei. Toshiba Corp. will spend up to ¥30 billion ($US331 million) to build a plant to manufacture its new SCiB Li-ion battery. (Earlier post.)

Toshiba, which last December announced the general commercial launch of a 4.2 Ah cell version of its fast-charging SCiB—Super Charge ion Battery—lithium-ion battery is also developing a 3.0 Ah high-power version of the cell specifically for hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications. (Earlier post.)

The new plant, to be built in Niigata Prefecture, would increase Toshiba’s production capacity for SCiB batteries by about 70-fold, according to The Nikkei. The company is targeting production levels of 10 million cells a month by 2015, with annual sales targeted at ¥200 billion (US$2.2 billion).

In December 2007, Toshiba unveiled a plan to use its SCiB to enter the battery market for industrial equipment applications. It set up machinery at a plant in Nagano Prefecture capable of producing 150,000 units a month, which it currently uses to manufacture SCiB batteries for electric bicycles and other products.

Toshiba uses a lithium titanate (LTO) material in its anode for improved safety and support for fast recharge. An LTO anode supports high rate capabilities and fast charge even at low temperatures.


Sean Lee

I am not sure about all these EV stuff...Do we even have enough lithium for all EVs to be made? i meant we want to go electric because oil is finite resource but isn't lithium finite as well? and what would happen to all the batteries being used? and enviroments that would be destroyed for digging up lithium? and CO2 emission from battery factories? i don't really think EV is great for enviroment. I think biofuel is better choice because it is infinite and CO2 nuetral...



We've got plenty of Li. Take a look on a map of Bolivia: look at the southwestern area. That salt flat (big white thing, looks like a glacier) has all the lithium we'll ever need. Not to mention it can be recovered and recycled from old/used battery packs.

We'll have to destroy that salt flat but it is unlikely that anything lives there anyways.

Biofuel is a bad idea because, simply, we can't grow enough and the EROEI is horrible. Not always CO2 neutral, I'll add.


I'll also add that Toshiba's SCiB batteries are very promising. Perfect for mild and full hybrids. Energy density is too low for a PHEV, however. 5000 full discharge cycles to 20% of original capacity is pretty stout.

Sean Lee

GreenPlease: are you sure that we can recycle lithium from the battery? All i know is that we can only recover cobalt from used batteries and nothing other than that

Sean Lee

well we can grow enough biofuel with 3rd gen technology

Sean Lee

So Bolivia has most of lithium and it's gonna be the next middle east? I think this will not allow to bring the cost down of batteries even if it's mass produced becuase one country holds the key resources and the demand is rising...sorry people EV does not have bright future unless carbon nanotube batteries come out.

Sean Lee

Maybe I'm wrong about lithium being unrecyclable. hmm anybody know details on recycling of lithium element from lithium ion battery?


This is the same basic formula that Altair Nano uses. The density should be fine for PHEVs provided there is a range extender like on the Fisker and Volt.

Toyota has been concerned about safety with Li batteries which caused them to push back EV products to a 2011 start. Before then we'll have at least two PHEVs with Li batteries - one of which is already on the road - Tesla. So far there appear to be no problems.

Lithium is recyclable but there are some concerns about its effects at the nano scale. While not toxic to humans on a larger scale - recycling batteries such as the SCiB needs to be tested for long term enviro impact.



Lithium is in abundance in the earth's crust -- the real question is what is "commercially viable" to harvest using today's technology. When you see estimates about the Lithium world reserve it is only taking into account that amount that can be acquired now and still make a profit.

In the United States, there are several sources for Lithium and, if demand increases, new reserves will be made viable (see King Valley in Nevada). Still, Lithium is relatively cheap and does not play a significant role in the total cost of Li-ion batteries -- they are very complex to manufacture and only this kind of investment will help bring down the total cost.

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