Volkswagen AG and the Toshiba Corporation signed a letter of intent to cooperate for the development of electric drive units and the accompanying power electronics for Volkswagen’s planned New Small Family. Furthermore, Volkswagen and Toshiba are planning the development of battery systems with a high specific energy density for the next generation of electric vehicles.
Volkswagen’s objective, said Prof. Dr Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management, is to be the first manufacturer to provide an emissions-free, affordable and safe large-scale production electric vehicle.
Volkswagen is forging ahead with the development of future drive technologies in many different areas. In order to further strengthen our position, Volkswagen is investing in the long term and is offering cooperation projects to other companies. One of the important components in this context is the cooperation with Toshiba. I am convinced that this will be a major step forward towards the development of series production electric vehicles for our customers.
A considerable amount of research and development work still has to be carried out until we can produce the electric vehicle, in the field of lithium-ion battery technology in particular and this is an area in which the Volkswagen Group is working with further potential technological partners alongside Toshiba.—Prof. Dr Martin Winterkorn
Among its other efforts, Toshiba is commercializing its new fast-charging SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery) lithium-ion battery (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. Toshiba said that for the automotive market, it 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.
Toshiba launched the SCiB with a 4.2 Ah cell version. In May 2008, Toshiba said it is developing a 3.0 Ah high-power version of the cell specifically for hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications. (Earlier post.)
In September 2008, Cannondale Sports Group, a global provider of branded bicycles and a division of Dorel Industries, Inc., selected the SCiB battery to provide the power battery module for a new electric bicycle for the North American and European markets. (Earlier post.)
Toshiba’s SCiB 24V/4.2 Ah module will be installed in the Tailwind, a new electric bicycle Cannondale Sports Group will bring to market under the Schwinn Bicycles brand. Commercial launch of the Tailwind is scheduled for early 2009.