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Mitsubishi Motors selects Toshiba SCiB for EVs

20Ah SCiB cell. Click to enlarge.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has selected Toshiba Corporation’s SCiB battery (earlier post) to power two new models of electric vehicles (EV), the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV. In July 2010, the two companies had announced they were working together to bring the SCiB batteries to EVs. (Earlier post.)

With lithium titanate oxide in the anode, the SCiB offers a high level operating safety, 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 into contact and short circuiting, and maintains battery performance levels even in severe operating conditions, including very low temperatures, Toshiba says.

SCiB module for automotive use. Click to enlarge.

The SCiB supports 2.5 times more charge/discharge cycles than a typical lithium-ion battery, according to Toshiba. Charged with the highest current available with CHAdeMO, an SCiB reaches about 80% of full capacity in some 15 minutes, about 50% in 10 minutes and about 25% in 5 minutes for a 10 kWh pack—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.

The SCiB also 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 lithium-ion battery. 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 EVs, 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 (US$10 billion) by fiscal year 2015 from its concentration on motors, inverters and SCiB.



I do not know about Toshiba, but you can get Altairnano kits and batteries at:

The battery is about the size of a car battery and weighs the same, but has 5 times that capacity and can be charged much faster


Tesla can use high energy density cells with a relatively short cycle life simply because the resulting EV range is so good.

For example, a roadster with 200 miles range will only rarely see a full discharge, as most trips will usually take only a 10-20% discharge, so the battery is automatically cycled very gently. Even if you were maxing out the range every day for just 500 cycles, that would take you to 100,000 miles useful life for the pack.

For a PHEV like the Volt, however, I completely agree that the high available SOC utilisation of Lithium titanate is much more suitable than a higher energy density battery, simply because a PHEV is likely to do a 90+% discharge every day.


Hi Clett.
It's noticeable though that Tesla only guarantee their batteries for 3 years - IMO using commodity 18650 is a bit like the dancing bear, the remarkable thing is that it dances at all.
I've just worked out why I reckon Toshiba is saying this pack is only good for around 2.5 times that using a typical battery, when the specs show 6,000 cycles even under fast charge.
The reason that I guess is that that is at an SOC of 85%, and to economise on the kilowatts I reckon they have gone for a much higher SOC of maybe 95% in the battery management, which would hit battery life.
It still sounds conservative to me, as in practise most of the time the battery is not going to be drained that deeply, and also most charges will likely be at normal charge rates extending life by around a factor of 2, but the battery is so good for cycle life that Toshiba might as well state it's cycle life very conservatively.

Hopefully they will also offer the option of a 16kwh pack as they are in the MiniCab, which would give excellent range.
They have announced Canadian pricing:
'It's the all-electric i-MiEV, and despite its fragile, egg-like appearance and alphabet-soup name, Nissan should be worried. With their much-hyped Leaf poised to bow in Canada at a hair under $39,000, buyers interested in getting into the EV market will certainly be checking out Mitsubishi's zero-emissions car: it's going to list at $32,998.'

I reckon with the Toshiba's low temperature performance and durability that is an excellent price, although of course the car is not as plush as the Leaf.


I would like to thank those commenting and GCC for the battery information.

I may be wrong(rare :>), but I don't think society realizes the impact that ~10 minute recharges will have.

Imagine that while drinking your McD's coffee, you recharged the ebike that got you there (or car, laptop, personal fan, handy power supply and any known appliance plugged into it..).

As the 'too big to fail' foreclose on 'the rest of us' - the multitudes of future US homeless will want a few perks for old times sake.


10 minutes, kelly? They ain't THAT slow!
' The SCiBTM cell being shipped for industrial applications can charge 90% of the capacity in five minutes. But, we have shortened this to 1.5 minutes with the one we have developed for HEVs'

Mind you, it would take one heck of a charger!

kelly is impressive.

Note that:

at 1C x 70 min = full charge -> 70 charge units

at 12C x 12 min = full charge -> 144 charge units

so the quick charge uses ~twice the energy.

Waiting for battery co. return email, prices, and shipping..


Nah it doesn't keep pumping the juice in at the same rate after the battery is around 90% charged.
The battery management means that it finishes off by pretty well trickle charging - they all work the same way.
The battery would end up red-hot if it was wasting that much heat!
It is clearer if you look at the 3C and 12C charging up to around 92%


Davemart, you could be right.

In any case, I wish the article would give a cell price for comparisons with other batteries.


I'm not sure which bit of:
'The only batteries having significantly higher density are NMC batteries, but OTOH they cannot safely be discharged down to the same level as lithium titanate.' you do not understand.

They can make relative statements all they want. Let them throw down their energy density numbers if they're so great. I know you think they are 150Wh/kg but I doubt it. The batteries in the Leaf, according to the Nissan rep I spoke to, can be discharged about as far. I don't know what battery Toshiba refers to with their "typical lithium-ion battery" statement. Perhaps they're talking about Winstons. Who knows?

The lithium titanate batteries are certainly not bad for energy density when compared to those in current cars like the Leaf.

In addition the Panasonic batteries you refer to have problems even hitting a 500 cycle life, as against 6,000 for lithium titanate:

I don't know what the cycle life of the Panasonics are but I do know even if they are only 500 it's not nearly as bad as you seem to think. Unless you are discharging them as much as possible each charge (ie, a full cycle) they'll last a long time. If a car has a 160 mile range and it's mostly only driven 50 miles or less before it's plugged in again, it will last a long long time. 6,000 cycles is really overkill for a BEV. How many people put a million miles on their car?

Now the easiest way to stretch cycle life is to use less of the battery, as they really do not like deep discharge.
That is why the GS Yuasa ones the Toshiba's are replacing needed 16kwh to do the same job as the 10kwh of the Toshiba.

It's not going to do the same job as the 16 kWh Mitsu iMiEV. Mitsubishi is using it for a shorter range, more affordable model.

The SCiB is a great battery for some applications but for a practical BEV with real world range of 150 miles or more, it's not so great. The 240Wh/kg cells from Panasonic kills it.


Hi Kelly.
That is just the way all batteries work, including AA rechargeable.
It is also why if you look at the claimed charge rates for Level III charging they always say 'to 80% in x minutes' and then give a far longer time for 100%.
You would damage the battery if you tried to fast charge it to the maximum, and that applies to all chemistries.


When you add in all the extra materials to assemble, manage, heat, and cool the Panasonic cells, plus the need to use shallower cycling, much of their advantage disappears. They are still better but not as much as the raw Wh/kg numbers would suggest.


Dont discount a 60 mile BEV that your grandkids can be driving when its 20 years old and still get the 60 miles of range.. perfect for going to school.

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