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Toshiba’s SCiB battery for the Fit EV

20Ah SCiB cell. Click to enlarge.

Honda selected Toshiba Corporation’s SCiB rechargeable Li-ion battery to power the Fit EV. (Earlier post.) Toshiba will supply battery modules for the new car, which Honda will launch in summer 2012 in Japan and the US.

In 2010, Toshiba announced that it was working with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation to bring the SCiB battery (earlier post) to electric vehicles (EVs). (Earlier post.) Toshiba developed the SCiB module for the FIT EV with Honda; the module was supplied to Honda in December 2010 for evaluation in real-world verification testing of next-generation personal mobility products that the company conducted with Saitama and Kumamoto prefectures.

Honda selected the SCiB module for the FIT EV after a comprehensive evaluation program that tested the battery’s performance under diverse and demanding conditions.

The SCiB cells use lithium titanate oxide in the battery anode, enabling rapid charge times and a long battery life, with stable power discharge in a wide range of environments. In extremely cold conditions as low as -30°C the SCiB is less likely to experience lithium metal deposition, which enhances the risk of internal short circuiting and battery degradation, and at high temperature, even above 40°C, the impact on battery degradation is lower than in conventional lithium-ion batteries, according to Toshiba.

The characteristics of the SCiB battery cell enable longer range for electric vehicles; the SCiB is able to use a wider state of charge window than a conventional lithium-ion battery, and the SCiB also achieves efficient regenerative charging (using kinetic energy from braking and slowing down to charge the battery) that adds to performance.

The SCiB charges in about half the time of a typical Li-ion battery, Toshiba says. An SCiB 20Ah cell charged with an 80Ah current will reach 80% of capacity in 15 minutes and 95% in an additional 3 minutes. The SCiB generates little heat even during this fast recharging, eliminating the need for power to cool the battery module. Moreover, the full charge-discharge cycle for SCiB is 4,000 times, more than 2.5 times that of other Li-ion batteries. This long life could also contribute to the reuse of the battery.

Toshiba says that it will take full advantage of Honda’s selection of the SCiBT to promote its further application in electric vehicles. The company will also promote use of the battery in other areas, including as a stationary power storage device in smart grids.



This battery, with it's quick charge specs, has been around since 2007. Glad to see it's used on more than a bicycle and may the price be low enough.


Extra long life, very deep & very quick discharge/recharge capabilities, all weather operation etc etc could make this battery a real work horse for electrified vehicles.

The average energy density and high cost will be improved with better assembly/materials and mass production.


Woo-hoo, or however this American exclamation of great joy is spelt!
this battery is a real game changer, and it is wonderful to see it in cars.


Yes far, only Harold H. Kung (from Northwestern U.) and Dr Fichtner & Reddy (from KIT) have designed much superior batteries, but they are 3 to 5 years from commercialization while the Toshiba unit could be installed in 2012 EVs.

It seems that 2015-2017 could be the year of commercialization of breakthrough EV batteries with 10x the energy density capacity, quicker charge/discharge and longer life under adverse conditions.

Meanwhile, this Toshiba unit is an excellent interim solution.

Nick Lyons

95% charge in 18 minutes? Wow.

Bob Wallace

"full charge-discharge cycle for SCiB is 4,000 times"

Am I correct in thinking that if you had a 100 mile range EV using these batteries and did ~full discharge each use you should expect a 400,000 mile lifespan for the batteries?


Yes Bob, that's the claim. Such a lifespan could really lower the per mile costs.

And if 80% capacity is still left, imagine the thousands of 3rd world cell phones that could still be recharged.


400,000miles to 80% at which point the batteries are still quite useful.

TOC (ex chasis, motor, and a few others)

20kw/h battery at $500/kw/h=$10,000
20kw/h per 123 miles (per Honda press release)=6.15miles per kw/h
400,000miles/6.15= 65,040kw/h @ $0.10/kw/h=$6,504
$6,504/0.90 (charging losses)= $7,226
TOC $17,226

Internal Combustion Engine
30mpg (combined rating) 400,000/miles/30mpg=13,333gallons
13,333x$3.50/gallon (conservative)= $46,666

The SCiB Fit comes out WAY ahead. Even if you price the batteries at $1/w it still comes out way ahead and I'm not even counting the savings from reduced service costs (oil changes, filter changes, tune ups, etc).

Bob Wallace

With 400,000 mile batteries and industrial quality electric motors we could reach a point at which you would buy an EV and after 150,000 - 200,000 miles buy a 'sled' and have your batteries and motor transplanted.

Send the old worn out body and frame off for recycling.


Actually for a 4,000 cycle battery down to 80% with 100 mile range you should take 90 miles as the average range over time, so you get 360,000 miles in total.
From the specs I have seen I think that Toshiba is just being conservative in their claims though as they claim 6,000 fast charge cycles for the chemically similar 4.2 Ah battery.
To be able to get maximum range they have likely allowed an SOC of 95%, and so chopped the cycle life accordingly.
In practise though most will only do around 12,000 miles a year, or 33 miles/day, and so will rarely drain the battery and shorten cycle life.
I reckon most people will get around 500,000 miles out of these, which is not 'too bad!' ;-)


BW may be correct, specially if made of aluminium and/or re-enforced plastics. If so, our Big-3 will not be interested to sell us electrified vehicles good for 500,000+ miles. That would mean 5 times less vehicles to build and sell and even a lot less to repair.

Could you imagine 4 out of every 5 car plants closing down and probably 9 out of 10 repair shops and part dealers closing their doors.

The arrival of high quality longer lasting EVs will change and even send a shock wave throughout the car market/industry. A lot of people will have to look for other jobs (if any to be found).

The 20-hour (2.5 days) work week may not be that far away.

Bob Wallace

Our Big-3 will sell us what we purchase. There's far too much competition world-wide for even a group of manufacturers to control production.

The entry level for producing EVs is much lower than producing ICEVs. Electric motors and batteries can be purchased from a variety of manufacturers. "Windshields and seats" are made by lots of manufacturers. Car companies are becoming designers and assemblers.

Imagine one or more companies marketing the frames and running gear for body-on-frame EVs. Other companies designing bolt-on bodies. Putting that together with the best battery pack and motors to fit the design.

We could have incredible choice in body style and features.

A stainless steel or aluminum frame could mean multiple bodies using the same frame/batteries/motor.


Perhaps a 40 hour week with a 20 year work career might be a better route. Keep the younger ones busy until they've outgrown their "youthful ways"..... ;o)


Yes Bob....future basic EVs could be assembled 1001 different ways. With in-wheels e-motors, modular batteries, snap-in seats, standardized black box controls and cables, etc one could imagine buying a basic BEV as a kit and snapping it together in the home garage.

Mass produced, standardized, pre-painted sub-assemblies, purchased at IKEA or equivalent, could be assembled by future buyers during their extended spare time.

Working 2 or 3 days a week for 40 years may be better for our children's and grand-children's health than retiring at 40? They may elect to choose how to best distribute reduced work hours. No one unique system may be used but there will be less work hours available unless we start building pyramids again.


You guys are dreaming. We will have 10% of the people working 60-80 hours a week and making all the money there is, while the remainder are unemployed and starving -- it is the free enterprise model.

If our society could redefine "quality of life" as something other than GDP, things might change. Come to think of it, when 90% are unemployed, things will change. Oh yes think 3D printing for the bodies.


With a decent composite body a vehicle could last a long time


LED lights last ages. There is no gearbox to go wrong, no oil to leak.
It would seem that the present 15 years for cars should stretch to over 20 at the least, and Toshiba rate their batteries as 20 year plus batteries, as we don't know fully the effects of calender age, as opposed to cycle life.


JMartin....yes, multi-layers 3D printers may be the first step towards future fully automated mini-factories capable of producing just about everything one wishes (except living creatures). It will only be limited by available compatible input materials and that will evolve quickly during the next 10 to 20 years. The design side (a multitude of digital application programs) will evolve much faster.

This may sound a bit Star Trek but future 3D printer generations will use energy to material transformers to produce a multitude of input feed stocks to satisfy the application programs.

On a more serious note, EVs and batteries will evolve at an accelerated pace in the next 10-20 years. Basic, lower cost, extended range (500+ Km) EVs will flood the market by the end of the current decade or early into the next one.

ICE vehicles are on there way out.

Roger Pham

I think that a PHEV with 30-mi AER and a small ICE, sized to provide "base-load" at its peak efficiency point, would be a better option than a pure BEV. This PHEV can travel for 400-500 miles between fill up instead of 100-mile range as a pure BEV. 15-minute charge every 90 miles is still too disruptive for those who must drive long trips every once in a while.

PHEV's are extremely valuable in winters when a lot of waste heat will be needed for cabin heating and windshield defrosting, as well as on very hot summer days when AC consumes a lot of energy that would significantly degrade the range of the BEV's.

When the ICE is smartly coupled with a PHEV drive train, one will get unbeatable efficiency, far more efficient than conventional ICEV or even more efficient than BEV's. This is because one large-size electric motor in a BEV cannot run at its peak efficiency until running at or above 30% load, while a PHEV with a smaller e-motor can run at its peak efficiency much more often. The ICE in the PHEV can be kept warm and used for power-boosting when the driver pushes the "power mode" button. When the "Economy mode" button is pushed, only the electric motor is used. Very little maintenance will be needed for the ICE when it is run only once in a while and not all the time. Oil change every one or two years, and other maintenance schedule may not even be required. Probably no brake nor transmission service will be needed in a HEV or PHEV like the Prius.

On a logistic issue, it is very important to have enough batteries for as many HEV's and PHEV's, to save as much petrol as possible, before building BEV's in large numbers. Five PHEV's each with a 6 kWh pack can save 4 times as much petrol as one BEV with a 30 kWh pack. Likewise, 4 HEV's each with a 1.5 kWh pack can save twice as much petrol as one PHEV with a 6 kWh pack!


Hope GreenPleases math works out in the real world. Lithium chemistry is pricey. I bought a 8 A-h pack for my bike w/ Samsung cells rated at 3C I believe, but run at 2C discharge max. So far, so good.


My... Haven't seen this much enthusiasm on GCC since Stan and EP considered a mud wrestling contest(/sarc.) Lithium titanate is the key to this chemistry - same as AltairNano pioneered years ago. Toshiba's vast scale has brought the cost to mass market level and it is welcome.

Harvey you don't quite grok how human beings work yet. Just because you can make cars all the same (basically) doesn't mean people will want them. Yes there is a vast market for low cost entry level EVs with limited obsolescence. But look at the consumer electronics industry for a clue. The product cycle for new cell phones is 6 months. People want DIFFERENT (aka DIVERSITY.) That's why the Chinese no longer all wear Mao jackets. Who wants to drive the same ole car all the time??

Low cost composites coming out of 3D printers will open a whole new field of innovative design. And with billions of new car buyers - many more automakers will establish brands without the giant overheads needed for ICE. Low cost energy production and storage will put MANY MORE people to work doing stuff they're more likely to want to do. Sounds like a breakthrough. Nice to see positive comments.


Reel$$...yes good effective PR convinced too many that they needed 4-ton vehicles to drive to work. It is a shame to have to admit it. The same people strongly believe that they will soon become $ billionaires. Magic Kingdom fans do not grow up.

Meanwhile, I'm a strong believer in the capacities of future automated multi-layers 3D printers. It could become the mini factories of the future. Many future, much lower cost, batteries and solar cells (and a multitude of other precision parts) could be made (layer by layer) 24/7 with that technology. Of course, larger factories could have a few hundreds/thousand 3D printers but would that really be required. Distributed mini-factories in every town and city may be more cost effective.

Future batteries and solar cells may become a lot cheaper than we think. If so, that would make future BEVs a lot cheaper too.

HarveyD the not too distant future, batteries will be 10 times smaller, cost ten times less per Kwh and will last 5,000+ recharges or about 500,000 miles. Future BEVs will have 2 or 4 high efficiency e-motors electronically controlled to operate at the most efficient point. Those improved e-motors will also last up to 500,000 miles.

Somebody will have to find ways to downgrade batteries and e-motors quality to force owners to buy a new BEV every 10 years or so.


In-wheel, ultra light, e-motors may not be used because they would be too easy to change and/or upgrade by the owners. The same may happened to common sense modular plug-in batteries. We can't allow people to select and installed the most suitable wheels and batteries on their BEVs because they may buy their BEVs without wheels/batteries and get lower cost better units elsewhere or buy the cheapest option and upgrade latter.


Since we're getting all futuristic about electrical storage, let's look at what an MIT PhD in material sciences has to say about near limitless alternative energy:

"Any suitably advanced technology is indistinguishable from a Magic [Kingdom]." Arthur C. Clarke

Dave R

@Roger Pham "I think that a PHEV with 30-mi AER and a small ICE, sized to provide "base-load" at its peak efficiency point, would be a better option than a pure BEV."

Congratulations - you've just described the Chevy Volt. :-) Too bad the efficiency in charge sustaining mode is still a good deal lower than the market leading Prius.

Now imagine if GM had used these SCiB batteries instead of LG batteries and were able to ship with a 11-12 kWh pack (The Volt reportedly uses 10.4 kWh of the pack) instead of a 16 kWh with less thermal management... How does the power/energy density compare of the two cells?

I think you'll end up with 2 classes of cars: 70-150 mile EVs and 15-40 mi PHEVs. Lots of L2 charging stations and strategically placed QC stations will allow most driving to be done on electricity.

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