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Toshiba`s SCiB Battery: Charging in 5 Mins/No Plans for Use in EV Soon


Last week I came across an article about a fuel cell being used in a manned airplane, and I found out that the perspectives of fuel cells being used in actual commercial airplanes as primary sources are not so great, since the companies don’t want hydrogen powering their machines yet, or in the near future.

Now, there’s another piece of information telling that Toshiba has developed an advanced type of Lithium-Ion batteries, the SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery). They say it has the capacity of charging within 5 minutes at 90% of its capacity, and it is being able to bear 5000 to 6000 charges until it starts losing capacity. They used the battery to demonstrate these on a laptop.

Altair Nano also has some type of battery that charges very fast and has a large power density, and has incorporated them into the recently-unveiled Lightning GT electric vehicle. In fact, there are several similarities between the Toshiba SCiB battery and Altair Nano’s: they both use a titanate anode with a cobalt cathode.

The interesting thing is that the price for the new Toshiba SCiB battery is expected to be much lower than Altair’s, who puts about $2/Wh, while Toshiba, having much more capital and much more manufacturing capacity, isn’t expected to ask more than $0.30-$0.40/Wh on their SCiB battery. Even the projected Volt battery is more expensive: $0.63/Wh.

Toshiba has planned to put those super-duper batteries in an electric vehicle! A Bicycle, ladies and gentlemen! Yes, the magnificent bicycle, who will be made in partnership with Schwinn, will have a charging time of 30 minutes, due to the lack of cooling in the small SCiB pack. They also don’t plan into hurrying of mass producing these batteries, even if they would be competitive to Lithium Polymer and could be used in larger electric vehicles.

Here’s a quote from Toshiba: “In addition to applications that include electric bicycles, motorcycles, automated guided vehicles, electric forklift trucks and construction machinery, which already use rechargeable batteries, the SCiB can be applied to electric power regeneration and stabilization in emergency power sources and wind power systems. Application in hybrid cars is also planned, with the intent of extending application to electric cars in the future, after advancing development of a high-performance SCiB cell.”

So, once again, like in the case of hydrogen fuel cells not being wanted to be used in powering planes in the near future, now a large manufacturer like Toshiba doesn’t want to put their batteries immediately in what could ease our fossil fuel related pains. They may need development, testing, perfecting, I understand. But this time, we have larger expectations from Toshiba than we have from other much smaller startups, who struggle a lot more to release something viable.

Hurry up, Toshiba, the world needs good energy storage, and you’ll lose the wave, if you don’t act quick! But… what do we know?

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  1. I just read a few articles saying that Toshiba is working with VW in order to create the worlds first affordable mass production electric vehicle. So I would expect from the efficiency of both the Germans and the Japanese we will be seeing a great product coming out sooner than we think. Look out Tesla Motors.

  2. I don’t think you really understand what you read about the battery. They are planning to bring this to market as soon as possible. They are building 2 factories for them. Your quote even says what they plan to use them for everything. They are actually already in use and were in use about a month after you wrote the article.

    I really don’t understand your attitude towards this because there is a plethora of public info regarding this battery and about how Toshiba is making a huge deal out of it. You yourself even said that they are working on a high performance version of a battery that has godly performance yet for some reason you are acting like Toshiba is holding it back. They themselves describe the battery as a once in a generation breakthrough and are planning to use it in the hugely diverse and dominating market which you listed. They are planing to use it to revolutionize power generation and storage and the transportation industry. I just don’t get your problem.

    Honestly they have not been taking alot of time to perfect the technology. They had the prototype in 2006 or 2007 and are planing to have it in full scale mass production later this year, that is pretty fast. You are being fairly negative the speed of the release of this technology for someone who is just now hearing about it as opposed to people who have been closely following it for 3 years. And to be honest you really only scratched the surface of the benefits of this battery. I would recommend doing more research before you throw up an article like this because you are missing alot of info and are being pretty impatient.


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