A key focus of electric vehicle (EV) makers is maximizing the range users can get from each charge, and for that reason new battery technologies are poised to play a huge part in driving their adoption. Toshiba has developed a new fast-charging battery it claims could allow EVs to travel three times as far as they do now, and then be fully recharged again in a matter of minutes.
Toshiba's SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery) has been around in various formssince 2007, with its chief claim to fame an ability to charge to 90 percent of capacity in just five minutes. It also boasts a life-span of 10 years and high levels of safety, and has found its way into a number of notable EVs, including Mitsubishi's i MiEV and Honda's Fit EV.
The current SCiB uses lithium titanium oxide as its anode, but Toshiba says it has now come up with a better way of doing things. The next-generation SCiB uses a new material for the anode called titanium niobium oxide, which Toshiba was able to arrange into a crystal structure that can store lithium ions more efficiently. So much so, that the energy density has been doubled.
Toshiba has tested out a 50-Ah version of the new battery and reckon that it too boasts excellent safety and a long life cycle, retaining more than 90 percent of its capacity after 5,000 charge cycles. It says that if incorporated into a compact EV, it would allow for a range of 320 km (186 mi) after just a six minutes of ultra-rapid charging, which is around three times the range offered by a standard, similarly charged lithium-ion battery.
"We are very excited by the potential of the new titanium niobium oxide anode and the next-generation SCiBTM," says Dr. Osamu Hori, Director of Corporate Research & Development Center at Toshiba Corporation. "Rather than an incremental improvement, this is a game changing advance that will make a significant difference to the range and performance of EV. We will continue to improve the battery's performance and aim to put the next-generation SCiBTM into practical application in fiscal year 2019."