Electric cars, scooters and bicycles are here already, but conducting a long road trip on a fully electric car has a problem: range. For instance, manufacturers of compact electric cars may specify a 200 mile / 350 km range for their vehicles, but in reality, the range can be one-fourth or one-third shorter than that. Toshiba’s solution to the problem is the SCIB vehicle battery that fully charges in six minutes.
That’s simply amazing. For me, the battery problem that causes the limited range for electric vehicles is solved – if the battery delivers in real life. Toshiba’s SCIB promises to be able to recharge a compact car battery with 320 km range in six minutes. I am ready to leave on a long road trip on an electric car that has a battery like this.
The thing is that the driver needs a break every now and then, or in a case of multiple drivers, the car needs to be stopped anyhow and it always means a short convenience break. Any break during a road trip lasts longer than six minutes. Of course, you still have plan ahead and stop where a charging station is available, but still.
Toshiba’s SCIB is a Lithium-Ion battery where a new anode material, titanium niobium oxide has been applied. That’s the key to achieving double the capacity of the anode of current lithium-ion batteries. In other words, the SCIB battery can charge three times more energy than a typical Li-Ion battery in six minutes.
Toshiba says that extensive tests of a 50Ah prototype of the new battery has confirmed that it retains the long life cycle, low-temperature operation, safety and rapid recharging capacity. Even after 5,000 charge/discharge cycles the SCiB battery maintains over 90% of its initial capacity. Ultra-rapid recharging can be achieved in cold conditions as well, with temperatures as low as -10°C (full recharge takes ten minutes in freezing conditions).
Toshiba aims to commercialize the next-generation SCiB by 2019. Let’s hope electric vehicle manufacturers are already taking this into account when they are designing their next touring car models.