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Mitsubishi has turned to Toshiba's proprietary lithium titanate oxide SCiB battery technology to power its electric i-MiEV and Minicab MiEV, leaving behind the i-MiEV's GS Yuasa LIM series batteries.

Toshiba developed SCiB to meet a series of demanding performance and safety criteria. By successfully employing lithium titanate oxide in the anode, Toshiba says its SCiB tech is safe, durable and capable of charging at an extremely rapid pace. According to Toshiba, SCiB batteries can withstand 2.5 times more charge/discharge cycles than a typical lithium-ion battery. Additionally, recharging via CHAdeMO is lightning quick – the SCiB battery reached 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes, 50 percent in ten minutes and 25 percent in five minutes. Those recharge times, according to Toshiba, are about half as long as it takes using a typical li-ion battery.

In terms of performance, SCiB batteries supposedly offer 1.7 times more range than an equivalent li-ion unit, which means that automakers can either reduce the size and weight of the battery pack or keep the dimensions identical and offer more range. Which path do you think Mitsubishi will choose? Hat tip to David!

[Source: Toshiba, Integrity Exports]
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Toshiba's SCiB™ Rechargeable Battery Selected by Mitsubishi Motors for New Electric Vehicles
16 Jun, 2011


TOKYO, JAPAN -Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that its SCiB™ battery has been selected by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (TOKYO: 7211) to power two new models of electric vehicles (EV), the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV. The SCiB™ is Toshiba's breakthrough rechargeable lithium-ion battery that combines high levels of safety with a long life, rapid charging and excellent charging and output at very low temperatures, characteristics that make it highly suited to application in EV.

Toshiba developed the SCiB™ to meet a series of demanding performance and safety criteria. By successfully employing lithium titanate oxide in the anode, Toshiba has assured that the SCiB™ offers high level operating safety, a 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.

The SCiB™ pushes the life of the lithium-ion battery to a new level by supporting 2.5 times more charge/discharge cycles than a typical lithium-ion battery. Recharging is also notably better. Charged with the highest current available with CHAdeMO*1, widely seen as the emerging standard for fast charging EV, an SCiB™ reaches about 80 percent of full capacity in some 15 minutes, about 50% in 10 minutes and about 25% in 5 minutes*2 – 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.

Most important of all for real-world application, the SCiB™ delivers high level performance. The SCiB™ 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 environmentally friendly EV, 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 by fiscal year 2015 from its concentration on motors, inverters and SCiB™.

Toshiba will continue to promote sales of the SCiB™ in a global market for lithium-ion batteries that is expected to record sales of some 1 trillion*3 yen in fiscal year 2015.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Also from Mitsubishi and due in 2012 is the PHEV ASX mini SUV, electric only range 50 kilometres: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/motoring/news/article.cfm?c_id=9&objectid=10732003 Mitsubishi said the concept had a range of 50km on battery power before a 1.6-litre petrol engine kicked in to generate electricity for longer journeys. Although powering the front wheels in normal driving, the PX-MiEV can switch to all-wheel drive by powering an electric motor on the rear axle when wheel slip is detected. Mitsubishi says this technology will allow SUV owners to retain their active lifestyles while at the same time reducing their impact on the environment. ' Honda's EV-neo scooter ($5627) is now trialling in Barcelona, and also uses the SCiB: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/06/evneo20110615.html
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        David, So you are suggesting that a typical 4 seater EV that would get about 4 miles per kwh (40 miles per 10 kwh usable Volt), would get over 8 miles per kwh (10 kwh pack going 85 miles) simply due to better regen. braking absorption? I thought normal regen absorption was already around 70%. And that advantage would ZERO in highway testing! How can a LTO pack be 85 or 100 wh/kg and still claim 1.7 times more than Li-Mn???
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Hi guys. Sounds an interesting model, Dave. The first thing I ought to make very clear is that I am no engineer, so am stuck with playing with any figures given at a fairly basic level. So coming from there, I simply took the ~30% efficiency that regenerative braking is said to be good for, and various statements I have seen that the limit is the batteries capacity to absorb energy quickly together with Mitsubishi's claims for more efficient regen using the Toshiba's. It is their claims, not mine! A couple of points. At the pack level this battery is around 75wh/kg, so would weigh around 133kgs, not 100. I suspect though that they are in fact using the 10.5kwh pack that they use in the MiniCab, as it makes sense to just do one small pack design. That would give them about a true 10kwh of usable energy, which perhaps is not so very much less than whatever the usable energy of the Yuasa pack is. Whatever, at 75Wh/kg they are going to save about 80kgs in weight for the pack, which itself will tend to increase range. My understanding is also that an electric motor has considerable flexibility above it's rated capacity for transient loads, so that a nominal 47kw motor might be able to handle 60-70kw for a couple of seconds in a braking event.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Putting some (guess)timated figures on the SOC: If the Yuasa battery used 80% of it's capacity, then 12.8kwh was good for 85 miles. If the Toshiba uses 95% ( 85% on the spec sheets, but that is for a 6,000 fast charge cycle life, they seem to reckon they will get about 2,500 cycles or so in this application ) then it has 9.5kwh available That's about 75% of the capacity of the Yuasa, with the remaining 25% to be made up by better regen. If the Yuasa only used 70% ( more than the Volt ) then the Toshiba would have ~85% of the usable capacity.
          Dave D
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Hey Guys, I can help with some of the calculations on the regen braking... The i-MiEV weighs ~1,080kg. If you assumed it was going 60mph and slammed on the brakes all the way to 0 mph in about 2 seconds: that's a rate of 175kW being pushed back into the battery pack (I'm assuming about 10% total loss through the system due to mechanical losses, aero losses, electronics, etc). The motor of the i-MiEV is only 47kW so clearly most of that energy would have to be handled by the friction brakes. So, let's look at a more realistic scenario: It turns out that if you're going 35mph and stop in about 2.5 seconds and assume about 10% losses, as I mentioned above, then that comes out to exactly 47kW. I would say an interesting coincidence, but probably a likely design goal since that matches a lot of city driving :-) The 10kWh pack they're talking about here would weigh about 100kg. That means it would only be ******* up .47kW/kg which is NOTHING for this chemistry...or many other Li chemistries really. In fact, the motor is the real limiting factor on the i-MiEV. But anyway, it would be easy to handle 100% of the braking for city driving in this thing through regen only (unless you start going faster or getting really slamming on the brakes). I've put together a model that allows you to play with numbers and compare different combinations of batteries, supercaps, vehicle weights, aerodynamics, etc., etc etc. I used it to model the needs for pure EV and Series-Hybrid racing at Watkins Glen because I found some very detailed segment times that allowed me to factor in losses due to curves, braking, speeds in each segment, etc. I'll clean it up so it's more usable and post it on Google Docs or something so folks can have some fun designing their own car setups. :-)
          JP
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          David, you make an assumption that the current cells somehow can't handle typical regen, which is not at all the case. So unless you normally do panic stops the higher charge acceptance rates of the SCIB cells, or super caps, or whatever, will have minimal to no effect on range. The cell type has no effect on the efficiency losses of regen through the motor and inverter, and if regen current is within the cell specs a higher C rate cell doesn't give you anything.
          Dave D
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          By the way....I made the model where it is really easy to plug in things and not have to be an engineer to have a little fun with it. You can take the specs of your favorite car and play with it a little. Want to make it go further, how much would you need to increase the aerodynamics for highway driving....want to see if it can handle the load assuming you want to go racing an F1 car at Spa and slam on those brakes at 311kph down to 50kph in 1.5 seconds? Well, you'll need to feed XXX power back through the motor and into the pack. It let me make some good estimates for work I was doing with a couple of Chinese manufacturers who wanted to design transit buses and even work with Dick Langford on the Whisper. Fun stuff to play with.
          Dave D
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Good points David. I didn't really research the motor that they are using and your point is well taken that if it's rated at 47kW for nominal use, it could well peak around 70kW or even 80kW? As for the weight of the battery pack, I was just making a rough assumption about the needed weight of the cells to build a ~10kWh pack with this chemistry and then spreding the load across them as that would be the "active material" so to speak in terms of absorbing the charge. So even if the entire pack weighed more, the cells themselves would be fairly close to my assumption. I did forget the other point you mention which is that they would proably have closer to 10.5 or even 11kWh in the pack so they don't go all the way to zero and degrade the battery life more. But that would mean the total stress per cell would be even less in braking situations and these batteries are damn good anyway and would shrug off anything an i-MiEV could throw at them for regen braking! :-)
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Another factor to be taken into account when assessing range is the stonking performance of lithium titanate in the cold, way better than manganese spinel. You would still have the drain of the heater of course, but battery performance is going to hold up much, much better.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Joe, see above in my reply to Tysto. It would seem to me to be highly dependent on the conditions that you drive in. 'It is estimated that regenerative braking systems currently see 31.3% efficiency; however, the actual efficiency depends on numerous factors, such as the state of charge of the battery, how many wheels are equipped to use the regenerative braking system, and whether the topology used is parallel or serial in nature. ' http://engineering.wikia.com/wiki/Regenerative_braking You need capacitors or lithium titanate chemistry to absorb the rapid charge. You are the guy who will be able to work out the loads! It does though exceed that which manganese spinel batteries such as that in the Leaf can take. Perhaps I should also point out that it is Mitsubishi that make the range claims, not me, although it is true that I normally give reputable companies leeway about their claims until full test data from other sources comes in. However, it is true that I put in the figures of 85 mile range from the current iMiEV, which was tested under the US cycle, and perhaps Mitsubishi mean that the range will be comparable under the driving conditions where the car will usually be used, ie in the town with lots of stop/start rather than on a particular test cycle. Another thing to take into consideration is that the range claims are not just due to the regenerative braking, but also the capability of the battery to put up with much deeper discharge than other batteries, so that the usable energy is higher.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      If they already change the main part, even before commercialisation, it's because that part is weak, troublesome and faulty, so it's not touph to beat. Postpone any battery expenditure and insist to get the real thing a fuelcell.
        krona2k
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        http://green.autoblog.com/2011/06/22/mercedes-benz-pulls-forward-fuel-cell-vehicle-launch-to-2014/ Your dream is almost coming true, Mecedes just need some 'partners' to help out with that pesky infrastructure!
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Or they replaced a fine battery because something better came along. There are lots of examples of perfectly serviceable things being replaced by something better. The Apple Macintosh replaced the Apple II, and the original IBM PC was replaced by faster computers - the Apple II and IBM PC worked fine, but something better, faster, and easier to use came along and replaced it. Someday, even more advanced batteries will come along and replace the SCiB, and someday a better fuel cell running on a better fuel will replace H2 fuel cells.
      • 3 Years Ago
      VERY interesting technology and battery! Japanese engineers are amazing! Too bad they have been attacked by the HAARP american instalations and the most obvious thing is that the prefecture in wich the large-scale production for the SCiB batteries ( Kashiwazaki Operations, a new facility in Niigata) was VERY affected by the extreme radiations... Sometime I think we'll never get rid of those evil forces that do whatever they want on this planet...
      • 3 Years Ago
      'Mitsubishi promised a fall 2011 launch for the i MiEV here in the US, and we're happy to report the company is right on schedule -- so long as you live in California, Oregon, Washington, or Hawaii. Those states will be the first to see the subcompact at the dealership this November. The all-electric car will make its debut in the northeastern US by March of next year, with the a nationwide rollout expected by December 2012. The basic ES model will start at $27,990, while the SE demands $29,990 for luxuries like a leather covered steering wheel and "upgrade[d] seating material." Both are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, which could push the price of entry down to just above $20,000' http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/23/mitsubishi-i-miev-priced-to-move-rolls-out-slowly-across-us/ It's not nearly as plush as the Leaf though. I'd get the ASX.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I always and still believe in LTO (Lithium titanate). And those who thinks that LTO is only made for HEV application and perhaps PHEV, they do not really know the real capability of LTO. LTO cells can achieve an acceptable energy density for EV application (large voltage window and high cell size without compromising safety).
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a very interesting battery, and different implementations of the lithium titanate seem to differ widely though. All implementations offer a drastically increased cycle life over llifepo4, li-co, li-mn, etc. I have heard that they also have a self-balancing property like the Konion cells, not sure about that one though.. just a rumor. Could this be the 200,000 mile battery that lasts the life of the car though?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        See specs provided above. If you habitually fast charge they should last 6,000 cycles. 12,000 if you slow charge.
      Tysto
      • 3 Years Ago
      If this pans out (and I'll remain a bit skeptical until Robert Llewellyn has a go at one), it really starts to change the game. While fueling up in 3-5 minutes may seem necessary now, I'm betting people will hardly notice a charge taking 15 minutes when driving long distance because they'll plug in while they go get a sandwich and use the restroom. And if you get more than 100 miles out of a charge, then you could drive pretty much anywhere but cross-country (500+ plus). The chargers certainly seem to be proliferating faster than I imagined. I used to drive 250 miles (4.5 hours) twice weekly, and I'd always take one or two 5-15 minute breaks. That would hardly change at all in this kind of car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tysto
        A note of caution. the range claims are based to a large extent on the superior regenerative capabilities of the battery. That is all well and good around town, with lots of braking etc, but the advantage would diminish considerably if you were cruising at a constant speed across country on flat ground. What Mitsubishi is doing is battling to take cost out of the iMiEV to reach a more competitive price point, and the use of a smaller battery at least in the base configuration will enable them to do this. When costing against the Leaf though it should be borne in mind that the Toshiba battery is going to last the life of the car, whilst that in the Nissan will need changing after 5-8 years according to Nissan. I think a lot of folk in the US might prefer to pay the ~$4668 premium for the 16kwh pack, assuming that Mitsubishi makes it available as in the MiniCab. It should also be noted that Toshiba is only claiming around 2.5 times the cycle life of conventional batteries in this application, presumably around 2,500 cycles. That is pretty good, but still a lot less than the 6,000 fast charge cycles that it gets according to the spec sheets I have linked. What is going on? I reckon that they have eaten deep into the SOC to provide that range, really pushing the battery with the battery management system allowing really deep drain lessening cycle life. Now this is not something to be too concerned about IMO, as it should still be good for something like 200,000 miles at that rate, and I reckon they are being conservative as although on occasion the battery might be deep drained, probably most of the time most users will have plenty left when they recharge and so the battery will last longer. Just the same having 16kwh on tap instead of 10kwh can only help longevity.
      goodoldgorr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Also remember that this new battery have not wistand any real world use, so there is a lot of problems that will occur in the future, they're just desperate having rejected fuelcells. Problem in the cold, fire hazards, busted of any kinds, self depletions, fumes, cost, patents, etc.
        Ian Bruce 伊恩·布鲁斯
        @goodoldgorr
        Why don't you drop by your local hydrogen refueling station (they're everywhere), and ask them how the hydrogen is made?
        uncle_sam
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        also remember that taking too much drugs makes you a paranoid gorr
        Chris M
        • 3 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Toshiba developed this battery a few years back, and it's already in use "in the real world" for such applications as cell phones and laptops. Production of an automotive sized SCiB battery is just beginning, but Toshiba already has extensive experience with this type of battery, and haven't had any of those problems that Gorr is s worried about.
      • 3 Years Ago
      'In terms of performance, SCiB batteries supposedly offer 1.7 times more range than an equivalent li-ion unit, which means that automakers can either reduce the size and weight of the battery pack or keep the dimensions identical and offer more range. Which path do you think Mitsubishi will choose?' They are fitting the 10kwh battery as standard ( probably actually 10.5kwh, as in their MiniCab) I am hopeful that they might offer the 16kwh version as an option, again as in the MiniCab, which has a premium of $778kwh. The range of the iMiEV is 85miles on the US cycle, so if Toshiba reckon the 10kwh battery should do as well as that, then the 16kwh version should be good for around 136 miles.
      krona2k
      • 3 Years Ago
      I really hope Hyundai/Kia choose this battery (or a similar chemistry) for their plug-in hybrids/EVs. These batteries are really impressive, I'd love to never have to even think about having any battery replacement over the lifetime of the vehicle. Anyone think that the Leafs batteries *could* last ten years if few enough charge cycles are done or will there be 20% capacity loss through aging by then regardless?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @krona2k
        At the moment no-one seems to think that just calender life is going to be a big factor, just cycles. That is why Nissan plan to re-purpose batteries after they have lost too much capacity for use in cars as stationary storage. Of course though calender life issues are more difficult to test for, so to a certain extent we will have to suck it and see, but at the moment there is no reason to assume problems. The battery for the Kia and Hyundai use a different polymer technology, but should have great cycle life, although without the extreme fast charge capability of lithium titanate. 'The lithium-polymer batteries in the Sonata use a manganese spinel chemistry that balances energy density with thermal stability. Structurally, the cells are flat, rectangular sheets surrounded by polymer gel electrolyte. Unlike lithium-ion cells, which flex and crack during recharge/discharge cycles, they are mechanically stable because the cells are separated by a ceramic-coated polyolefin material that does not shrink at higher temperatures. This greater thermal stability extends battery life. Hyundai engineers say that the lithium-polymer batteries can tolerate tens of thousands of charge cycles, without having to use a liquid-cooling system. According to W. C Yang, president of the Hyundai R&D Center, the Sonata Hybrid batteries should supply "300,000 miles with less than 10 percent reduction in performance … that's purely from an engineering point of view, not a warranty point of view." Hyundai currently offers a 100,000 mile/10 year powertrain warranty in the U.S. market. Another claimed advantage is safety. Even if the cell casing is pierced the electrolyte remains contained and the cell resists thermal runaway. The flat packaging also improves the airflow paths and exposes more surface area for cooling. To cool the batteries, a duct draws air in from the passenger compartment through the rear package shelf and exhausts it out the rear of the car. ' http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/reviews/hybrid-electric/2011-hyundai-sonata-hybrid-test-drive?click=pm_latest
      uncle_sam
      • 3 Years Ago
      80% fillup in 15 minutes? when will this be on the market? the leaf takes 30 minutes. but 15 minutes, DANG this is getting seriouisly interesting
        • 3 Years Ago
        @uncle_sam
        The battery can handle a 92% or so fill up in 5 minutes - it is the chargers that can't provide the juice: http://www.toshiba.com/ind/data/tag_files/SCiB_Brochure_5383.pdf For the EVs this is the 20 amp version - bottom right on the spec sheet. All other specifications remain the same. Energy density ~100wh/kg at the cell level, ~75wh/kg at the battery pack level. If you live in Canada or the northern US this battery is good down to -30C and should last the life of the car.
      uncle_sam
      • 3 Years Ago
      So what are all those LIES that there are no batteries? I don't get it. The Professor of a friend told his students (vehicle technology) that those batteries are 50 years away. 92% fillup in 5 minutes. WHERE CAN I SIGN? A network with such chargers would kill the ICE car quick. I mean I would dump my prius for such a car.
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